U.S. House passes bill to lift block on cellphone unlocking

BlackBerry Z10 SIM slot
By Simon Sage on 26 Feb 2014 11:31 am EST
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Since the end of January it's been technically illegal to unlock the SIM card slot of your phone in the United States. Luckily, a bill passed through the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday with a vote of 295 - 114 that would make it legal again. Though the bill in question would repeal many of the limits placed on phone unlocking, the bill's author would like it to keep bulk mobile phone unlocking companies in the ban. These companies will often buy used handsets, unlock them, and resell them, which wireless carriers don't like so much. This addendum is still under debate, plus we have to wait and see what the Senate will do with it.

For those unfamiliar, service providers like AT&T and Verizon typically lock their devices so they can only be used with their service. If unlocked, phones can be taken over to other carriers. This is hugely important for promoting healthy competition and empowering consumer choice, not to mention being very useful for travel.

How many of you have yet to unlock your device? Have you encountered any issues getting your device unlocked since the law went into effect?

Topics: Unlock Carriers

131 comments

Ordersol27

About damn time :p

Posted via CB10

mjs416

Very surprised by this. The whore majority in the house usually never bites their corporate hand that feeds them.

Posted via CB10

edyb

Reading all these comments, it seems certain countries (USA in particular, but Canada and some others) is well behind the rest of the world when it comes to consumer protection. It seems corporate influence is EXTREMELY high and lawmakers are all bought off. A shame for citizens of these countries. I see Europe, Asia and Africa well ahead in terms of phone freedom, contract freedom, and prices for service.

Now if we are to analyze this further, let's face it... the entire "subsidized phone" concept was invented by the industry to promote consumerism and frequent hardware updates at less *noticeable* cost to consumers. If all of us had to pay full price before we signed up for a service, I think we would take care of our devices a lot better, use them a lot longer than the contract, and not have the extreme phone "turn-over" we see in North America with a FREE phone every 2-3 years. That has indirectly enriched the phone manufacturers.... Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry too... The entire industry has profited off this cleverly thought up scheme.... Just like when VISA minimum payments were reduced to $10 to ensure that people who shouldn't be getting credit would be sucked into a system that makes them continuously pay.

Now I know that the phone companies didn't force anyone to sign a contract, and you can buy off phones full-price and wander with any carrier you want. The problem currently is that if you DO bring your own device to a carrier and DO want to sign a contract, they will not lower your rate below that of someone who signs the contract and gets a subsidized device. Assuming you are on a $50/month contract over 3 years, you will have paid $1800 for phone service over 3 years. However, if your "FREE" phone is worth $600, really you are paying $1200 in cellular service and $600 for the phone cost. So why can I not negotiate a 3-year contract where I BRING MY OWN phone for $33 a month ($1200 / 36 months)?

Instead, what we have to do is sign up with the 3-year contract, get the free phone, and SELL IT on the open market to recoup the cost.... since we don't need the phone. And many people who are happy with their phone and can't get a better price from the carrier do just that... They keep their old BlackBerry, get the FREE iPhone and sell it, effectively giving them that "discount" over the life of the contract. Now if that isn't pushing money into the banks of all handset manufacturers.... Who is Wagging Who's Tail?

BernardK

Nice!

Posted via CB10

moyah8

Nicely analysed. :-)

Bringing sexy back on my Q10SQN100-3/10.2.1.2141

Rogue99

Very very good points +1

Posted via CB10

james pisano

Wow. Great comments.

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

james pisano

I have one thought on your comments. While I agree with what you said, isn't it true that from a service perspective the device manufacturer is winning?

That is, I call Verizon if I have an issue (first anyway), not Blackberry. Comments?

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

Gazza12

+10 Beautifully put.

gsioufi

You are absolutely right.

Posted via CB10

audirocs

Yeah boyeeeee.

T-Mobile USA Z10

Koepman

Nice move!

Since 2010 

Grafic111

Cool!

Posted from my SuperHuman Q10

alie.tariq

Dint know it was ban there

Posted via CB10

billsterjito

me neither!

