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Old 01-28-2010, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I have a free unlock code - should I unlock?

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I am just curious about this, and I don't really understand what it means to 'unlock' a phone. I am fine with AT&T as my carrier. My plan gives me 1000 minutes for $39 (it is an old plan).

So I recently got a free unlock code. Should I use it? Do you only use these codes when you are going to another carrier? Like if I was going to Verizon or something?

When you unlock, can you no longer use your previous/current carrier? Or should I unlock it, for the future, in case I want to go to another carrier?

Sorry, not saavy on this topic.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Unlocking your device will allow you to use your phone on another GSM carrier such as T-Mobile. Not Verizon or Sprint as they're CDMA.

However, unlocking your phone will still allow you to use your device on AT&T. It will also increase the chances of you selling your phone if you decide to do that. If it is unlocked, you would have more potential buyers, not just AT&T customers.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There's a lot to discuss.. A LOT.

Unlocking allows a phone from one carrier (AT&T) to be used on a different carrier that uses the same technology.

AT&T and T-Mobile use the same technology. Verizon and Sprint use a different technology.

You can unlock an AT&T Bold and use it on T-Mobile - except you won't get 3G. It's complicated. You can never use a Bold on Verizon.

If you unlock it, you can still use it on your original carrier.

Given the number of questions - there is no reason for you to use the unlock code. It won't expire. And it can only be used once on a specific phone.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the code is valid, use it. It can't hurt anything and does give you options as mentioned above. Because it can't be used on any other phone, what's the point of not using it? I scored two 9000s just before Xmas and had them both unlocked despite the fact I'm not leaving my provider any time soon. It gives me flexibility of traveling abroad with the phones which is why I did it. As mentioned, it increases resale value of the phone too.

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Old 01-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celly View Post
If the code is valid, use it. It can't hurt anything and does give you options as mentioned above. Because it can't be used on any other phone, what's the point of not using it? I scored two 9000s just before Xmas and had them both unlocked despite the fact I'm not leaving my provider any time soon. It gives me flexibility of traveling abroad with the phones which is why I did it. As mentioned, it increases resale value of the phone too.
I wouldn't say it increases resale value of the phone, but it does increase your chances of selling it.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry View Post
There's a lot to discuss.. A LOT.
...
You can unlock an AT&T Bold and use it on T-Mobile - except you won't get 3G. It's complicated.
...
does this mean that you won't get 3G at all if you unlock it? or is it just because T-Mobile doesn't have 3G?

I don't want to unlock my Rogers phone if I will lose the 3G capabilities.

Regards
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmuncan View Post
does this mean that you won't get 3G at all if you unlock it? or is it just because T-Mobile doesn't have 3G?

I don't want to unlock my Rogers phone if I will lose the 3G capabilities.

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T-Mobile's 3G operates on different frequencies than AT&T. That's why you won't get 3G on T-Mobile with an unlocked phone.

It won't affect your current 3G coverage with Rogers.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was just worried that unlocking the phone would make it not work with AT&T or something and then I would be screwed. Looks like that is not the case

However, I have replaced my Bold 3 times, due to various problems, and gotten the warranty replacements; I am still under warranty, even now. I wonder if I sent an unlocked phone back to them, if they would whine about it and charge me the cost of a new phone? Probably not.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, if I use my free code to unlock now and then get a new phone via warranty, then I will have wasted an unlock code on a phone that is going into the trash, when it gets back to AT&T, probably.

So I guess the best answer is - don't unlock your phone until you are ready to:
a. travel abroad, or
b. sell the phone on 'Flea-Bay'
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Bold 9000 has 3G bands 1,2,5,6 which are the same as Rogers and At&t 3G bands.

T-Mobile USA operates on 3G bands 1,4,8.

Therefore the Bold 9000 is not able to use T-Mobile USA's 3G frequencies.

However.... if you unlock your Bold 9000....you can use it on T-Mobile USA's network, but you will only be able to use their 2.5G EDGE frequencies.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelalanjones View Post
Yeah, I was just worried that unlocking the phone would make it not work with AT&T or something and then I would be screwed. Looks like that is not the case

However, I have replaced my Bold 3 times, due to various problems, and gotten the warranty replacements; I am still under warranty, even now. I wonder if I sent an unlocked phone back to them, if they would whine about it and charge me the cost of a new phone? Probably not.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, if I use my free code to unlock now and then get a new phone via warranty, then I will have wasted an unlock code on a phone that is going into the trash, when it gets back to AT&T, probably.

So I guess the best answer is - don't unlock your phone until you are ready to:
a. travel abroad, or
b. sell the phone on 'Flea-Bay'

An unlock code is only good on the one specific phone it was generated for. It won't work on any other phone. If you have to return this phone for another, it won't work on the new phone. There is absolutely no harm in unlocking your present phone. If you ever get another warranty replacement, it will not be unlocked and you will need a new code to unlock it, one that was generated specifically for this phone using its IMEI number.
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