I just got done unlocking my Motorola V3 cell phone. For those who don’t know, cell phones from most of the major carriers are locked to that carrier’s network – you can not use the phone with another carrier. This is how they’re able to offer you phones for so cheap. They make you sign a multi-year contact in exchange for a free phone. However, if you try to use this phone with another carrier, it won’t work because it’s locked. That kinda renders a “world phone”, like the Motorola V3, unworldly.
Every cell phone can be unlocked – it’s just a matter of how you go about doing it. In the case of the V3, I needed to connect to the phone directly with a USB cable and run the unlocking software. Other phones can be unlocked by entering a few keys on the number pads.
Once unlocked, the phone will work with any wireless carrier in the world. So when I’m in Taipei, I’ll just pick up a “pay as you go” SIM card. The SIM card gives me a local Taipei phone number and 100 minutes of call time. If I wish to add more time, I just recharge the card. The number is good for 3 months unless renewed. The cost is about $20. That’s way less than making calls from Taipei with my home carrier. The roaming charges alone would kill you!