C0015B221 All about making Wine kits.

VictorRight

Thank you Republicans!

Posted via CB10

iToya

Companies are offering to unlock phones nowadays...

It would nice so I wouldn't have to scrounge up more money to pay some company to unlock my phone.

Karan Mohal

"unlock the SIM card slot of your phone" makes it sound like theres a physical lock on the SIM slot .. imagining a teeny keyhole and key hahah...

Maybe "disable the carrier lock on your phone" ?

rdgroulx

We all love teeny too.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

rdgroulx

But still illegal.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

jrez85

Huuh? It was illegal..okay. hehe.. good that the ban has been lifted ,yay!

Posted via CB10

FlashFlare11

I don't think it goes far enough, really. As far as I know, every major U.S. carrier forces you to buy service with your device. Even if you buy the device at full retail price, you're still required to buy a month-to-month plan which adds on additional costs and activation fees to the price of the device. In other, words, without bulk unlock companies, there really wouldn't be a way to buy a brand new, unlocked phone free from carriers.

While this bill is a good step towards making unlocking your phone easier, I don't think it's enough. If I want to purchase a phone, I want to be able to choose the manufacturer and whether I want service with it or not.

Posted via CB10

raino

Exactly. It's funny how they brushed aside something as simple as a "contract is a contract" when pushing for the ban. But even on TMO, the "UnCarrier," even if your phone is paid in full at the time of purchase, you have to get 40 days of service before you can get the code. Some may say "carriers are not in the business of selling phones," which is fine, but then what's the benefit to me to pay off the phone in full? I still don't own it?

Re: "without bulk unlock companies, there really wouldn't be a way to buy a brand new, unlocked phone free from carriers," the carriers' argument was that there are plenty of places you can buy unlocked phones from(which is true on a practical scale only in the case of iPhones,) to which, I say: why do I need your permission to unlock a phone I've fully paid off (an option YOU the carrier have put in place,) or why isn't a two year contract/ETF enough security?

FlashFlare11

Could not have said it better! If I pay for a device in full, why should a carrier tell me how, where, and with which provider I can use my device? They absolutely shouldn't.

I really wish the carriers were faithful to the notion that they aren't in the business of selling phones. They exercise an unreal amount of control over they devices they sell. I suspect they feel that they need devices to keep recurring customer contracts and it simply makes buying service more attractive if you get new equipment with it. But I despise that carriers are trying to push governments to control the contract/service-free device market. The carriers already make the process of purchasing a device so difficult as it stands (almost near impossible, really). They're trying to gain absolute control over the device market.

In regards to device locking/unlocking, the way MOST people here in the U.S. buy cell phone service here almost renders this practice near useless. I'll use an example:
Let's say, for instance, I purchase a device from AT&T under a two-year agreement. I somehow unlock my device and also observe that where I live, AT&T has poor coverage. Instead of paying an exorbitant ETF at once, I figure it's better for me, in the short-term, to simply get a SIM card and a plan from T-Mobile under a new phone number while maintaining my AT&T line should I ever need it. Because I'm on a contract w/AT&T, as far as they know, as long as I stay within my allotted minutes/text/data per billing cycle, I'm billed every month and. As long as I pay it, I'm in good standing with them. The same goes for my business relationship with T-Mobile.

My point is that, as far as the GSM-based carriers are concerned, the service is tied to your phone number, which is tied to your SIM card. The device you use that SIM in has little to do with anything, really. It makes me think that the only reason all the carriers lock their devices is so that when you want a new device, you have to get a service plan, and people are more likely to do so because the immediate cost of the device is much lower than the retail cost.

Personally, I'm very much against service contracts. My 9810 was the last device I purchased under a subsidy. I bought my Z10 outright and learned of the difficulty the carriers impose on customers who opt for this route. My suggestion to anyone looking to buy outright is to never go to your carrier to do this. They will do anything they can (even flat-out lie to you) to get you to sign a contract.

Prem WatsApp

Talk about a healthy competitive environment in the US.

