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Unlocked cell phones are mobile phones that can be used on any GSM network with interchangeable SIM cards.
No matter which carrier makes the card, the phone will be able to recognize it and send voice and data over the network.
One way to get a phone without proprietary settings is to buy it new from a third party vendor in its original, unlocked state.
Third party services are also available to unlock a person's cell phone for a fee, usually by attaching it to a special piece of hardware specially designed for this purpose.
In addition to less expensive calling rates, this provides the added benefit of having a local number while in the area.
Not all unlocked phones have all the same features as their locked counterparts even when the provider is the same.
Carriers may include such features only on locked phones, which use their proprietary software and settings.
Some carriers offer free calling to a number of contacts or one-button access to certain features that can only be used on locked phones.
It is advisable to check on which bands the phone uses, and which bands are available in given travel destinations.The majority of the world — 99% — uses the GSM network, and numerous carriers use it for their services.The competing network is CDMA, or code division multiple access.Consumers concerned about specific features may want to check with a carrier to see if they are available on unlocked cell phones.In addition, such phones tend to be more expensive.
This card contains software that allows it to be used in GSM phones as well.