The advent of digital mobile solutions is driving users to more specific features in mobile devices that will enable them to jump ship a lot easier. One of such is whether or not a device is locked or unlocked to enable the e-SIM functionality.
WHAT ARE LOCKED DEVICES?
Locked devices are devices that have a software code that prevents you from using them on another network. What does this mean for you as a user?
If the phone is locked, it can be used only on the carrier it's locked to. That could make a big difference to you when you decide to purchase a used phone.
WHAT ARE UNLOCKED DEVICES?
An unlocked phone either doesn't have the software lock on it or someone was able to get a code that unlocks the software. Unlocked phones give you great benefits that you cannot get when you're locked into a carrier. The two great benefits of having an unlocked phone are:
- You can choose whatever carrier you would like to go to.
- You don't have to worry about being locked into any contract as you can go with a prepaid service or you can go with a plan.
Unlocked phones are compatible with mobile networks, making it easier to switch carriers pending you're not in a contract or if you go prepaid. They usually work internationally so you can take your phone to another country. This is where e-SIM comes into play as it is travelers' most preferred choice.
WHY e-SIM CAN'T BE ACTIVATED ON LOCKED PHONES
E-SIM, like sim cards, cannot work on phones locked to a particular mobile network, this is because your e-SIM provider will be the data source for your device.
If your phone or tablet is locked, you will only be able to use a SIM card from the mobile network it’s locked to. This can be very frustrating if you're a traveler and need to skip international roaming charges. Some carriers charge high rates for international calls and texts when traveling abroad, with a locked device you cannot opt for an e-Sim or local sim.
Note that if you purchased your phone SIM-free (and you’ve purchased it brand new, rather than second-hand), it’s almost definitely going to be unlocked to allow you to decide which SIM you want to put in it. However, buying one on contract from a phone retailer or a network might mean that it’s locked from the get-go.
Locked phones are much less common now than they used to be, and it’s much easier to unlock them than it once was, so there’s no need to worry if you do discover that your phone won’t accept SIM cards or e-SIM from other networks out the gate. It might cost you a small fee, and sometimes you’ll need to wait until your contract is up to unlock your phone, but these factors hinge on the network your phone is locked to.
How to check if your device is locked or unlocked
This is a foolproof way to ascertain 100% if your phone is unlocked. This is a better step because different IOS comes with varying settings prompts. Follow this step-by-step and you won't have any hitches.
First, turn off your phone’s power.
Remove your phone’s SIM card with a removal tool or a paper clip.
Replace the SIM card with the other SIM card from a different carrier.
Turn on the power again.
You can now see that the carrier’s name at the top of your home screen has changed.
Dial a call. If the call connects, then your phone is unlocked.
Now you can activate your e-SIM. Traveling to Nigeria or Ghana? Get the best e-SIM deal at Afrosim.