Aussies would never tolerate this kind of bulldung nonsense. One call to the Telecommunications Ombudsman, problem solved.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

raino

Very well thought out post! The least I can try to do is reply to some key points :)

"I really wish the carriers were faithful to the notion that they aren't in the business of selling phones."

But they are! They entered the business of selling phones when they decided to sell phones at no-contract pricing, and, arguably, at all (i.e. at subsidized pricing.) I'm somewhat more understanding of their position vis a vis subsidized phones, but having requirements for fully paid off phones? Come on!

"I suspect they feel that they need devices to keep recurring customer contracts and it simply makes buying service more attractive if you get new equipment with it," also "It makes me think that the only reason all the carriers lock their devices is so that when you want a new device, you have to get a service plan, and people are more likely to do so because the immediate cost of the device is much lower than the retail cost."

I fully agree. Who gets new devices first? The carriers. Who gets exclusives (let's stick with "true" exclusives" like the Lumia 1020, etc.)? The carriers. Their model, until recently, has totally been contract dependent. People don't like contracts, so what do they do? Offer a shiny new phone for "just $200!" But what most people fail to see is that these carriers are not a charity, so they WILL get their money somehow--in the form of subsidy-recovering-and-then-some rate plans. And some people who are aware of this sign contracts anyways thinking "well, I have to get service through carrier A anyways, if their rates are the same on contract/month to month, why not sign the contract and at least save $400 on the phone?" Such customers have recently been helped out with dropping rates after the industry shake-up, and BYOD coming with lower service rates (at least on AT&T and TMO, don't know about Verizon and Sprint.)

BTW, regarding your bad coverage example, I get your point, but if you're ever in that specific situation, carrier allow (or at least used to) you to terminate your contract without penalty if they can verify they have poor or deteriorated coverage where you are. They may first try to get out of it by offering a signal booster for free, though. I'm not sure if you're obligated to accept one.

DaSchwantz

I don't mind the contracts and phone discounts AS LONG AS THE CARRIER GIVES ME A NEW IN BOX UNLOCKED phone , which I will immediately flip on EBay or Kajiji unless it's the device I want, and the SIM card separated. I will even go do far as to BRING the device I want to the store and insert it into MY device right in front of them, after they 'sold' me on the other phone. See ya!

Posted via CB10

rdgroulx

^this.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

Haxorleet

I live in France and I accidentally heard about this ban when the debate over censorship came between Anonymous hacktivists vs the Government.
It was a year and a half ago if my memory doesn't betray me!

BerryRipe

Nice! Now where's my Verizon 10.2.1 update?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

BerryRipe

Hey is anybody having trouble leaving a comment on the Happy Birthday article?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

Er1nyes

Yes I am too!

Back to the topic at hand:
In the UK there are tons of places to get your phone unlocked, so we take it for granted that you can chose what phone you want and what carrier you use.

Knowledge is power... Posted via CB10

SlcCorrado

You guys said it... Healthy competition. What ever happened to free market ideology? I don't consider myself an alarmist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do often wonder about the direction this country has taken

raino

Big carriers are some of the most anti-competitive businesses around.

1. This unlocking issue
2. Net neutrality
3. Always looking to merge/buy out competitors

TioPepe78

Thankfully in my country all carriers have to sell the phones unlocked by law, anyway the prices are to high because of taxes to cell phones.

JPushkarH

In India carrier never sell phones at all !! So locking un locking is irrelevant in India so enjoy

dtarin

Didn't even know there was a ban. I'm on t-mobile and they have been pretty cool with sending me unlock codes for my phones over the years.

Posted via CB10

pblakeney

Finally...bout time they did something for the consumer......or did theyyyyy.

Posted via CB10

scr

before it was legal, then they made it illegal. Now they made it legal. Seems like these guys try to make themself busy ;)

btw I can predict their next move ;)

Posted via CB10

rcab

I tried to get my Z10 unlocked on AT&T so that I can take it with me. So far I have not been successful with AT&T unlocking it

Cristian Manga

Finally. If you paid for your phone besides paying for your service, you should be able to do whatever you would like with your device.

