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Mobile phones are often locked to the network that are originally sold. Networks do this in order to subsidize the cost of the mobile, allowing people to pay minimal or no upfront fees. However, as a result they activate the Network or SIM lock, restricting it to only working with SIM cards that connect to that network’s signal.
Phone unlocking or network unlocking is the process of removing this lock, which allows the cellphone to accept any compatible SIM card from anywhere around the world. Unlocking often requires the use of an unlock code, which is unique to each handset and found by using the handset’s IMEI number.