Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 12, 2013, 01:59 PM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
U.S. Carriers and FCC Come to Agreement Over Consumer Unlocking of Mobile Devices




The five major U.S. carriers have come to an agreement with the FCC over a set of voluntary industry principles to make it easier for wireless customers to unlock their devices and switch from carrier to carrier if they wish. The CTIA -- the industry trade group representing AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon in the matter -- says it will recommend the principles be added to the group's "Consumer Code for Wireless Service" and the carriers will commit to implement them within 12 months.

The terms agreed to include [PDF]:
Quote:
- Disclosure: Each carrier will post on its website its clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on postpaid and prepaid mobile wireless device unlocking.

- Postpaid Unlocking Policy: 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.

- Prepaid Unlocking Policy: Carriers, upon request, will unlock prepaid mobile wireless devices no later than one year after initial activation, consistent with reasonable time, payment or usage requirements.

- Notice: Carriers that lock devices will clearly notify customers that their devices are eligible for unlocking at the time when their devices are eligible for unlocking or automatically unlock devices remotely when devices are eligible for unlocking, without additional fee. Carriers reserve the right to charge non-customers/non-former customers a reasonable fee for unlocking requests. Notice to prepaid customers may occur at point of sale, at the time of eligibility, or through a clear and concise statement of the policy on the carrier's website.

- Response Time: Within two business days after receiving a request, carriers will unlock eligible mobile wireless devices or initiate a request to the OEM to unlock the eligible device, or provide an explanation of why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why the carrier reasonably needs additional time to process the request.

- Deployed Personnel Unlocking Policy: Carriers will unlock mobile wireless devices for deployed military personnel who are customers in good standing upon provision of deployment papers.

Carriers reserve the right to decline an unlock request if they have a reasonable basis to believe the request is fraudulent or the device is stolen.
In a statement issued after the agreement was announced, the CTIA noted that "unlocking devices may not necessarily mean full interoperability since devices that work on one provider's network may not be technologically compatible with another wireless provider's network" and that unlocking a device may enable some functionality but not necessarily all.

Early this year, the Library of Congress ruled that it was illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their phones unless specifically authorized by their carrier. This past September, the Obama administration filed a petition with the FCC, asking that carriers be required to unlock mobile devices. This voluntary agreement between the FCC and carriers would appear to forestall the need for legal action by either Congress or the FCC.

Article Link: U.S. Carriers and FCC Come to Agreement Over Consumer Unlocking of Mobile Devices
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:01 PM   #2
yanki01
macrumors 65816
 
yanki01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Texas
very interesting.
__________________
Flickr || 15" 2.53GHz MacBook Pro || iPhone 5 || Apple TV || iPod nano || iPod shuffle
yanki01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:04 PM   #3
Klae17
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
And how will this take 12 months to implement? Oh right, wring out the customers first.
Klae17 is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:05 PM   #4
theheadguy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: california
Send a message via AIM to theheadguy
The entire concept of locking phones is comical. Customers should pay their bills because they owe the money, not because the carrier can hold them hostage. If bills aren't paid, multi-billion dollar cellular service corporations have the same avenues to collect past due amounts as any other company, they need not keep our phones hostage.
theheadguy is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:07 PM   #5
macigo
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
I still will only buy unlocked from Apple. Do not buy from carriers.
macigo is offline   9 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:11 PM   #6
peglegjack
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
So does this mean that I can make Sprint unlock my off contract iPhone 4s?
peglegjack is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:11 PM   #7
T.Smith4
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
This doesn't help those who leave the country. This policy is absolute garbage. If I buy something on my credit card I don't have to wait till it is paid off to use it fully.
T.Smith4 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:12 PM   #8
carfac
macrumors 65816
 
