Qlink Wireless Smartphones – The landmark bill finally took action this week which will allow American cellular customers to unlock their smartphones for free. The unlock process can vary between cellular service providers, but you can be sure that now you have the right, according to the law, to unlock your smartphone.
Operators have until February 10, 2015 to bring their policies to fit this bill, so starting that day, ridiculous unlocking costs are a thing of the past, bringing the US in line with policies that have long existed in most of the World. Some eligibility requirements apply, of course, but I will describe the process of opening up mobile operators in more detail below.
Qlink Wireless Smartphones
What is an Opener?
Cellphones purchased from certain operators, for the most part, are “locked” into the operator’s cellular network. This means that even if you have a SIM card from another operator, it won’t work on your device.
Let’s say you are traveling abroad. You can buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport when you land at your destination, but will it work on your phone? The short answer is no – unless, of course, you have unlocked your device. If this is the case, your cellphone is no longer limited to the original network, and is now free to operate with whatever operator you choose.
Am I entitled to open my device?
In the US, the cost of smart phones is generally subsidized as part of your cellular service contract. This is how you can get an $ 800 iPhone for only $ 200 up front – a $ 600 loss that your operator takes when they make this deal more than made with an artificially increased monthly service fee.
But, there are major weaknesses in this system. Technically, you don’t have your smartphone in this scenario until you complete your service contract. This means that before you pay your 24th monthly bill in a 2-year service agreement, the cellphone still belongs to your operator.
People included in this scenario are not eligible to take advantage of this new law. You can only unlock your cellphone key for free if you meet the following requirements:
You buy a telephone directly; or
You have completed any related service contracts; and
Are still customers with genuine service providers
The last requirement is rather complicated. Your operator is only needed to unlock your cellphone for free if you are still their customer.
If it’s an old phone that you bought from AT & T, for example, and now you are with Verizon Wireless; AT & T can charge you a “minimum fee” for unlocking the device. However, if you are still a customer with the device’s original service provider, they are obliged to unlock your device for free on request.
Okay, I’m worthy. How do I open my cellphone?
The easiest way to unlock your device that qualifies for free is to give your operator a call. I just did it with AT & T, and it’s fast and painless. You must do this because your operator can give you your device’s Master Subsidy Key, also known as MSL. With that number in hand, you can unlock your device.
In the future (meaning cellphones produced from February 2015 onwards), MSL will be replaced with a DSU (Unlockable Domestic SIM) system, allowing operators to unlock the device through the air.
For operator-specific unlock policies, please see the following link:
AT & T Device Unlock Page
T-Mobile Unlock page
Open Sprint page
Open Verizon page
U.S. Cellular Page
You also have to be aware of the connectivity capabilities of your device. Most cellphones from Sprint and Verizon operate on CDMA networks, which are not compatible with GSM global standards. This means that Sprint or Verizon phones may not work for any other operator in the world even though they are not locked.
If you want to know what carrier network your cellphone supports, see this guide from Andrew. This will function as an easy way to find out if your unlocked cellphone will work on a different network.
How easy is the process of unlocking your cellphone with your specific operator? Tell us in the comments section below, or send a line on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.