Unlocking Phones Now Illegal In United States [Editorial]

Unlocking Phones Now Illegal In United States [Editorial]



Starting January 6, 2013, users will no longer be allowed to unlock their cellular phone UNLESS they get consent from the phone’s originating carrier. This is UNITED STATES LEGISLATION, which means doing so without permission can land someone in lots of legal trouble. This trouble could possibly include fines and jail time.

One should note that when I say UNLOCK, I am not talking about jailbreaking or rooting. I am also not talking about putting in a passcode to use the phone. By unlock, I mean modify the software of the phone and allow it to be used on a different carrier than the one it was purchased on.

There are many uses for this. I buy a phone on Company A. My contract runs out and I want to switch to Company B. I also really like my phone and don’t want to purchase a new one. In the past, I could unlock the phone and use it for 2g data and calls on the next carrier. An even better example: I am going out of the country on vacation and am bringing my phone with me. I do not want to pay the absurdly expensive fees from the United States Carrier A. I would rather get a pay as you go sim card from Vacation Country Carrier Z. Now, I can’t do that without their permission. They SOMETIMES will give permission, but why should I be forced to rely on them? They could just as easily say no and really screw up my vacation.

This regulation in the United States is getting out of hand. Instead of making their companies better by investing in to upgraded services, they’re blowing money on anti-competitive garbage legislation. It really is pathetic. The only reason they’re doing this NOW all of a sudden is because modern phones can access full network compatibility on multiple networks. In the past, an unlocked phone on a different carrier could usually only get 2G data speeds and voice / sms. Newer phones can hop around on multiple networks and retain 4G data speeds and all the benefits of the new network. Also, I’m not sure but I THINK that 4G phones on CDMA carriers can be used INTERNATIONALLY, aka use SIM cards. They’re being greedy and trying to stop progress.

I bought the phone, I should be able to do whatever I please with it (within reason). This is like a grocery store saying it’s illegal to prepare your food ANY WAY except for how they say it should be prepared.

Service Providers, You’re not my mommy. Quit telling me what to do with my toys.


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Just a nerdy guy in the United States. Passionate about all new technology. Avid hater of haters.

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