Whenever you purchase a cell phone, from a Wireless Phone Company, it will be locked so that it can only be used for their service. There are a few different ways to unlock your cell phone so that it can be used with another phone company or even for international travel. Below I have outlined some suggestions.
If you ever plan on taking a trip to Europe, you don’t want to use your existing cell phone company’s international service. If they provide roaming in certain countries, you can end up paying as much as $2.49 per minute plus surcharges.
For international calling overseas, you want to make sure you have a quad-band cell phone. Quad-band cell phones (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) are compatible with European phone companies and will let you make affordable calls to the US. Quad-band means that your cell phone is capable of operating on 4 different frequencies and is determined by the SIM card you insert.
If you own an old AT T; phone, check to see if your model is a GSM quad-band phone. If it is, you will only need to unlock the phone and purchase a pre-paid international SIM-card. A GSM phone has a SIM-card installed and can be accessed by removing the battery. If you don’t have a GSM quad-band phone, you can purchase an unlock phone for about $100 plus the purchase of the SIM-card.
If you have an existing quad-band cell phone, all you will need to do is have it unlocked. This can be done by a number of companies for as little as $20. In Google search type, “unlock+cell+phone and there you will find companies that offer this service. Some companies only require you give them the phone’s IMEI number and model number of your cell phone. Once you pay them they will email the unlock code for your phone along with instructions how to do it.
Visit Telestial.com and you can purchase an unlocked quad-band cell phone and a pre-paid international SIM card. I have used their services and they have pre-paid SIM card plans to make calls to the US for as little as 29 cents a minute. Telestial offers different ways that you can replenish your pre-paid SIM card. This is the most cost effective way of making international phone calls. Don’t be fooled by all the hype your wireless carrier may make about cheap international rates. They never tell you about the surcharges and connection fees.