So, you have a Walmart Family Mobile phone. Walmart Family Mobile phones are owned by TracFone and so are locked to either TracFone or Family Mobile. This means that should you want to be able to use those phones on a different carrier, you have to unlock them first. Walmart Family Mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that rides on T-Mobile’s infrastructure.
By default, if you get a cell phone on Family Mobile, you are required to use it continuously for a year before it can be unlocked for you. If you stick to this plan and fulfil the terms, your phone will be eligible for unlocking for free. Some other carriers will allow you to pay a fee to fast track that, so it can be unlocked for you now. However, Family Mobile says that this is not possible at this time. That situation may change at some other time.
What are the options available to you, then, if you would like to leave Family Mobile right away? There are two options available for you to proceed with:
- You can pay an unlocking service or a cell phone repair shop to unlock your smartphone.
- You can opt to jump ship to another carrier to swap or trade in your phone for another one. But, you are likely to end up with a phone locked to the new carrier, though. Still, you did get away; right?
How do I unlock my Walmart Family Mobile phone?
If your choice is to have your Family Mobile device unlocked, it is time to find an online unlocking service or a phone repair shop. There are various unlock shops and phone repair shops that offer to unlock Walmart family mobile phones for use on other networks/carriers. And they all claim to be legal operations. You will have to verify this when you approach them, as we don’t have any info on it.
Let’s look at what is required from you to be able to unlock your Family Mobile phone.
- Supply the IMEI number of your phone. You can find this number in two ways. The first is to dial *#06# in your keypad. Your phone screen will display the IMEI number of your device as well. The second way is to have a look at the back of your device, or on the phone box. The IMEI is printed on both.
- Supply the model name of your mobile phone.
- Make your payment.
Once the above conditions are met, the unlocking is done. In some cases, it happens over-the-air (OTA), while in other cases, an unlock code is sent to you by SMS or email. You will enter this code according to instructions, and that is it.
Once your phone is unlocked, you will be able to use it on any other compatible carrier. For example, if your cell phone is a GSM device, it can work only with GSM networks like AT&T, T-Mobile, and the MVNOs using their towers and services. Your Walmart Family cell phone retains the network branding, but you will now be able to use it with other carriers without any issues.
How much does it cost to unlock Walmart Family Mobile phones?
Cell phone unlocking fees vary from place to place, and ranges from as low as $2 to as high as $150, depending on the phone model, carrier, and unlocking service you use. Note that if you have met the conditions of your carrier, meaning it is eligible to be unlocked, and you request them to unlock your phone, there is no charge for it.
Walmart Family Mobile Phones, In Summary
Here is a recap. Are Walmart Family Mobile phones unlocked? No; they are usually locked. Can Walmart Family Mobile phones be unlocked? Yes; they can be. After unlocking, you will be able to use them on any other carrier of your choice.