Posted via CB10

stengel680

I have unlocked my wife's 9650 by calling Verizon and telling them im going overseas... although it has to be currently activated for them to do it I believe.

This time around our her Q and my Z came unlocked already.

raino

9650's old enough that you don't need Verizon's permission to unlock it.

stengel680

This was way back when it was the best bb u can get at vzw. Before 9930.

CrazyBack

All phones should be unlocked if you ask me. If the carriers want to ensure healthy customer choice, then let them fight on prices and customer services. Whoever has the best coverage with the best prices and the best smile wins the simcard slot in my phone. Simple as that . Instead of having their diddly computers working on trying to scheme every last penny they can off of us.
CELLPHONE BILLS ARE TOO DAMN HIGH! ...and so is rent, LOL.

green_ember

Carriers should be required to send you the unlock code once your subsidy commitment is fulfilled

raino

But why even that long? They have contracts and ETFs in place, or sell the phone at full price, so it's not like you can bolt without any financial ramifications.

Even my carrier, the so-called "UnCarrier" TMO US which doesn't have service contracts, when requesting an unlock code makes you get service through them for 40 days (even if you pay in full for the phone.) Either stop selling phones outright, or make unlock codes available instantly (2-3 business days after request.)

Meok

I am stop baffled by a country that would ban unlocking of phones but allow any idiot to own and carry an assault rifle.

Response crafted in seconds on a Z30

VictorRight

Your anti second amendment? Who's the idiot fool?

Posted via CB10

Meok

And that's exactly the response you get. Hatred. In what universe is it logical to stop me from unlocking a strictly personal device, but have no restriction on usage of devices that kill people?

JuiciPatties

Is this only illegal in the US? I wasn't even aware it was illegal. I thought if you own the phone, you can do what you want with it. Wondering whether it is illegal in Canada but I just didn't know about it.

raino

Technically, unlocking was always illegal under a US law known as the DMCA. There was an exception made for unlocking phones, which expired last year. That's what made it illegal.

raino

Some more details: it became illegal only to unlock phones purchased through the carriers after the day the exemption expired. So if your phone was purchased prior to this date, or was not purchased through a US carrier (a locked Canadian Z10, for example,) this law did not apply to you.

hf199

Yes!

Posted via CB10

bosveldninja

Good for you. Over here it is the opposite the networks are not allowed to carrier lock phones. This makes the consumers life much easier. Especially when you are vacationing in an aria where your career has poor or no signal.

Posted via CB10

aboldcurve

seems like this is turning into a battle of the lobbyists.

Posted via CB10

khalbleib

So here is my question. I want a z30. But I am on Tmobile.

So what visit the best way to get one and unlock?

raino

You can buy them unlocked from third party sellers like GSM Nation or Negri Electronics, probably without warranty. I know GSM Nations' Z30s don't have it and I'd be surprised if Negri's do. An option with warranty would be to buy one from a Canadian carrier (if they sell them without a contract) and then get it unlocked. The US anti-unlocking law won't apply.

SO_Davis

They sell without contact. But locked, you still need to pay the unlocking fee, I believe it's around $40 depending on the carrier.

Posted via CB10

raino

They charge to unlock, huh? Don't tell the US carriers ;)

Frankly I'm not surprised. If there's any telecom entity that sucks its customers dryer than the US carriers, its the Canadian carriers. "You won't let us keep three year contracts? Fine. We'll just raise our prices." Brilliant!

Dominick079

I called AT&T and they didn't give me any issues with unlocking my Z10. They sent me the unlock code in a email about a week after I called. I have been AT&T for a long time so that could be why they weren't hesitant to give it to me.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

LuisCast

Please. can you tell me exactly where and with whom did you speak? I have tried several times unsuccessfully to talk AT&T to unlock my Q10 which I bought from them and paid FULL price in cash (besides I had to pay the outrageous $36. "new connection" fee for swapping from my Bold 9900). I have also been an old customer of AT&T for more than 25 years! I would appreciate your reply.

