The key to unlocking your mobile | ACMA

Telco

19 September, 2014 08:47 AM

Telco

The key to unlocking your mobile

By Editor

Many of us have been stuck with a mobile we can no longer use because it’s locked to the network from which we bought the handset. This often occurs when we want to change providers or use our mobile overseas with a different SIM card.

Depending on your handset and provider, you may need to get your handset unlocked—and this can incur a charge.

Is my handset locked?

Handset-locking policies can differ from provider to provider, or can depend on the type of device and package you’ve bought. To check if your handset is locked, put in a SIM card from a different provider—use one you’ve borrowed from a friend. If the phone works with the alternative SIM, it’s unlocked. If not, you’ll need to contact your provider and ask for it to be unlocked. Many newer phones are not locked and most providers offer advice on network unlocking on their websites.

How can I unlock my handset?

The table below shows what to expect if you buy a handset directly from your mobile provider.  

Provider

Customer type

Are handsets locked to its network?

Is there a charge to unlock it?

 Telstra

Post-paid

Most phones are not locked but iPhones earlier than the 5 may be locked

No
To unlock free of charge, go to:

https://unlock.telstra.com.au/iphoneunlock/main;jsessionid=061B81220F2377E03251F8B1E3982463?execution=e1s1

Pre-paid

Yes

Yes
Costs vary depending on the type of phone—for instructions, go to:
https://go.telstra.com.au/helpandsupport/-/unlock-pre-paid-mobile-for-other-networks

Optus

Post-paid

Most phones are not locked. To check go to: www.optus.com.au/unlock

No

Pre-paid

Most phones are locked. To check go to: www.optus.com.au/unlock

Fees may apply, depending on how long you’ve had the service—to check, go to: www.optus.com.au/unlock

Vodafone

Post-paid

No

No

Pre-paid

Yes

Go to: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/Network-Lock

Virgin

Post-paid

Most phones are not locked

No

Pre-paid 

Most phones are not locked

No, but customers may need to call to retrieve the unlock code. Go to:
https://community.virginmobile.com.au/t5/Phones-knowledge-base/How-do-I-get-my-Virgin-Mobile-handset-or-modem-unlocked/ta-p/82