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hi all, does "sim free" mean it will work with any provider. thanks
thanks, my phone is with Virgin mobile, so i wondered if i got a new phone, virgin dont do all i want one to do, and it was "sim free" would it just mean changing the card over?
You can buy mobiles that are network free, or for around £10 they can be unlocked to allow any network sim to run on them, letting you put a Virgin sim into a mobile that had previously been with, say, vodafone for example. Have a look at click here for example.
A sim free phone means that it is unlocked and will work with any sim card.
virgin mobile handsets are usually supplied "locked" to virgin so need to be unlocked as stated above beofre you can use another companies sim card.
In general, any phone bought on PAYG will be locked to the network it was sold for.
For contract phones, O2 and Vodaphone supply unlocked handsets which will work with any sim, the other companies handsets are usually locked.
Nokia DCT4 handsets (most but not all of the newer ones) can be easily unlocked using a code only, this can be found free on many internet sites along with the instructions of how to do it.
The network provider can also unlock the handset but usually charges £20 - £25.
Unlocking the handset is perfectly legal.
What is illegal is changing the phones IMEI number, which is what used to happen with stolen mobiles in the past, This number registers with the network when the phone is switched on, and this gets barred by all UK networks when a phone is reported lost or stolen, so the phone stops working.
Fortunately, Nokia on the newer DCT4 handsets have made it impossible to change this IMEI number by software, and a chip has to be changed on the circuit board which makes it nigh on impossible to do. This is wht my and my other family members now carry DCT4 nokia's. Not sure what other manufacturers do.
Unfortunately, a barred UK mobile will still work abroad, and this is where many of them now end up, and this will be the case until the EU force all European mobile networks to combine the stolen phone database, which would close the market for stolen handsets.
what started this thread was, i fancy a new phone, at the moment i have a motorola timeport, on the virgin network, i have looked at the phones they sell, they do a couple of motorola's, but none near the top of the range, and none of the nokia range..so i thought if i got a motorola or nokia "sim free" from the makers website, would it be just a case of just putting my sim card in the new phone..........
that some of the above information si incorrect. Yes, some networks lock their phones so you can only use their cards, but others don't. The easiest way I have found of finding out if your phone is locked to a particaulr network is to find a friend who is on the network that you want, and put their card in your phone. If it works you are ok. If not, find a local phone shop who will unlock it for you.
And 'sim free' does mean that any sim card will work in the phone.
sim free phones purchased rom the manufacturer are usually much more expensive than purchasing a phone from a phone company, but you are correct, if you buy a sim free phone it should be unlocked and your virgin sim will work in it.
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