Unlocked phones operate on any GSM network around the world. An unlocked phone is ideal as a second device for international travelers who use prepaid or postpaid SIM cards issued by local GSM carriers when they are on the road.
For more information about unlocked phones, see our FAQs at the bottom of this page.
Unlocked Phones FAQ
What is an unlocked cell phone?
An “unlocked” cell phone is a cell phone that has not been programmed by a carrier to work only on that carrier’s network.
What is the difference between an unlocked phone and a replacement phone?
An unlocked phone will work on any GSM carrier’s network around the world, thus offering the flexibility of using local carriers’ prepaid SIM cards when traveling internationally. Replacement phones are “locked” to a specific US wireless carrier, and so are ideal for anyone who has lost or broken their old phone, or who wants a new phone but is not yet eligible for an upgrade.
What US carrier networks can I use unlocked phones on?
An unlocked phone will work on the T-Mobile and AT&T networks in the United States, as well as on all GSM carriers around the world.
Can I use these cell phones outside the United States?
Yes, these devices support all of the common GSM frequencies used by carriers around the world (i.e. 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz). Use your existing SIM with an international calling plan, or save money by purchasing a prepaid SIM card for your phone when you get to your destination.
Do these phones come with a SIM card?
No. To operate an unlocked phone in the US, remove the SIM card from your old GSM cell phone and insert it into the unlocked phone. When you travel internationally, purchase prepaid SIM cards from local GSM carriers.
Can I use all of my carrier’s data and messaging features with these devices?
In most cases, yes, though certain features may require handset configuration. Your carrier will be able to assist you if necessary.
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