Users keen to unlock their handsets from a specific mobile operator may have a new way of doing so.
GeoSIM, a company that provides SIM cards for international calling, has introduced the SIM PIG, a chip that literally sits on top of a phone's existing SIM, to bypass network locking.
For about £17, users get the SIM PIG, and a special cutting instrument. They then have to be brave enough to cut a small hole out of the SIM card, inserting the SIM PIG on top of it, within the SIM card slot in the phone. GeoSIM claims that the chip will unlock most phones, but it does include four digit PIN codes to programme to SIM PIG to certain phones.
GeoSIM claims the SIM can unlock smartphones, including the "iPhone, Windows Mobile devices, HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Blackberry and many more".
So should operators be worried: is this a sufficiently easy tool to encourage lots of users to unlock phones?
Ed Neal, Managing Director of Geodesa limited who distributes SIM PIG said, "Many handsets are locked to a particular network so only that network's SIM cards can be used in the locked phone. Networks lock their handsets for various reasons and unlocking can allow the user to benefit from better tariffs than their current provider may offer, particularly if travelling to different countries. SIM PIG is the perfect partner to our GeoSIM global SIM Card which avoids roaming charges when making or receiving calls overseas".
Ed goes on to say "Traditional methods of unlocking a mobile phone is specific to that handset. If the user has more than one handset to unlock, then they need to pay to unlock each phone individually, this can be expensive and time consuming particularly with the latest 3G handsets. With one SIM PIG you can unlock any number of handsets."
You can see a demo of the how to work the PIG here