Question: What is phone unlocking and how does it work?
In the GSM market, network operators, who generally sell phones at a lower price than cost in order to attract customers, try to stop them from leaving for another company by &locking& the phone for exclusive activation on their network. As a result, many cell phone owners are stuck with a phone they paid for but that can't be used on another network.
But there are ways to unlock phones. For instance, one can buy a data cable and download special unlocking software in order to unlock a phone. Many sites advertising in the Top Sites Lists world offer unlocking information.
This site does not provide how-to information on that topic partly because it is controversial (believed to be harmful for phones), it varies from phone to phone.
Now, is it legal or illegal? Rumor has it that it is illegal but common sense would suggest, however, that no company should be allowed to stop consumers from doing what they want with a device that they have purchased. A high rank spokesperson from a large European network operator once told me, too, that it might even be illegal for network operators to actually lock phones!More Cell Phones Q&A