Vodafone uses contractual services and their SIM cards are locked to the network. Unlocking the phone is commonly done with the Vodafone PUK code, which is short for PIN unblocking key, provided with the initial purchase. Unlocking the phone will open the device to other networks, providing options for carriers and plans.
Reasons to Unlock the Phone
Unlocking a SIM blocked Vodafone is most often done to change carriers. Many people also will unlock the phone to sell the device. Buyers want a phone that is open to new networks, and unlocking makes it easier to sell your used phone. On the contrary, buying a locked phone requires unlocking to use the device on a new network.
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Buying a locked phone is not advised unless you are confident the phone is not permanently locked. Buying a locked phone does present the opportunity to negotiate a lower price point, however, because the phone has limited use and will require effort to reset.
Ultimately, unlocking with the Vodafone unlock code list means you are no longer bound by Vodafone. The unlocked phone is not only available for use on other networks, but it also becomes open to international plans and use in different countries.
Using the Vodafone PUK Code
Your Vodafone comes with an unlock code but this code is frequently lost or misplaced. If you have an active account, head to the Vodafone website and submit the Unlock Code Request form. They will send a code and you can quickly unlock the phone. Calling the customer support line is also an option.
The unlock code will release the phone from the network. It does not necessarily mean your plan is canceled as a current customer, but unlocking is typically done when you plan to cancel. Otherwise, there is really no reason to release the phone from the Vodafone network.
After entering the provided unlock code, the SIM is no longer permanently tied to the network. You now have the option to remove the SIM and enter a new SIM from any other network provider. This means that while traveling internationally, you can easily grab SIM cards within different countries for temporary use. Return to the United States and you can create a new plan on any other network using their SIM card as well. The phone is essentially open for business.
If the phone is locked and you do not have a plan with Vodafone, an unlocking service is useful. Numerous online services exist to assist with the process by using their own custom software. The process typically works by first pairing the phone with the service to generate a custom unlock code.
After the code is generated, you can enter that code to release the phone and open the device to new network options. Use a free service with a browser based system to avoid downloading unnecessary software. If the phone is not activated, you can typically generate a code through a different device. The service will basically route the request to Vodafone and email you the unlock code.
While an unlocking service is not always necessary, they are often free and easy to use. Contact Vodafone directly first to unlock the SIM. If for some reason, the company is not responsive or helpful, use a third party service to complete the task.