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Carriers Have to Unlock Eligible Phones Beginning Today

Article Comments  40  

Feb 11, 2015, 9:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Wireless network operators are now required to unlock customers' phones once the phones are paid off or no longer under contract. Today's change follows an agreement forged between the FCC, the CTIA Wireless Association and carriers in December 2013. That agreement set a number of provisions, some of which were to be met in May 2014 and the rest by today. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless all agreed to the unlocking policies. Under the terms of the agreement, carriers are required to post clear details that define which phones can and cannot be unlocked to their web site. Carriers are required to unlock all phones upon request as long as customers have fulfilled their contractual obligations. Prepaid devices will be unlocked no later than one year after their initial activation date. Carriers have to unlock devices within two days after customers request that their phones be unlocked, or initiate a request with the OEM to unlock the device, or explain to consumers why their device cannot be unlocked. The carriers have to notify customers proactively once their devices are eligible to be unlocked. Last, carriers have to unlock the devices of all deployed military personnel who are in good standing. The carriers' individual unlocking policies vary slightly.

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more info at Ars Technica »

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Comments

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This forum is closed.

Brad K

Feb 11, 2015, 11:43 AM

They may have to unlock phones...

...but they can still decline to activate unlocked phones from another carrier.
What do you mean by activate?

If you have a T-Mobile unlocked phone and put an at&t SIM in it, the phone will just start working.

No activation needed...
...
They can. but only CDMA carriers ever actually do. I mean, I suppose that GSM carriers could disconnect your account once they detect that you are not using one of their phones, but I've never heard of that happening, and even then there is nothing t...
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JoelMikel

Feb 11, 2015, 1:09 PM

Sprint

Just chatted with Sprint to get my iphone 6 DSU and ISU and I'm told that they can't do it and that Apple will be releasing an update some time in the next 2 weeks that will make that feature automatically available. She wasn't certain of the exact time frame but she was adamant that Sprint was not responsible for this action.

I love Sprint Rolling Eyes
Well hopefully you love Apple too, because its actually Their Unlock policy that carriers have to follow. They do this for other carriers too, its not just sprint.
Thats true, check the link and the Sprint FAQ about unlocking provided by phonescoop and it shows DSU for iphone is available on February 19, 2015 when apple releases software update to allow unlocking. ISU also comes from apple and not the carrier , ...
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Zpike

Feb 11, 2015, 3:08 PM

ROFL

>>Prepaid devices will be unlocked no later than one year after their initial activation date.

Prepaid customers pay full price for their phones. What possible justification could there be for keeping a prepaid device locked for even one day? Furthermore, why should they even be locked in the first place? This is a joke.
stolen/hacked bank accounts or cards i would think most likely
if you need it unlocked your better off getting it through the manufacturer
...
Zpike said:
Prepaid customers pay full price for their phones. What possible justification could there be for keeping a prepaid device locked for even one day? Furthermore, why should they even be locked in the first place? This is
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Mark_S

Feb 11, 2015, 3:59 PM

That is why..........

I order my phone unlocked and on-line.
...and that is why you get an attitude from the store rep when you go to ask questions or have it activated.

Maybe you specifically don't stop in the store but the retail store reps on this website feel what I'm saying. Hated when I did all the wo...
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T Bone

Feb 11, 2015, 11:19 AM

Earlier?

It has always been the policy of every carrier I've ever encountered that you can get the unlock code when the contract is over, no questions asked. And provided you're a good customer with no late payments and have had the phone for at least 6 months you can get the unlock code for international travel.

How is this a less restrictive policy?
it used to take at least a week for some carriers to have it done, getting it unlocked for international travel is stil gonna be a hassle due to they dont have to if your not in the military or if its still under contract/agreement

but in most case...
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You must be talking about GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile allowing to unlock phones. CDMA carriers have firmware burned into a ROM chip that locks it to that carrier. While all the rest of the world allowed for competition among carriers, not he...
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