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It is super annoying that Apple does not unlock this menu when they unlock phones. Apparently it's present on some, but I don't know which. (The menu being settings > general > network > general data network)

Instead, I just jailbroke my iphone 4 and installed the TetherMe app, which unlocks this menu. I don't use tethering or any other jailbreak functions, and am stuck on iOS 5 until a new jailbreak is released, but it's such a huge time saver that I would recommend it for iphones that aren't on iOS 6 yet.

The menu lock/unlock is controlled by whichever included carrier profile your SIM card IIN is associated with. My Straight Talk SIM card has an AT&T IIN, so it automatically uses the AT&T carrier profile (to my great annoyance, as if that weren't already clear to everybody :-)). A carrier might decide to not lock the menu for their customers, and if you have a SIM card that has no associated carrier profile, you will automaticall be granted open access to the menu.

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