What is Cell Phone Reprogramming or Flashing?
Flashing is the process of loading specific carrier files to a cell phone in order to have it work with another carrier.
Is Cellular Flashing Legal?
The answer is yes. In fact, the Library of Congress on July 26, 2010 added exemptions to its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) covering cell phones. In part the exemptions state that users are permitted to unlock, or as some call it, jailbreak their phones and unlock firmware that ties a mobile phone to a particular wireless carrier. This law actually has been in effect in a loose form for a few years but was reaffirmed by the DMCA on July 26, 2010.
To Flash My Cell Phone What Is Required?
1. Flashing software (which you can purchase).
2. A USB cable for your phone (the same cable used to download music).
3. A computer with Windows 2000 or newer with a USB Port.
4. A CDMA cell phone (see The Networks section below).
Is It Difficult to Reprogram a Cell Phone?
There are a few good downloadable cellular flashing programs out there that will lead you through reprogramming your phone. If you are familiar with files and have moderate computer skills almost anyone and do it. To begin, look for a flashing program such as Your Cellular. I was able to flash my phone in 20 minutes with no experience. Once you have the software for your cell phone, unzip the files and look for the instructions or read-me docs and follow them carefully. This will give you a good overview of what you will be doing. You should be able to complete the flashing process in about fifteen to twenty minutes once setup. You will be flashing a CDMA phone to a CDMA carrier. See a description of the two major networks below.
There are two key networks for cell phone carriers. They are GSM or (Global System for Mobile Communications). Examples are AT&T and T-Mobile. GSM phones have a SIM chip under the battery and cannot be flashed. The second network is called CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access. Examples are Metro, Sprint, Cricket, Boost, Verizon and many others. Cell phones on a CDMA network are not controlled by SIM cards and can be moved or flashed to a new carrier.
How Good Is The Service I Am Moving To?
You can check the quality of almost any carrier by going to Cell Reception. Here you can enter in your zip code and get scores for providers in your area along with comments from others using their service.