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Wireless carriers have to unlock your paid off phone
#1
2-11-2015

Wireless carriers have to unlock your paid off phone



Major wireless carriers in the US have promised to unlock customers' phones or tablets once they've paid off their contracts, beginning today. This is the result of an agreement the carriers made with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in late 2013; the deadline to comply with all portions of the agreement arrived today.

Carriers must also post unlocking policies on their websites (here are links for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), provide notice to customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking, respond to unlock requests within two business days, and unlock devices for deployed military personnel.

Actually getting a phone unlocked in practice can be a frustrating experience, as our own Lee Hutchinson can confirm. Let us know if your carrier gives you any trouble.
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#2
Just took my sister a month to get the unlock code for her Metro PCS phone.

Hopefully this can be reduced to the 2 days as mandated by now.
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#3
This is good info, I was unaware of this. I just switched to US Cellular, the one thing I feared with them is the market for used phones is much smaller.
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#4
Hurray!!!!!!!


Some people have been able to get their phones unlocked after harassing the carrier. I know a few people that where able to get ATT to unlock their phones but they said it took a while and several calls.
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#5
It only costs $2 to unlock most phones anyways. The more serious issue is how they cripple phones by restricting them to certain frequency bands.
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#6
(03-09-2015, 06:17 AM)SickBeast Wrote: It only costs $2 to unlock most phones anyways. The more serious issue is how they cripple phones by restricting them to certain frequency bands.
The only restrictions is LAC restrictions to keep customers on their respective carriers and in an emergency such as Katrina that is dropped.

Frequency bands are part of the Hardware.

For example I got my Galaxy too soon. I wanted 700MHZ but the revision I got does not have it yet. The newer Rev got a new nickname. The phone is the same except the 700MHZ is in it. There was nothing about this on purpose, it was just timing.
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#7
Doesn't Verizon make a point of using spectrum most other telco's don't?

If they get special versions of phones built that only have antennas capable of using their spectrum that is effectively a harware lock.
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#8
(03-09-2015, 08:41 AM)gstanford Wrote: Doesn't Verizon make a point of using spectrum most other telco's don't?

If they get special versions of phones built that only have antennas capable of using their spectrum that is effectively a harware lock.
Yes and no. Originally they used a different technology so it had to be "special" phones, same as Sprint.

Now everyone is using LTE so the phones can cross carriers easier now.
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#9
(03-09-2015, 08:35 AM)dmcowen674 Wrote:
(03-09-2015, 06:17 AM)SickBeast Wrote: It only costs $2 to unlock most phones anyways. The more serious issue is how they cripple phones by restricting them to certain frequency bands.
The only restrictions is LAC restrictions to keep customers on their respective carriers and in an emergency such as Katrina that is dropped.

Frequency bands are part of the Hardware.

For example I got my Galaxy too soon. I wanted 700MHZ but the revision I got does not have it yet. The newer Rev got a new nickname. The phone is the same except the 700MHZ is in it. There was nothing about this on purpose, it was just timing.
You can unlock frequencies by hacking your phone if you have a Qualcomm cpu. People have done it successfully. YMMV. Check on XDA.
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