Why you should have an unlocked phone
We all love our phones and other gadgets in our life. They can help us get from a to b, give us ideas and even make us more productive. They are now so much more than a telephone, they are pocket computers.
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When you land in another country, those costs immediately start mounting up. Particularly when you use mobile data while overseas. If you are staying for a longer time then you could use a local SIM. If you do you'll find your costs will fall instantly. You would be calling like a local.
There are other advantages too. You will have a local phone number for people to contact you. Of course, you would not have to worry about that huge phone bill, which will be waiting for you back home. If you got your phone from a carrier, the chances are it will be some kind of SIM lock on it. So you can't use that handset with another network.
Why should I unlock my phone?
The chances are that you have bought a handset from a carrier or part of a calling plan or contract. In order to keep you from using other networks a SIM lock is often placed on the handset. This can be a problem if you are travelling and want to use a local sim, as it won't work without a modification known as unlocking.
How do I Unlock a phone?
This all depends on what kind of handset you have. In the city you are in you at likely to find a phone shop that would be able to do this for you. There are sometimes sites on the Internet that offer remote unlocking although if you are not so tech savvy this is not recommended. Some carriers will unlock your phone for a fee.
Another option is purchase an unlocked phone to begin with. This is also known as a SIM free or factory unlocked phone. However this does come at a premium. As a smartphone user this could be as much as purchasing a tablet or portable computer, although you do have the advantage of having no contractual ties.
Where can I get a sim free phone?
Some carriers and phone shops might actually be selling factory unlocked handsets, so it's best to ask. But you can buy phones direct from vendors such as Apple and some phone shops specifically sell SIM free handsets.
Online retaillers such as eBay and Amazon often sell sim free handsets too. So you might save some money by purchasing a handset before going on your trip. You will probably need to purchase a new charger or adaptor for the country you are going to visit, but they can be bought cheaply. Also, more and more devices are charged by USB.