AT&T offering on-contract unlocks to US Armed Forces on deployment

AT&T offering on-contract unlocks to US Armed Forces on deployment

It sounds like off-contract iPhones aren't the only ones AT&T has begun to officially unlock -- they're also quietly offering unlocks to on-contract members of the US Armed Forces on active deployment. MacRumors says they've confirmed what's taking place.

Carriers are required by federal law to suspend service without penalty for deployed military personnel upon presentation of their military orders, but AT&T is not required to unlock the phones of deployed service members. Instead, the company is choosing to do that on its own.

AT&T wouldn't comment on the story. If you're a member of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines and you're on deployment, and want your iPhone unlocked, give AT&T Customer Service a call.

Source: MacRumors

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 8 comments. Add yours.

KungFuGrip says:

T-Mobile always unlocked my phones, even for PCSing or frequent TDYs... good to see AT&T changing course a bit. Compare that with SoftBank out here, who not only won't unlock phones, but only allow 2-yr contracts when we're all here for 36 mos. and yes, they charge an ETF if you cancel, even with official orders.

Analog Spirit says:

Wow, that does suck; SoftBank seem even worse than AT&T in that regard. They didn't even exist yet when I was deployed to Japan.
BTW, for those who don't know, PCS = moving/changing assignment from one base to another, and TDY = a deployment, usually (but not always) overseas.

KungFuGrip says:

TDYs are usually shorter in duration, and for things like PME, manning assists, conferences, etc. I was TDY for 5 months once... sucks (no "deployment" pay) Deployments are always "overseas", technically. I'm curious as to how AT&T is wording/administering this "deployment" policy. If they're including PCS and TDY, then this is indeed great news for armed forces customers.
At the very least, ETFs should be waived for military members that are forced to end contracts early due to orders. Just the ETF, not the price of the phone. IMO

Analog Spirit says:

Hmm... Maybe they've changed it since I was in (way back in another lifetime); I remember going on several short "TDYs" to several bases within the US as well as longer ones overseas (to Korea and Japan).

Analog Spirit says:

I wish they would've had this deal when I was in the AF.