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The MSL applies to the SIM only

The MSL applies to the SIM only so once the contract has been completed the MSL still applies to the SIM. The phone however, is also initially locked by the manufacturer into the Service Providers MSL. This lock may be disabled so that the phone can use other Service Providers SIM cards. Most phones purchased outside the US are unlocked phones because there are numerous Service Providers in close proximity to one another or have overlapping coverage. The cost to unlock a phone varies but is usually very cheap and is sometimes provided by independent phone vendors.

Having an unlocked phone is extremely useful for travelers due to the high cost of using the MSL Service Providers access when outside the normal coverage areas. It can cost sometimes up to 10 times as much to use a locked phone overseas as in the normal service area, even with discounted rates. T-Mobile will provide a SIM unlock code to account holders in good standing after 90 days according to their FAQ.


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