How to unlock your mobile phone from a network

Mobile Phone Unlock Network

If you buy a new phone, it’s probably going to be locked to the service provider you bought it from. This means that if you try and take a contract up with a different provider, the SIM just won’t work in the phone. You might want to get a better deal or shop around, and you’ll need to unlock your smartphone to do this.

Despite many misconceptions, unlocking your phone isn’t illegal and your service provider is obliged to do it for you, although they can charge. It may invalidate your warranty however, so take that into account before you do it.


EE – To unlock an EE device, you’ll need to apply using an online form. It should be unlocked within 10 days. They charge:

– £8.99 for contract phones and it must have been 6 months since your initial purchase.

– £8.99 for PAYG.


O2 – You can unlock your O2 device by filling out a form using your My O2 Account. It typically takes around 10 working days. Their charges are:

– Free for contract phones.

– £15 for PAYG and it must have been 12 months since purchase.


Tesco Mobile – Tesco Mobile usually unlock your device within 7 working days, although it can take up to 28 days.. You must apply for it by calling 0345 300 6600. This is:

– Free for contract phones.

– Free for PAYG if your device was purchased over 12 months ago, and £10 if it has been less than 12 months.


Three – Your Three device will already be unlocked if you bought it from them after 1st January 2014. If you didn’t,you can unlock it by running a system restore on your iPhone or using this online form for other phones. You can expect to wait 7 days for an unlock, but Three do not charge any fees for this on either contract or PAYG phones.


Virgin Mobile – They can between 7 – 28 days days to unlock your phone, which you can request it by calling 0345 6000 789 or 789 from your device. You’ll need your serial number to hand. Virgin Mobile charge:

– £15.32 for contract phones although it must be a minimum of 3 months since the phone was purchased.

– £15.32 for PAYG.


Vodafone – It can take up to 10 days for Vodafone to unlock your phone and you do this by filling in an online form. This is:

– Free for contract phones if the phone was purchased more than 12 months ago. It’ll be £19.99 if it’s been owned for less than 12 months.


– £19.99 for PAYG, and it must have had a minimum of 30 days PAYG usage.


If you don’t meet the requirements set by the service provider or your phone is second hand (this can be an issue with the providers), you can arrange an unlock by a third party. This will likely cost you a bit more but you won’t have to hand over any money if they can’t get the job done.