Dominick079

I just spoke to a customer rep over the phone and they put in the request for me. Then I received a email from AT&T about a week later with the unlock code. You may want to tell them your traveling to another country to justify in their eyes why you are requesting it. In reality you shouldn't need a reason especially if you paid full price for your phone.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

raino

As my childhood hero Stone Cold Steve Austin would say, ohhhhh helllll yeahhhh!

Seriously though...this was such an asinine extension of the DMCA made by probably the most ill-qualified person. And then the "deal" made between the carriers and the FCC while, a step in the right direction, didn't nearly go far enough. I don't expect any problems in the Senate, but you never know, them telecom lobby $$ are pretty green.

axllebeer

Glad to see this change. Even if I've never done it, this should be legal.

Christophe Piquemal

That was so archaic....

In France, the law tells that after the six first month of a contract the operator have to unlock your phone if the customer ask for it.

Nowadays, a lot of us buy sim free phones, so unlocked. With a sim free phone, we have better and much cheaper contracts.

And we can change of Telco whenever we want.

SO_Davis

I actually didn't know this, really interesting.

Thanks for the news, will enjoy seeing how this pans out

Posted via CB10

mandony

If you paid full price for the phone then you should have the right to do whatever you want with it (IE: unlock). I the phone is not full paid, and the phone company includes a required contract, then, the phone company should have the option to control use. However, if you are to travel overseas, want to use another provider, AND retain the original provider (IE: continue to pay off the phone), then unlock should be allowed.

ralfyguy

Exactly. I bought my phone at full retail and was out of contract. I expect to get it unlocked, because I am in no commitment and it is MY sole property, period!
I will do with it as I please.

Posted via CB10

just_luc

I can't come up with a valid reason to unlock my device unless I'm selling it. The travel argument doesn't work for me.. as you can't get your calls or texts using a foreign sim.

raino

Understandable if you're need to keep your domestic SIM in the phone to receive calls/texts sent to that specific number. But with the advent of VoIP and versatile IM apps, it may not be that big a necessity to keep your local SIM in the phone for people who need to just casually communicate back home.

kalphreef

AT&T Still denied me lol I hate them

Posted via CB10

goUSAFblue

What is involved in the process for unlocking a phone? Is it difficult? Expensive?

Are there any drawbacks or consequences for unlocking a phone?

Posted via CB10

raino

This is how it works: you get an unlock code and enter it in your phone, and that then allows you to put any carrier's SIM into that phone (note: unlocking doesn't guarantee you'll get, say LTE from the new SIM's carrier, or even any service at all.)

There are no ill effects of unlocking (the procedure) that I'm aware of, and I've been buying unlocked phones for over a decade. It doesn't void your warranty, nor does it damage your phone. The worst thing that can happen if you enter the wrong unlock code too many times is that your phone will become permanently locked to the original carrier, which means the only SIM that phone will work accept is that carrier's. That's it.

It could be expensive, yes. From a couple of dollars to $40 is what I've seen (not counting CB unlocking's ridiculous $80 price...ahem.) You can also buy unlocked phones, of which there are two types: factory unlocked (i.e. phones that were never locked-very desirable,) or phones that were unlocked before being sold to you.

goUSAFblue

Okay thanks. How do you know if the service will work with your unlocked phone then?

Also, how do you obtain the unlocking code?

Posted via CB10

Cheffdoggy

Finally, I can get my and on a Z30. F'ing AT&T will not give me the unlock for my Z10.

rdgroulx

Dirty business those carriers. They own the distribution, they are an oligopoly, the manufacturers want to please them....and the consumer gets screwed.

What would we say if our cars were locked on specific streets? Outrageous that we would be happy that a ban this stupid is lifted.

There is not a single benefit for the economy, except the carriers'.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

SlackerKing

I bought my Z10 from BlackBerry unlocked. Best decision evah.

At about the same time I bought a Lumia 925 from T-Mo, full price, paid in full. Now I am in their 40-day purgatory to unlock the handset.

