How to Unlock a GoPhone

By Joanne Cichetti

GoPhone is AT&T's pay-as-you-go cell phone plan. If you purchased your cell phone as part of this plan but you're considering switching to some other GSM network provider, then you must unlock your hand-held device first. GoPhone is locked to the AT&T network, and to use it with another SIM card, you have to enter a "subsidy lock code."

Dial 611 to contact AT&T.

Request an unlock code for your phone. You will have to tell the customer services representative the exact model and manufacturer of your phone. Also, give the representative your phone's international mobile identity (IMEI) number (a unique ID number found printed under the bar code beneath the battery).

Allow AT&T some time to assess your application. Usually, you are considered an eligible applicant if you have been an AT&T GoPhone customer for at least 90 days, according to

If AT&T refuses to give you the code, you may have to purchase it (see Step 4).

Purchase the code from a company such as Unlock to Talk, GSM Liberty or Unlock All Cellular (see Resources). The price of the code depends on your particular handset. You will need to provide the phone's IMEI number and your credit card information, after which they will email you the unlock code within a few hours.

Unlock the code using the specific instructions that come along with the unlock code. The unlock method varies from phone to phone. For instance, the unlocking method of a Samsung handset will be totally different from that of a Nokia handset.

The typical unlocking method involves entering the code, as received from the website, into a SIM-free phone. You may be instructed to enter the code when the phone is powered on with a SIM card from a different carrier.