Can You Use an Unlocked Virgin Mobile Phone on Other Networks?


All cellphones require a network provider with which to function. A cellphone that is unlocked is free to work with any wireless network. Virgin mobile phones can also be unlocked. Unlocking a phone is a relatively easy process that only requires a few things. First is a number from Virgin, the original provider, called an IMEI code. The second is a memory card from the new provider, called a SIM card.


  • For a Virgin phone to begin working with another network, it first requires the permission of Virgin Mobile. This permission is given in the form of the phone's IMEI code, which is an identification number for the individual phone, like a license plate on a car. Virgin will have this number on record. Contact Virgin customer service to retrieve it. Depending on the original contract entered with Virgin, they may charge for the information.


  • A SIM card from the new provider is also required. While an IMEI code could unlock the phone from Virgin Mobile, the phone won't work on another network without a memory card connecting the phone to that network. The new network will provide their SIM card once an agreement is entered with them.


  • Completing the unlocking process is simple. Turn off the Virgin mobile phone. Slide the cover on the back protecting the battery off. Near the battery housing is a smaller slot with Virgin's SIM card in it. Remove Virgin's card and replace it with the card of the new provider. Restart the phone.


  • The Virgin phone will detect that it is no longer using a Virgin SIM card. A prompt will appear on the screen requesting an authorization code. This is the phone's IMEI number. Enter it using the phone's dial pad. Once the phone accepts the code, it will no longer be a Virgin phone, but a phone using the new provider's network.


  • Switching a phone to another network can sometimes have unintended consequences. Different network providers offer different services so how a phone works on Virgin may be different than how it works on another network. Essential functions like making and receiving calls, texts, or web browsing could be impacted. To determine how the Virgin phone will work on other networks, contact the new network with the phone's details before switching.

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