Permanent Phone Unlock Key Terms 

GSM Network (Global System for Mobiles)

GSM is the primary type of technology used for cell phones. It’s much easier to swap phones on a GSM network because GSM carriers put customer information on a removable SIM card. Using a GSM cell phone makes it easier for a user to switch carrier providers or networks, as all that is required to make a switch is to purchase a new SIM card for their cell phone.

If you purchase a new device remove your old sim card, place it inside the new phone, and the new phone now has your number. The interchangeability of GSM cell phones, as well as the ability to easily switch between networks, makes them a much more appealing option for international travelers who plan to switch between different networks when on trips to countries that primarily use GSM technology. 

Networks in the US who uses GSM

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • MetroPCS

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)

CDMA technology is that it is the primary type of technology used for cell phones and smartphones in the United States.  CDMA cell phones do not use a sim card. 

One of the downsides is that using a CDMA network makes it much more difficult to switch out phones between networks.

Networks in the US who uses CDMA

  • Sprint
  • Verizon
  • US Cellular

Clean IMEI

  • This means your device has not been reported lost/stolen, is blacklisted or blocked.
  • All payments for your device is paid off in full to the original carrier.

Contract/Financing IMEI

With this type of plan, you pay off the full retail price of a phone over time. Typically the cost of your phone is divided over 24 months. You still owe money on your phone and have not paid the phone off. 

  • Verizon’s financing plan is called “Device Payments.”
  • AT&T’s financing plan is called “AT&T Next“.
  • T-Mobile’s financing plan is called “Equipment Installment Plan (EIP).”
  • Sprint’s financing plan is called “Easy Pay“. 


Blacklisted/Reported Lost-Stolen/Blocked IMEI

  • A device reported as lost or stolen results in the device being put on the blacklist through its unique IMEI number.
  • Blacklisting can also occur if the user of a device is no longer able to pay for their contract, or it was acquired through fraud.
  • We can remove device’s IMEI from the blacklist or blocked status. It does not affect the IMEI, warranty. We do not change the serial number which may damage the device.

North American carriers started developing national and global databases to share devices listed as lost or stolen. Apple or Samsung does not have the power to blacklist a device, but only wireless carriers are responsible for blacklisting a device. Apple or Samsung cannot change the status of a blacklisted device.

The IMEI number is uniquely connected to that device. The IMEI makes it easy for carriers to track lost and stolen phones, locking them out from cellular networks. In addition to stopping criminals, consumers are given the ability to check if a pre-owned device was reported as lost or stolen before making the mistake of purchasing it.


AT&T Gophones (Pay As You Go)

Gophones contract-free phones. You can use it on ATT’s regular plan too. But with these phones, there are no strings attached. You’re not sucked into a 2-year plan, just to get a new phone.