Can I Use My Verizon Phone on an AT&T Plan?
By Sylvia Cini
Updated September 28, 2017
Verizon places restrictions on its phones to lock you into their service plans. You may lift these restrictions to use your Verizon cell phone on an AT&T service plan. This process is known as "unlocking."
An unlocked phone on an AT&T plan will have all of the same features as on Verizon. The purpose of unlocking the phone is to enable the phone to receive service from a different provider. You do not lose any of your phone's capabilities as long as you sign up for a comparable plan. For example, if you currently have the Droid from Verizon, you are subscribing to Verizon's unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month. When switching to AT&T, the 2 GB DataPro plan for smart phones would supply comparable service for $4 less.
Unlocking your Verizon cell phone for use on the AT&T network is not illegal, provided you are not stealing service from either phone company or working with a stolen phone. To unlock older phone models with a removable SIM card all you need is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and a new SIM card. Verizon will provide the IMEI to you for free. AT&T will assist you in activating your phone. Certain companies also offer unlocking services for a fee.
If you opt to unlock your phone, be wary of scams. Many websites offer unlock codes and programs that are fake. Using these on your phone may damage the phone or expose your personal information to others. Other unlock services request that you mail your phone to receive services. In general, use common sense online and in person to avoid damage to your phone and your pocket.
Sylvia Cini has written informative articles for parents and educators since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites. Cini has worked as a mentor, grief counselor, tutor, recreational leader and school volunteer coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clark University of Worcester, Massachusetts.