As far as I'm concerned the carriers provide me with a voice channel and data pipe, just like my ISP. BlackBerry released 10.2.1 and T-Mobile will release their value-add version Real Soon Now. Nokiasoft has released WP Black and is talking about 8.1 this Summer. T-Mo is still rocking with WP Amber with no published release date for their value-add version of Black.

There was a time when you needed to go to a carrier's store to buy a cell phone. Those days are gone. Now you can buy a cell phone at almost every gas station.

The carriers themselves have become the drag on cell phone technology in the U.S.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 using pure energy

OceanBerry

If you have existing service on T-Mobile, you can get 2 unlocks per year if you own the phones (paid in full or paid off "classic" subsidy or EIP). You don't have to add a line or wait 40 days, etc.

Posted via CB10

raino

Wait...I don't think that's right. Even if you own the phones and are a postpaid customer, you have to wait 40 days before requesting a code: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588

For prepaid customers it's even worse. You have to wait over a year ("active on the T-Mobile network for greater than 365 days,") or have $100 worth of refills. Which basically means you pay full cost for the phone plus $100 to have it unlocked.

TheStoryUp

I buy direct from BlackBerry, $400 for z30 if you know someone who works there.

Zed30

ryanza

This is crazy. Here in South Africa it is quite simple, all mobile phones are unlocked.

Contract phones are unlocked so can be used on any network while in the contract, the phones are only locked, blocked or blacklisted if a contract is not paid or the phone is stolen.

The flip side is that device prices are high.

Posted via CB10

IAmMrFrazier

Personally, I don't buy nor support using unlocked devices (unless you have gotten it right from BB, Apple, etc,) due to the fact that I think you should have to buy the phone you want to use from the carrier you want to use it on. If your someone who gets upset, and want to jump ship everytime your unhappy with a company, then you should have the money to buy new phones each time. To each his own. But I guess since I would in the mobile phone business, it's like taking money out of my pocket. Same way, I don't believe in downloading movies or music without paying for them.

raino

"I think you should have to buy the phone you want to use from the carrier you want to use it on. If your someone who gets upset, and want to jump ship everytime your unhappy with a company..."

That's fine, but they do have contracts in place that prohibit you and I from easily "jumping ship." It's not like I can decide I want to leave and do it scot-free. They charge ETFs if we violate the contract by leaving, or, in the case of TMO, have the full balance of the phone due immediately. Plus, if I'm buying a phone at full price from the carrier (a choice THEY decided to give me,) have I not fulfilled the contractual obligation of paying for the phone already?

Interesting you bring up downloading media. What's your take on DRM? Are you okay with companies limiting what devices you can put your purchased media on?

IAmMrFrazier

I guess you have a point there. Contracts do make it hard for you to "jump ship" put people are still willing to pay those ETF's or pay for the full balance of the device back. So again, I say to each his own. I will never use or buy an unlocked phone, but if it what you want to do, go ahead!

To your other question, DRM... No, I am NOT okay with companies limiting what devices I can put my purchased media on. If I pay for it, I should have the right to have it on any device I want. But I still say I don't feel that it's right to download anything for free. My reason behind that, is due to the fact that I was raised in the music business, I have been around it all my life, and know what it's like for the people who make the music (not only the artist, but producers, etc) to not make what they should from it. Look at it like this, whatever business you are in to make you income, what if someone was taking money out of your pocket, and out of the mouths of your family? You wouldn't support it either right?

raino

Re: the DRM point, I'm with you on not bootlegging stuff. But there should be no restriction whatsoever on how I decide to copy, for example, my bought music to eight playing devices I own--whether or not the service I bought the music from likes those devices, directly supports them, etc. And if you, as a seller decide to put a barrier in front of me when I've already paid in full for the goods you sold me, I have a problem with that.

The last sentence can also apply to cell phones. 'Goods' in this case would be fully paid off phones.

DoryGuy

Hmm.. I didn't intentionally unlock my phone but after I did a full reinstall of a leaked OS, the phone says it's "unlocked." So did I kill two birds with one stone? (Unlocked the phone and upgraded the OS?) (I did a complete autoload of the OS.)

