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Before activate your new phone with your sim plan,Make sure your phone is free from any network lock.If it's locked by specific network means,you will need to unlock your phone.For unlocking you can approach your service provider or else try to buy an unlocking service from any one of the online unlocking service provider like TheUnlockSpot.com Here you can unlock your phone at low cost.
If your new cell phone is with a different phone service provider than the the old cell phone then the SIM card won't work in the new phone. When you place a new or a existing SIM card from another phone provider into your mobile phone and it asks for a Security code then :- This phone is locked to the original mobile phone provider. You need to contact this mobile provider to ask for the unlock code (security code) for this phone. You need to provide proof of ownership etc and the phone's unique IMEI number which is located inside the phone under the battery. They use this number to generate the unlock code for your phone. They should provide you with instructions on how to enter this code into the phone. Once you unlock the phone, then you can insert a new SIM card in this phone or sign up with another phone provider using this phone.
You could ring the phone provider and ask for the unlock security code because you are going overseas and wish to use your phone with a prepaid SIM card from another country. This maybe a free service. The other way to get your phone unlock is to use a phone unlocking company on the Internet, they usually charge a couple of Dollars for their services.Use Google and search for "Security unlocking code” companies in your area. You can also try this WEB site :- http://www.mobileunlockguide.com/mobile-phone/ The IMEI number is unique the each mobile phone. The number is printed on the label under the battery. You can also get the IMEI number by entering this on your phone *#06# It will then display your IMEI number and you may also get a unique global serial number. Your IMEI number should be 15 digits.
If you are using the same network on your new phone as you did on your old phone then you should not be getting any problems, so you would need to contact the service provider. If you are using a different network to your old phone you would need to get your new phone unlocked to accept your old card. Lots of shops can do this, just look for signs that says unlocking done here.
To use a SIM Card with a different phone service than it was originally programed for, you will have to unlock the phone. Phones come locked to a specific service provider and/or country. In theory, you can contract your phone provider and request an unlock code. In practice, many providers refuse to give these codes out.
There are also services online that will provide these codes, or let you ship your phone to them to be unlocked, for a fee. One such site is: http://www.unlockcellphone.com/ - but there are many more. Do a google search for "unlock cell phone" and you'll find quite a few links... find the one that has the best price for your phone model.
Of course, there's a chance the card will work as-is if you're still using the same phone provider. But with all the changes AT&T has gone through, I wouldn't count on it.