carfac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Its about time. A year to implement.... that's BS, but at least there is a path.
carfac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:12 PM   #9
Thepoobear
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
I wonder how this will affect Sprint? It's my understanding they only unlock for overseas use. I wonder if this will change that? How does it affect used phones? I bought my sprint iphone 5 used on eBay....
Thepoobear is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:12 PM   #10
burnout8488
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Endwell, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by peglegjack View Post
So does this mean that I can make Sprint unlock my off contract iPhone 4s?
Not until the policy is fully implemented, but it sounds like they will be able to in the future for domestic use. Right now Sprint will only unlock your 4S for international GSM carriers.
__________________
Intel: iMac 4,1 (Flashed to 5,1), 2012 MBA 13" Base
PPC: iMac G4 700
iOS: iPhone 5C 16GB Sprint / iPad 2 - 16GB Verizon
burnout8488 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:14 PM   #11
Tiger8
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
The entire concept of locking phones is comical. Customers should pay their bills because they owe the money, not because the carrier can hold them hostage. If bills aren't paid, multi-billion dollar cellular service corporations have the same avenues to collect past due amounts as any other company, they need not keep our phones hostage.
Actually they should,,, in the first 24 months, because the consumer does not own the phone - yet. Just like a collection agency can get take your car if you don't make payments, carriers should have some protection (not necessarily unlocking) against consumers who pay one bill and go Rouge.

Now what I think should happen is that a process should immediately unlock the phone as soon as they contract is finished, or in case of T-Mo paid in full. You should not have the customer send a fax to request unlock of something they paid for.

Last edited by Tiger8; Dec 12, 2013 at 02:59 PM.
Tiger8 is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:16 PM   #12
Tiger8
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by peglegjack View Post
So does this mean that I can make Sprint unlock my off contract iPhone 4s?
Sprint is a helpless case, your best bet is GPP or Gevey SIM unlock in the US, which allows you to override Sprint's code and connect to Net10, Straight talk, etc...
Tiger8 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:22 PM   #13
RiddlaBronc
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
I just got an iphone 5s for Sprint. Hopefully by the next year or so they will finally unlock sprint locked phones.

Not that i am going to switch
__________________
Iphone 4/Iphone 5S
Ipad 3rd Gen/ Galaxy 10.1 tab
Playstation 4
Next: xbox 1
RiddlaBronc is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:23 PM   #14
theheadguy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: california
Send a message via AIM to theheadguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger8 View Post
Actually they should,,, in the first 24 months, because the consumer does not own the phone - yet. Just like a collection agency can get take your car if you don't make payments, carriers should have some protection (not necessarily unlocking) against consumers who pay one bill and go rouge. Now what I think should happen is that a process should immediately unlock the phone as soon as they contract is finished, or in case of T-Mo paid in full. You should not have the customer send a fax to request unlock of something they paid for.
Do you have a credit card? Because credit card companies stand much more to lose ($10K+) if you just walk away without paying your bill. Their business survives and thrives without holding me or anything I buy with their money hostage while I pay down my bill. Perhaps they need to hold you hostage to make sure you pay, but they don't need to do that with me.
theheadguy is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:23 PM   #15
Xenomorph
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. Louis
This may only be going forward. When Verizon was forced to unlock devices as part of their LTE deal, they only started with devices going forward. They refused to unlock existing devices (such as the iPhone 4S).

So those looking for relief from Sprint, they may pull the same thing, and only unlock devices newer than the iPhone 5S.
Xenomorph is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:24 PM   #16
MattMJB0188
macrumors 65816
 
MattMJB0188's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indiana
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiddlaBronc View Post
I just got an iphone 5s for Sprint. Hopefully by the next year or so they will finally unlock sprint locked phones.

Not that i am going to switch
Who's Sprint? I didn't realize anyone was desperate enough to use a smartphone on their crippled network nowadays?

Can't even count them in the game now, anyway.
MattMJB0188 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:24 PM   #17
CrimsonKnight
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiddlaBronc View Post
I just got an iphone 5s for Sprint. Hopefully by the next year or so they will finally unlock sprint locked phones.