As for locking the device, there is no benefit to me as a consumer. I'd rather have a basic contract with the carrier and they charge me for the service and the phone (installment payments or whatever we agree to.) and I pay, no difference between that and any other contract. Their locking the device is like the bank holding my mortgage so I can't sell it, except in this case for mere cash I can unlock the device and sell it. I still owe on the contract but it's harder for the carrier to make me pay.

Anyway next phone, I'm buying it unlocked upfront and the heck with the carrier nonsense.

Sean CueTen

I've heard that unlocking phones on the Sprint network renders them useless. Is there any truth behind this?

obermayr

I have always unblocked my device then when not I pay a lot in oversee

Posted via CB10

obaquerizo

Always buy my BlackBerry unlock

Posted via CB10

FishhPoohh

Dang nabbit! An here I had to buy my BlackBerry Z30 unlocked from the good people from Canada. Oh well, it was well worth it. Now if only Tmobile USA would send out an update so I can use the wifi calling feature

Posted via CB10

newcollector

I have not unlocked it yet.

Posted via CB10 via my Z10

LLAmos

I'm off to find the names of the 114 nitwits who voted against lifting the ban. Nit...wits....

Posted via CB10

raino

Start at the AT&T and TMO corporate offices.

kawikaratekid

I had to unlock my phone to use it with another provider for a weekend away in the States.

Posted via CB10

Risky_KillMoves

Now I may go get a Z30 from Verizon

peter0328

Verizon doesn't lock any of their phones due to FCC band 13 regulations. They are the worst example you could choose.

Posted via CB10

Douken

I don't understand this news

Posted via CB10

raino

Unlocking without carrier permission used to illegal as of 2012, now it's on its way to becoming legal again (once the bill clears the Senate and the president signs it.)

Brimlen

"For those unfamiliar, service providers like AT&T and Verizon typically lock their devices so they can only be used with their service. If unlocked, phones can be taken over to other carriers. "

This makes no sense at all. Why on earth I should be locked to one phone company with which I am tied up by 24 months contract ? And if I am abroad I would want to use local SIM which would cost me cheaper than using my own SIM for calls and data. The bottom line is I am paying monthly my contract with my phone company and it's none of their business if I'd use my phone with different SIM.

Posted via CB10

Grumblegrumble

Very nice to hear for everyone.

joserMireles

A friend bought an iphone and paid full price at att. He wasn't leaving att but he wanted to sell a co-worker the iphone which he paid in full. The co-worker was on tmobile so before selling it my friend tried to get the iphone unlocked. They refused stating that he had to complete the 2 year agreement which is nonsense becuase he wasn't going to leave at&t anyways. Basically he owns the phone but not really, and if he leaves at&t he still has to pay the ETF and the phone will still be locked probably for ever.

Posted via CB10

bd69

Wow! It is legal to have guns, and it is illegal to unlock a phone. The land of the free...? SMH

Posted via CB10

toppatoptobz

That's great news because They already dun that here in Canada.

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dbollman423

Just wanted to point out that passage in the House does not make it legal. Still needs to pass in the Senate and be signed by the President.

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Anovascular

After I paid off my Z10 from T-Mobile, I got my unlock code and unlocked the mobile.

Motorola V3xx --> Nokia E63 --> Nokia N900 --> Nokia N9 --> BlackBerry Z10

lcfut

My Z30 came unlocked directly from Verizon. Bought it less than a month ago.

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Have_a_nice_day

Who would have guessed? The capitol of capitalism and the free market had a law that allowed iron walls between cell phone carriers. Glad those days are (almost) over.

Have a nice day

drfinky

I was not aware of the bill, but I'm happy that the information was sent. I appreciate the use of unlocked phones for my domestic and international. Travelers. Thanks.

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F2

Did not read all the comments but the Z10 from Verizon comes unlocked. I still don't quite understand their change of stance on this but it was a welcome aspect. But in the past, if you were a customer in good standing, they could unlock the phone anyway.

nbaliga

Irrelevant in the US. Another one of those things that sounds good...if I unlock my at&t phone where else can I take it and get lte coverage?

