Locked or unlocked phone

nickg5
nickg5 used Ask the Experts™
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While in Vietnam the host put their sim card in our unlocked phone. They downloaded a Google application and got us a phone number. Their sim card was then removed and we never got a sim ourselves.

Is our phone locked or unlocked and why?
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Senior Engineer
Commented:
It sounds like it's unlocked.

The way to tell is to see if you are tethered to one particular provider. If you aren't then the phone is unlocked.  If you are, it's still locked.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
You can put another SIM card in the phone and you should be able to get it activated with no problem.
Scott CSenior Engineer

Commented:
Put a SIM card in to activate it.
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We can't put a sim card in the phone. No such thing in USA. My USA phone does not use sim cards.
This specially purchased unlocked phone would only be used for overseas travel.
Does the fact that we have a Vietnamese phone number mean the phone is locked?
I'm not sure how the person got us the phone number.
If we go to Norway and try to get a sim card, there we are with a Vietnamese phone number, by which no Norwegian would want to call us due to overseas calling rates.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You should be able to take it to your ISP and have them set it up with a phone number
Scott CSenior Engineer

Commented:
What kind of phone is it?  I've never seen a cell phone that doesn't use SIM cards.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Bell here does not use SIM cards on some of their older phones.
Scott CSenior Engineer

Commented:
What kind of phone is it?  I've never seen a cell phone that doesn't use SIM cards.

When a phone is "locked" it means that phone is tied to a specific carrier for service.  When a phone is "unlocked", you can use any carrier of your choice.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
They are CDMA phones and going out of support here. They may still be supported overseas - I am not sure about that.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Nick - whatever your phone, we can discuss your options, but the only people who can do anything for you are in your phone company store.
All are missing the story.
Our Verizon phone for which we have a monthly plan does not use a sim card.

The only reason we will need a sim card in the future is for travel only to other countries where sim cards are most commonly used. It's a Kata V4 which will never be used in the USA.

How did the host get us a VN phone number using their sim card? I doubt it was through their service.
There was NO SERVICE TO BUY over there. $10 for a sim card from Mobifone or some other, and go. We never got a sim card for our phone because we got no real answers to the questions by anybody. So, as the days went by and the number of times we needed to call USA went down we did not get a sim card.

The locked or unlocked Kata phone will never be used in USA.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You need to get a SIM card in the country where the phone will be used. Sorry I thought you were inferring you would use the phone here
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Only big players like Samsung will lock the phone these days. Even if they lock the phone, only 4G will be locked, not 3G.

Why?

Samsung spends a lot of money in marketing and promotion in a geographical region and they need their authorized distributors and telecom carriers to share the cost and in exchange for money being paid, some smartphones are locked on 4G for local telecom carriers so as to protect the business from parallel importers from other geographical region.
your phone is not locked their is some process with the sim which your host know better.
USA phone LG flip phone - Verizon
Travel phone outside USE Kata v4

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