Daily hack: You can unlock a network-locked smartphone, but it will cost you

So you’ve found the phone of your dreams at the price you budgeted for but there’s a small catch, it’s network-locked smartphone. For many, this can be the deciding factor on whether or not to take the big step of buying a phone. 

You may even consider switching networks and getting a new number, however, getting a new number isn’t always easy in today’s day and age of banking apps, two-factor authentication and other security protocols attached to a particular number. 

However, according to a recent article by My Broadband, there is a way to get around having a network-locked smartphone but it may cost you. 

Why do networks lock smartphones?

The short answer is to incentivise networks to subsidise phones in order to bring the cost of a handset down for a consumer. 

In the case of Vodacom, however, this is done to get people to migrate from older networking technologies (2G and 3G) to 4G.

How to unlock a network-locked smartphone in South Africa

Photo: iStock

Before even trying to unlock your network-locked smartphone, you would have to wait a period of 12 months from the date of purchase of your device. Thereafter, you would need to ensure you have a particular amount of airtime on your sim to get the process started. 

How to unlock a sim on different networks: 

MTN: Dial USSD *135# and select the option to unlock your sim or call the MTN call centre and ask to be assisted with the process. 

Vodacom: Call 082 135 and ask for the unlocking codes at a fixed (undisclosed) fee.

ALSO READ: Is the Honor X8 worth the hype?

Cell C: This network has the most convoluted unlocking process of the three. 

According to My Broadband, when requesting a network unlock code (NUC), Cell C customers must have a non-Cell C SIM on hand and a minimum airtime balance of R150. 

You may end up paying less depending on how much the handset costs you. 

Then, you need to call 084 135 and request a network unlock. The call centre agent assisting you would then deduct the required airtime amount from your balance.

After this, you will receive an SMS with the NUC on the Cell C number which you will need to write on a piece of paper or note on another device. You will need to enter the NUC on your device after restarting it in order to proceed. 

Click here for more info.

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Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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