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blackberry73

Before I got the Verizon Z30, I was looking at the at&t lumina 1520. Had I been able to use it on vzw, I would have. However GSM and CDMA would not work possibly. If Sprint had the 1520, I would have. However, knowing the Z30, kind of glad I did not switch if given the choice. Need a Z30 with 6" screen, 1080p, and 16 megapixle camera :)

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dburd411

Tmobile is pretty good about it. They have unlocked three of my phones, once they were paid off. Thought all the carriers did that until I read the article.

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TonyHove

Luckily in my country, all the carriers have to sell unlocked phones, so never had this problem. Good to see the US conforming to free market practices!

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Gabriela Lamberti

I have an unlocked T Mobile BB9900. Works perfectly.

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kirshan

It's so crazy that it was illegal in the first place, nothing like Europe where these days the carriers aren't as keen to even lock the phones in the first place so they don't have to deal with customers calling trying to unlock their phones.

But these kind of decisions only work if everyone is doing the same thing, you could only loose as many customers as you'd gain over something like this.

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Daryll Davis

If you don't want a AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon contract don't get one. I tell my customers that they can either start a contract, and get the phone on a discount. Or pay full price n put a red pocket, net 10, or H2O sim in it.

Swiped on my Z10

DaSchwantz

Carrier locks should be made illegal, especially now that other phone manufacturers are FINALLY putting anti theft security on the phones (and WHY do you think it took so long?). Carrier locks are no different than non-transferable phone numbers...get rid of them!! The carriers can still come up with phone discounts and contract terms for 2 year contracts, etc. You still get a bill if you break the contract...

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Herbie52

I bought my Z10 directly from BlackBerry. Use it for Wifi, and activate it when I travel. American carriers are ripping us off, and and so is the government with their ridiculous taxes. There is a socialist tax that pays for someone else to have a free phone...When I can't afford $100/mos to say "hi" myself. I didn't know it was illegal to unlock phones, and I'm glad now that this ban has been lifted because maybe now it will produce healthy competition.

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Killjoyhere

Why is this even a law? Someone must have been bribed some where.

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blazejmajewski

It's been years now since carriers were banned from locking devices in Europe. They must sell unlocked device even if with contract.

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wincyUt

What else is new with USA backward mentality? SMH. All talks about "Free Trade, Free Market, Free Competition" are just lip service.

Blackmailme

I normally buy my phones unlocked nowadays but I bought a iPhone 5s recently on behalf of a friend from carphone warehouse and i am having hell getting it unlocked T-Mobile won't unlock it even though I bought it cash and nowhere will do it for less than £120 my friend has to go back to the States to use it on T-Mobile funnily enough I think the rules are idiotic and over harsh if you buy your phone out right no one should be charged extra to unlock it....

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troubl3dman

Seems to be a bill that just keeps all the carriers catering to the senators/congress

mkmilan

Never DIDN'T unlock a phone or buy one that already was !

scootnyinzer

Free market competition that benefits US consumers is an inconvenience that is only endured by small businesses and industries that cannot afford to buy off law makers. Occasionally, a law is passed in the US that is beneficial to an average American, when this happens, it is an unintended by-product of a law that was especially beneficial to a wealthy special interest.

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NetGuruINC

I bought my BlackBerry z10 unlocked on ebay about 6 months ago, I bought a t-mobile micro-sim card that you can buy at any t-mobile for $10 bucks, activate it at the counter and good to go, I pay $50 a month on the t-mobile prepaid plan unlimited everything with 4g Internet.

My mom has the same blackberry z10 with Verizon and pays $100 a month for the same plan, so basically everyone else is paying a total of $1200 a year and I'm only paying $600 a year, for the SAME SERVICE.

Moral of the story? ALWAYS buy your phone unlocked, or there are plenty of websites that you can buy an unlock code from, just Google it.

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JPushkarH

India is real free country where hardware vendors and network provider never meet each other. Both business are different. There is nothing called contract / locked / unlocked phones. You buy phone + warranty service from mfg directly not from network providers.. Really US is too complicated..