US Mobile is offering to unlock your GSM phone for free if you sign up for their service.
The only requirement to be eligible for an unlock, according to US Mobile, is that your contract with your current carrier must have expired. That shouldn't be an issue for prepaid customers as prepaid doesn't have contracts. Many postpaid carriers no longer make you sign a contract either but watch out if your phone is financed. If you leave your current operator without paying off the balance due on the phone, they will blacklist your phone's IMEI serial number, making it unusable on any US network.
You can request an unlock US Mobile's unlocking page. It looks like you have to choose and pay for a plan package when requesting an unlock. Update: US Mobile is now charging a $15 fee for unlocking a phone. The fee will be refunded after the customer has used US Mobile for six months.
US Mobile, which launched just two months ago, uses a flexible pricing model, similar to Ting and Virgin Mobile Custom which allows users to build custom plans by combining separate bundles of minutes, messages and/or data. The following 30 day bundles are available.
|Talk||100 min $3||250 min $7||500 min $9||1000 min $15||2000 min $25|
|Text||100 texts $2||250 texts $3||500 texts $4||1000 texts $5||Unlimited texts $7|
|Data||100 MB $2||250 MB $5||500 MB $9||1 GB $15||2 GB $25|
There's also a $2/month service fee.
US Mobile, which is a subsidiary of GSM Nation, an online seller of unlocked phones, recently added an online dashboard (image, click to view full size) that lets you track your usage and purchase another bundle if you are running low on minutes, messages or data. However, bundles purchased mid-month expire at the end of the plan month rather than lasting a full 30 days.