U.S. carriers now officially required to unlock your phone2015-02-12 10:27 by Daniela
New rules, concerning device unlocking, have finally gone into full effect, giving tablet and smartphone owners the right to be able to unlock their devices from a carrier as long as the contractual agreement between the carrier and customer has been met. The rules are part of a voluntary "consumer code for wireless service" managed by CTIA, the main wireless trade association.
Several major carriers had been following the guidelines for nearly a year. Now the list of operators that have agreed to them, has expanded and includes AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon.
There are some catches though. According to the "consumer code" a device is eligible for an unlock, only after it is paid in full. This means that if you have purchased it for a subsidized price you either have to finish the usual two-year contract that comes with the headset or to pay its full price. Also, if you're using a prepaid service, you may have to wait up to a year and keep service active to a "reasonable" degree.
You're bound by the limits of cellular technology, as well. For example, AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM technology for their devices. However, carriers like Verizon and Sprint use CDMA technology. The problem here is that devices built for CDMA networks cannot be used on a GSM network and vice versa.
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