The Federal Communications Commission has made an agreement with five major national cellular carriers on principles that will allow customers to easily unlock their phones. The deal, with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, and US Cellular, stipulates when carries would need to allow for phones to be unlocked, among other things. Carriers signing the agreement will need to, for instance, unlock the phones of postpaid customers who have fulfilled their contracts, according to the CTIA:
Carriers, upon request, will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock their devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan or payment of an applicable early termination fee.
Other provisions of the agreement include the unlocking of phones for use by overseas military personel, clear notifications to customers eligible for unlocking, and the clear disclosure of the participating carrier's unlocking policies on the carrier's website. This deal makes it easier for those not tied to a contract to move their devices around as they see fit. It's a small but important step towards consumers having more control over their devices.
If you unlock your phone, or are thinking about unlocking it, are you happy about this agreement? Let us know below in the comments.