Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to unlock your cellphone or mobile device?

Cellular service works so that the unique serial number in your phone is used by the cellular service providers to identify who you are. With a quick database lookup it knows that a particular phone's serial number is your phone and knows how and where to transmit the signal to your device whenever a caller dials your phone number.

When a service provider ‘locks’ its phones, it means that its phones have been programmed to only work with SIMs issued by their company. Unlocking reverses the programming put on your phone by the provider so it can work with any SIM card from another provider on any compatible GSM network around the world.

Back to top
What is a SIM?

A SIM Card is a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) that is an integrated circuit which securely stores the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI). The SIM card contains your subscriber profile, which includes details about your subscribed services and features.

Back to top
Why would I want to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Once unlocked any GSM phone can work with any SIM. What this means is that you can use the same cell phone or mobile device with different SIM Cards from different networks around the world. Therefore, if you have already purchased a cellphone or device that you like and have learned how to use it, you will not have to change phones or devices if you change networks. You can keep the phone you have like, and all you need to do is replace the first network’s SIM with your new service provider’s SIM Card.

Back to top
How do I know if I have a GSM or CDMA cellphone or mobile device or not?

Check your cellphone or mobile device manufacturer website or the user manual that came with your cellphone or device or ask your provider.

Back to top
How do I unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Simply take your locked cellphone or device to the provider that you bought it from and make a request for it to be unlocked.

Back to top
What if I bought my cellphone or mobile device from overseas?

Bermuda’s cellphone service providers are not obliged to unlock Cell phones that have been purchased from a source other than a provider in Bermuda.

Back to top
How much does it cost to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Customers and former customers are entitled to have their cellphone or mobile device unlocked free of charge. The provider doing the unlocking shall bear full responsibility with the unlocking process.

Back to top
How long will it take to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Providers will unlock eligible cell phones within one business day after receiving a request.

Back to top
What if the provider takes a longer period of time or says my cellphone or mobile device cannot be unlocked

If the device cannot be unlocked, the Provider is required to provide an explanation as to why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why additional time is needed to process the request before the end of the one day period.

Back to top
Can a provider refuse to unlock my cellphone or device?

Providers can decline an unlock request if they believe it is a fraudulent request or that the device in question is stolen or if the customer is not current on its outstanding bills for services (provided there is no legitimate dispute concerning those services) or some other good reason. If the provider refuses an unlock request, it is required by law to give an explanation as to why the request has been refused.

Back to top
How will I know if my cellphone or device is unlocked or not?

If you have requested to “unlock” your phone or device from a provider, first check with them to ensure the process has been completed after one business day. Your provider should be able to give you confirmation that your cellphone is unlocked at the end of the unlocking process. If you have not made a request and want to find out if your phone or device is unlocked before doing so, simply attempt to insert a SIM connected with a different wireless provider and see if your phone or device works. f it works, and your phone or device thinks it is its phone or device with that phone or device’s number, then your phone or device is already unlocked. But if it creates some sort of error message and doesn't work, then your phone or device is stilled locked.

Back to top
Can any cellphone or device be unlocked and used on another provider's network?

As long as the provider you are changing to uses the same underlying network technology and the same radio frequencies.

Back to top
Will my cellphone or device function normally after unlocking?

Your phone should function normally. The only difference is, you will be able to use it on other networks.

Back to top
Will my cellphone or device be unlocked permanently?

Yes. There will be no need to unlock your phone again if you change SIM cards.

Back to top
I've unlocked my cellphone or device, but when I turn it on, it still shows the name of the previous wireless service

This logo (called a 'splash screen') has been programmed into your phone by the company that sold it to you. It is not an indication of the company that now provides your phone service. Unlocking your phone removes the electronic restriction that prevents your phone from working with other SIMs from other wireless services. It does not change your splash screen. The good news is you can get rid of the splash screen without needing to unlock your phone. See if you can find in your phone's manual how to change the splash screen, or consider calling the phone manufacturer and have them walk you through it.

Back to top
Who can I contact if I have problems unlocking my cellphone or device?

If things don't go smoothly; contact your new provider to try to resolve the problem. If that does not work and you have no resolution after 5 days, contact the Regulatory Authority at info@rab.bm. For more information or register a complaint, you can visit our website at www.rab.bm.

Back to top