How to unlock your mobile phone

Unlocking your phone takes minutes and lets you pick the best SIM only deal on the market. Here’s how to unlock your handset.

Why bother unlocking your handset?

It’ll allow you to choose a SIM only deal from any provider, not just the one who sold you your phone in the first place.

This could make your phone bill much cheaper or mean you can get more data, calls or texts for the same price you pay now.

What will you need?

To unlock your phone you’ll need to know your handset’s:

  • Make e.g. Samsung or Apple
  • Model e.g. Galaxy S10 or iPhone 11
  • Unique 15 digit IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number

Check your IMEI number by entering *#06# into your phone app.

A pop up will then appear and display your IMEI number ready for you to use.

Does your phone need unlocking?

Some suppliers offer handsets that are already unlocked so make sure you’ve checked this first.

You can do this by popping a SIM card from a different network into your phone. If it works, your phone is already unlocked and you’re good to go.

How to unlock your phone

If you find your phone does need unlocking you’ve got 2 options:

  1. Use an online unlocking service
  2. Ask your phone provider

Use an unlocking service

If you want to unlock your phone straightaway, you can use an online Irish phone unlocking service.

You’ll be given a unique unlock code with instructions on how to enter it into your phone to unlock your device.

The fee for getting your phone unlocked through these services will vary depending on your handset, so check the full cost before going ahead.

Contact your phone network

If you’re happy to wait you can contact your existing network to unlock you handset for free once you’re out of contract.

Most networks require you to call or email them with your request, but some let you submit your request online, including:

However, you may have to wait between 3 and 21 days from requesting your code to unlock your phone.

Some networks will only unlock handsets that were bought directly from them. This means if you bought your phone somewhere else, e.g. Carphone Warehouse, they may decline your request.

What next?

Now your handset is unlocked, you’re free to find the best SIM only deal, below are some of the leading offers:

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
GoMo
Go More
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€12.99 p/m
Three
3 Bill Pay Unlimited SIMO
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€14.76 p/m
eir mobile
connect - 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Free eir sport pack on your mobile
€14.99 p/m
for 12 months, then €29.99 p/m
Virgin Mobile
Unlimited Plan
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€15 p/m
for 12 months, then €25 p/m
Virgin Mobile
5Gb Plan
30 days Contract
500 Minutes
500 Texts
5GB Data
€15 p/m
Tesco Mobile
Unlimited 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€19.67 p/m
eir mobile
complete - 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Free eir sport pack on your mobile
200 international minutes and texts
€19.99 p/m
for 12 months, then €34.99 p/m
Vodafone
RED Unlimited SIM Only
12 months Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Unlimited European calls & texts
100 International minutes & texts
€25 p/m
for 6 months, then €35 p/m
Vodafone
RED Unlimited Max SIM Only
12 months Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Unlimited Calls to Europe and selected countries
500 International minutes & texts
€35 p/m
for 6 months, then €45 p/m

Get a SIM only deal with the calls, texts and data you need for less.

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving.