In 2017, Sky joined the mobile providers’ list to complete the quadruple of TV, broadband, home phone, and now Sky mobile.
Sky Mobile started with SIM deals to only its customers and now has grown into a full-scale mobile provider offering contract handsets and tablets, PAYG SIMS, data-only SIMs, SIM-only deals, etc.
The deals are worth looking at, obviously, but one question we are often asked is whether Sky phones are locked or not.
In this article, we’ll find out if Sky Mobile phones are unlocked to support any network and how to confirm for yourself.
Part 1. Are Sky Mobile Phones Unlocked?
Gone are the days when UK mobile providers put customers under lengthy contracts of 12-plus months before they could unlock their phones to support other networks.
As of December 2021, the Office of Communications, aka Ofcom, banned all mobile providers from selling locked phones to their costumes. This means that all Sky Mobile (and other mobile providers) phones are sold unlocked and can support SIM cards from other providers.
According to Ofcom, the ban is meant to save customers time, money, and effort while unlocking better deals. Additional measures taken also included the means to unlock a phone by simply sending a text message to your mobile provider.
Ofcom now requires network providers to respond to a network unlock request within a minute with the Porting Authorization Code (PAC), which lets the customer keep their current number while switching to another carrier.
Bravo to Ofcom!
Part 2. How to Check if Your Phone Has Been Unlocked
Even though most providers are now selling unlocked phones, it wouldn’t hurt to confirm if the phone is really unlocked. Checking if the phone is unlocked is quite easy and can be done within minutes.
Use the four methods listed below to be 100% sure that the phone is unlocked.
Method 1. Using WipeLock IMEI Check
One way of checking if your iPhone or Android phone is unlocked is by using professional tools like the WipeLock IMEI Checking tool.
WipeLock IMEI Checker is an online tool that checks the IMEI database and compiles a comprehensive report about your phone.
The report varies with every tool, but with a reliable tool like WipeLock IMEI Checker; you can expect a detailed report that informs whether the phone is locked to a carrier or not.
Here is a screenshot of a WipeLock IMEI Checker report.
3rd party tools can be useful when the official procedures aren’t helping. However, be careful of what you use. Several fake ones exist online, just looking to collect personal information.
Method 2. Using a SIM Card
Using a SIM card from another carrier is another way of confirming if your iPhone or Android phone is unlocked. Just insert the new SIM card, and try it out.
The phone is unlocked if you can successfully make calls, send text messages, and browse the internet on mobile data.
Method 3. From Phone Settings
As implied by the method’s name, you’ll have to access the phone’s settings and look for the carrier lock status.
This method only works for iPhones if the phone runs on iOS 14 and above. The steps are a little different for Android phones.
How to Check if iPhone is Unlocked
Step 1: Tap the Settings icon.
Step 2: On the settings screen, scroll down to locate General > About
Step 3: Look at the Carrier Lock section. If No SIM Restrictions, then your iPhone is unlocked and can support any network.
For iPhone models running on iOS 13, you can confirm if it’s unlocked by following the steps below.
Step 1: Tap the Settings icon.
Step 2: On the Settings screen, tap cellular > cellular data.
Step 3: If cellular data is toggled on, as shown below, your iPhone is unlocked.
Warning: Cellular data is not a foolproof way to confirm if an iPhone is unlocked.
How to Check if an Android Phone is Unlocked
As mentioned earlier, checking if an Android phone is unlocked is quite different from an iPhone, even though they both involve going through the device’s settings.
Follow the steps below to check if your Android phone is unlocked.
Step 1: Access your phone’s settings from the app drawer or the notification bar.
Step 2: On the settings screen, tap on wireless & networks or similar, depending on your phone brand and model.
Step 3: On the wireless & networks page, tap Mobile network or similar, depending on your phone brand and model.
Step 4: At the bottom of the screen, tap Carrier, network operators, choose automatically, Advanced or similar menu.
Step 5: If multiple networks appear on the screen, then chances are high that the phone is unlocked and only needs the right SIM card to operate.
Step 6: If your phone displayed network carriers in step 5, remove your current SIM card and replace it with the new one you wish to use.
Step 7: Test the SIM card by making calls, sending text messages, or browsing the internet using mobile data.
Verify SIM card Compatibility
There are cases when your phone is unlocked (information from the seller), but SIM cards from other network carriers still fail to work. Several factors could lead to this, but the two most common causes are the blacklist status of the phone and network compatibility.
Briefly explained, most mobile providers don’t unlock phones on the blacklist (these are phones reported as lost, stolen, or fraudulent). Before you judge, first confirm the blacklist status using professional tools. Again, I’ll suggest the WipeLock IMEI Checker.
On network compatibility issues, most smartphones either use GSM or CDMA.
GSM phone use SIM cards, while CDMA phones use unique identification numbers for user identification. You will experience issues if you try to use a CDMA phone on a GSM network.
To avoid this, check with the provider you wish to use if your phone will be supported on their network. This can be done online from the provider’s website. Most of them will only ask for your phone’s IMEI.
Unlocked phones are great. If you are looking to purchase one, you now know where to look.
Sky Mobile has lots of them. I’m sure you can also confirm for yourself if the phone you’re about to purchase is really unlocked.
If you have more questions that you’d want us to address, please let us know in the comments area.
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