U-Mobile Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who is this service for?
At the present time our unlocking service is only for GSM subscribers that have handsets that require a SIM card to operate. If you have a CDMA handset (ie. TELUS or Bell Mobility) your handsets will only operate on their respective networks. TM & Bell will no longer activate foreign phones as both companies now cross reference ESN's in their systems.
What is a locked phone?
SP locked, SIM locked, Subsidy locked, it means your phone is locked to a certain network provider. This means you can only use the service / SIM card from that particular one network provider. If you want to use a SIM card or service or another provider, your phone will reject it. Even if you have a world phone, you can't really use other providers in other countries, which makes it essentially useless. There are also other levels of locking to the network such as Network Lock, Network Subnet Lock, and Corporate Lock. The most common one is SP/SIM lock.
Common error messages you'll find are: "Enter Subsidy Password", "Enter Special Code" (Motorola), "Phone Restricted" (Nokia), "Insert Correct SIM Card" (Ericsson, Siemens), etc.
Why should I consider unlocking my phone?
If you are considering one of the following, 99% chances are you must unlock your phone first:
If you need to travel abroad and save a lot of money on phone bills
You want to switch wireless providers
You need to resell the phone
You bought a second-hand phone (most likely to be locked)
Your wireless carrier is mostly like to give you a run-around when you try to request an unlocking solution. You'll most likely waste time driving to the service center only to be told that they can't unlock for you. You will then make a 10-minute call and the tech guy may or may not be willing to help you unlock. Sometimes you will get a run around and waste weeks before looking else where for an unlocking solution.
Can I use my phone abroad?
If you have a GSM phone and it is a world phone, then the simple answer is yes. To find out whether your phone will work abroad or not, you must know the model and band it uses. For North American countries, most use 1900MHz or 850MHz. All other countries use 900MHz and/or 1800MHz. If your phone does not have the band frequency required abroad, then you'll need a world phone. Unlocking a non-world phone will not change the hardware radio frequency.
My wireless plan has roaming, should I still unlock my phone?
Yes! Many wireless plan do NOT offer free roaming nation wide, and the per-minute cost is high. Even if your phone offers nation wide roaming as part of your monthly plan, it DOES NOT cover International roaming. If you plan to use your phone abroad, it is highly recommended that you unlock the phone. Your wireless provider may not be able to provide roaming in the country you are traveling. In addition, the International roaming cost can be as high as $2 to $4.50 per minute! Compare this to buying a local SIM card which can be as low as $0.10 per minute calling the US from abroad.
What is IMEI?
International Mobile Equipment Identification, this is the unique number that identifies your phone. Each phone has a different IMEI. We do not change your IMEI.
Is this legal?
Yes, it's perfectly legal. The phone is yours just like your telephone at home. If your home phone that you bought could only work with TELUS long distance service, does that make sense?