Originally Posted by TenoBell
I know this. The point you seem to miss is that the effect of them using different types of networks makes it difficult and costly for people to switch carriers. Which in effect makes it difficult or impossible to unlock your phone and switch to another carrier.
In most cases only if you are switching to one that uses a complete different technology. I am able to switch from T-Mobile phones to AT&T and back and forth all the time. Unlocking ranges from $5.00 to $25.00 depending on the type of phone you have.
I've never heard of anyone unlocking a CDMA phone so I looked around about it. What I discovered is that while technically possible the process can be difficult and you're never really sure if it will work. Verizon, Sprint, Alltel don't have to accept your phone on to their network.
Sprint keeps a database of its ESN numbers and under no circumstance will they allow a phone onto their network that was not purchased from Sprint.
From the I reports I read, Verizon sounds unpredictable. Some people were able to get CDMA phones not bought through Verizon accepted to their network, some people were not able to. I could not find any official stance on this from Verizon. I saw some rumors that Verizon were going to collect an ESN database like Sprint and lock their network the same way.
That is true, they don't have to accept it. This is part of the reason Sprint is losing market share. People don't like to be restricted. CDMA requires the ESN number of the phone to be entered into their system in order for the phone to work. To over simplify things, it is essentially what ties the phone to your phone number in CDMA. On a GSM phone, all this info is linked by your SIM card making it an easy switch. btw, Sprint also makes you buy ringtones from them and does not allow you to make your own.
I also read that if you are successful in getting a CDMA phone accepted to Verizon. That does not necessarily mean you will be able to use all of the phones functions or be able to use all of Verizons services. Because phone hardware and software can vary so much it does not automatically work with Verizons service.
From what I read the process is so unpredictable and difficult that its not worth the effort for most people. Which is why most people don't bother.
Again you are correct. The same is so if I have a 3G phone from another network, I am not going to be able to use that feature on AT&T because of their ancient EDGE network. It is simply not supported. If I have an old phone, I can't magically use MP3 ringtones either. If someone was to unlock the iPhone and bring it to T-Mobile, visual voice mail would not function.
I would imagine T-Mobile is so open to supporting unlocked phones is because of their small marketshare. ATT and Verizon having much larger marketshares have more to loose and are more invested in locking customers into their service.
I can say from my experience with T-Mobile, that their customer service is far superior to that of Verizon or AT&T. It might have to do with the smaller market share, since I hear the opposite of them in Germany.
Yes I know quite a few people with the SideKick.
I'm sure. What my point is inspite of the fact that its possible to modify or load new software, the SideKick's original intent is specific to the T-Mobile network.
True, but what you need to understand is that the sidekick is built for T-Mobile the way the iPhone is built for Apple
. T-Mobile doesn't technically do the manufacturing, but it is a T-Mobile product. The same that the iPhone is an Apple product, not an AT&T product.
My point is simply that the phone manufactures are not the ones in the fight to lock down phones. Only Apple has tried to do this. Obviously the carrier wants you to use their phone on their network. That way they sold you a product and a service. T-Mobile takes this a step farther by saying the money is in the service, not the product, so bring whatever you want to talk on over to us and we'll try to make it work. Let AT&T fight this like in the past.