by Olga Cooperman
In recent years, cell phones have become an essential communication tool in our society, prompting many service providers to obtain exclusive rights to specific equipment models and makers. Even as there are more equipment choices for consumers to consider, in reality, these deals considerably restrict consumers' freedoms. In response, innovative consumers have learned how to unlock their phones, freeing them from being bound to specific equipment networks. Because all of this is fairly new, many equipment users still do not really understand what it means to have a equipment unlocked.
Gone are the days when consumers could only buy from four or five equipment models; there are now countless cell phones with different capabilities, with service available through many different providers. As wonderful as this is, the agreements between manufacturers and service providers mean that most of these devices will only work on specific cellular networks. When these cell phones are unlocked, on the other hand, they can then be used on any cellular network with a simple SIM card switch. Being able to unlock cell phones gives consumers the freedom to choose any phone they wish knowing they will not be restricted to only one service provider.
It is important that consumers have freedom in the cellular choices because different phones and service providers each have their own advantages and shortcomings. Someone may love one network, having been with the for many years, but would be more productive with a certain phone that is only offered by some other company. A consumer that has just bought a phone from one service provider may discover that another company has better priced plans. Having an unlocked equipment allows a consumer to completely avoid all of these limitations and use their mobile device as they see fit.
Unlocked cell phones also give consumers the opportunity to take advantage of special offers and benefits from any service provider without having to give up their equipment. Sometimes employers may offer free cellular service from a provider with inferior cell phones; employees with unlocked cell phones can make use of this benefit without having to give up better phones. Someone that has to move to another country can have their phone unlocked and continue to use it on the cellular network in their new home. Having an unlocked phone may give a person the peace of mind in knowing that their equipment will work wherever in the world they may need to be.
While it is understandable that the exclusive deals manufacturers and network providers are good business, unlocked phones actually make both cell phones and the cellular networks more functional than they currently are. Greater consumer freedom and convenience, the benefits of unlocked cell phones could change how the cellular industry does business.
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