Not that i am going to switch
Right, I agree. Same boat, not switching.. but when my 2 year is up, the phone should be mine to go with wherever depending on the bands it supports.
__________________
Sprint iPhone 5S 32GB Gold | MBP 2.2 i7 Quad Core, 4GB DDR2 Ram, 750 GB HDD.
CrimsonKnight is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:25 PM   #18
budselectjr
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
Deployed Personnel Unlocking Policy: Carriers will unlock mobile wireless devices for deployed military personnel who are customers in good standing upon provision of deployment papers.
Thats awesome.
budselectjr is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:26 PM   #19
dave420
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger8 View Post
Actually they should,,, in the first 24 months, because the consumer does not own the phone - yet. Just like a collection agency can get take your car if you don't make payments, carriers should have some protection (not necessarily unlocking) against consumers who pay one bill and go rouge.
Not true. Here in the USA you own the phone as soon as you buy it. Your carrier is not taking it back unless you trade it in for a new model. That is what early termination fees and collection agencies are for. Nobody is coming to take your phone.
dave420 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:31 PM   #20
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
The entire concept of locking phones is comical. Customers should pay their bills because they owe the money, not because the carrier can hold them hostage. If bills aren't paid, multi-billion dollar cellular service corporations have the same avenues to collect past due amounts as any other company, they need not keep our phones hostage.
They have these avenues, that's right. However, many people will _think_ that they can buy a phone, pay for one month, and then stop paying and continue using the phone, so there will be many more people doing this. And having to chase up your money is costly; it is very hard to get your money back in that situation. Many people _believe_ that they are not paying anything for the phone and don't even realise that they are paying it monthly in their contract.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:32 PM   #21
slashlos
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island
Finally!

Well, one can only hope for BYOD lowering of monthly fees.
__________________
/los "I was a teenage net-random"
slashlos is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:32 PM   #22
RiddlaBronc
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMJB0188 View Post
Who's Sprint? I didn't realize anyone was desperate enough to use a smartphone on their crippled network nowadays?

Can't even count them in the game now, anyway.
I get LTE in my area and works flawlessly. No reason for me to switch. Yes I am aware that Sprint sucks when on 3G but for me its LTE or wi fi
__________________
Iphone 4/Iphone 5S
Ipad 3rd Gen/ Galaxy 10.1 tab
Playstation 4
Next: xbox 1
RiddlaBronc is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:34 PM   #23
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
Do you have a credit card? Because credit card companies stand much more to lose ($10K+) if you just walk away without paying your bill. Their business survives and thrives without holding me or anything I buy with their money hostage while I pay down my bill. Perhaps they need to hold you hostage to make sure you pay, but they don't need to do that with me.
Well, you are not going to walk away. $10K isn't enough to move to Panama. And of that $10K, there is so much interest that if you don't repay, they still make a profit. If I borrow $10K and pay it back within a year, and you borrow $10K and for the next ten years only pay half of the interest so your debt grows and grows, they make a lot more money from your card.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:34 PM   #24
hudson1
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
Do you have a credit card? Because credit card companies stand much more to lose ($10K+) if you just walk away without paying your bill. Their business survives and thrives without holding me or anything I buy with their money hostage while I pay down my bill. Perhaps they need to hold you hostage to make sure you pay, but they don't need to do that with me.
It's not quite the same thing as skipping out on a phone contact because the potential legal consequences are more severe when you don't pay a credit card bill.
hudson1 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2013, 02:38 PM   #25
xmaseve
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
The entire concept of locking phones is comical. Customers should pay their bills because they owe the money, not because the carrier can hold them hostage. If bills aren't paid, multi-billion dollar cellular service corporations have the same avenues to collect past due amounts as any other company, they need not keep our phones hostage.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

What we really need is companies like Apple and Samsung to simply make one model unlocked phone, instead of caving into the carriers and allowing them to be locked in the first place. This would certainly help with making it much easier to sell the phones and also with manufacturing. Imagine how nice it would be to not have to be asked "what carrier" when you go to buy an iPhone.
xmaseve is offline   3 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:03 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC