Anyone who wants to leave their current carrier and keep their phone needs to understand a few things before making the switch. It's important that the Cricket device is unlocked and will work on another carrier's network.
When Can a Cricket Wireless Device Get Unlocked?
To unlock a Cricket Wireless device, it should be active for a minimum of six months of paid service. The hardware needs to be designed to use on and is locked to Cricket's network.
The prepaid device cannot be associated with any fraudulent activity. The device also can't be reported as lost or stolen. Cricket will give an unlock code to anyone who meets these criteria. After receiving the unlock request, Cricket will provide an unlock code in about two business days. If they refuse the request, they will give an explanation for why they denied it.
Contact Cricket's customer service to request a Cricket mobile device unlock. Cricket's customer service can be contacted by online chat or giving them a call. It is also possible to get the device unlocked at a Cricket store. Once approved, Cricket will send an unlock code.
To get the unlock code, it's important to have the following information available:
The account billing pin code
The name on the account
The phone for the handset that's getting unlocked
The account PIN might not be the same number as the online password. The PIN is required to get account information from the customer service representative. The PIN may be the last four digits of the account holder's social security number.
Does Unlocking a Cricket Wireless Phone Cost Money?
No. Cricket Wireless does not charge its customers to unlock their devices.
How to Tell If a Cricket Phone is Unlocked?
The first step to seeing if a Cricket Wireless device is unlocked is to contact Cricket itself. Customer service should be able to provide that information. Another way to test if the phone is unlocked is by putting a SIM card from a different carrier in it. To test a new SIM card, remove the card from the device and place another SIM card into it. Make sure the SIM cards are the same size.
Usually, when the SIM card changes, the network name in the upper left or right-hand corner of the phone will change. If it's unclear whether the phone is unlocked, turn the device off and back on. Rebooting the phone may help it recognize the new SIM/Network.
Will the Cricket Device Work on a Different Network When It's Unlocked?
Phones that are unlocked must use the same type of network. For example, GSM phones will work on another carrier that does not have a compatible GSM network. GSM phones will not work on the CDMA network of a different carrier.
Because Cricket phones work on AT&T's GSM network, they are compatible with carrier's that operate on AT&T's and T-Mobile's GSM network. Having an unlocked phone does not mean that it will work with all of the features and services offered by the new carrier.
The most noticeable difference between the GMS and CDMA network is the fact that CDMA devices use electronic serial numbers. These serial numbers are inserted into the devices. These phones need to be reprogrammed by a specialist before changing networks. GSM devices use a removable SIM card that identifies their subscribers on the network.
SIM cards are easily swapped by the service provider by removing the old card and replacing it with a new one. Devices purchased from a prepaid carrier that operates on AT&T or T-Mobile's networks are unlocked. So, users should have no issue moving SIM cards from one device to another.
The introduction of the LTE network makes switching carriers somewhat easier. The GSM technology was used to build the LTE networks in the U.S. More recent LTE-enabled phones purchased from prepaid carriers that operate on Verizon and Sprint Networks may work on the majority of GSM networks. Even phones with SIM cards will work on the GSM network.
The ability to work on the LTE network depends on how to specify phones are designed. Older phones may only utilize SIM cards for LTE services. These phones may be able to work on the new GSM network. Although people using these phones should know that even though the phone works, users may not receive 2G and 3G services to make calls or text messages.
For some people the quality of the coverage is not a problem, it's about finding a cheaper plan. If this is the case, the devices can be taken to a virtual mobile network operator that uses GSM technology or CDMA.
Active Duty Military Personnel
The six-month service requirement does not apply to deployed military personnel. However, all of the other unlock criteria must be met.
To have the phone unlocked, fax your documentation to 770-360-4979. The documentation should include the service member's name, email address, and phone number where Cricket should send the unlock instructions. The documentation can also get emailed to Cricket at email@example.com.
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