The White House filed a petition with the FCC on Tuesday asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices so that users can easily switch between carriers, reports the Washington Post.
Filed by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the proposal comes after the Obama administration threw its support behind an Internet petition this spring that asked the Library of Congress to change its stance on the legality of smartphone unlocking.
“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle,” said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA.
George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said that the NTIA proposal was particularly notable because it extends unlocking privileges to tablets, as well as cellphones.
If you travel to another country and try to use local mobile service, using that carriers SIM card, it won’t work with a locked phone. Some carriers don’t want you using ANY competitive mobile service and may not unlock your phone — even if you own it, free and clear. They want to keep you locked to their service.
The reason many carriers lock their phones is that they offer phones at a discount in exchange for a 1-2 year contract. This business model allows the company to recoup the cost of the phone over the life of the contract.
Carriers can now “kill” a phone remotely – even after users have paid off their phone. SIM cards store network-specific information used to authenticate and identify subscribers on the network.
Unlockapedia can help you can find free, impartial advice to help you unlock you phone. Some phones can be unlocked for free, and others may need to be unlocked by an expert unlocker.
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