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article imageUnlocking Phones Could Result in Lockup

By Ini Augustine     Jan 25, 2013 in Technology
The process of allowing a phone to work on any network is becoming illegal in less than 48 hours in the U.S.. What you need to know.
Unlocking a phone is a widespread practice that allows mobile handsets to be used on any of the various cell service networks. Customers are concerned about government regulations that go into effect on January 26th 2013.
Why unlocking is good
The days of being locked into expensive, unfair contracts should be long over. All phones are initially built to work on any network. Cell phone companies add software to make the phone usable on only one their network, in an effort to keep customers in contracts.This practice is known as "locking"
By unlocking phones, customers have the ability to take a phone to the carrier of their choice. Customers should have the right to change carriers for any reason, including poor service or shoddy networks. Making unlocking illegal adds a restriction to customer choice.
Why has unlocking become illegal?
This is a typical case of legislation lagging behind technology. For a long time now, carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon have sold unlocked iphones directly to customers. Called The Digital Millenium Copyright Act,the law does not bar customers from buying unlocked phones, which are readily available on the market. The law does make it illegal to unlock a locked phone without the permission of the wireless company that locked it. The verdict is still out on why exactly the law was changed. Customers will still be able to unlock their phones if their carrier gives permission.
What can I do?
Customers will have the option of purchasing unlocked phones for full price directly from cell phone carriers. The law also allows customers to legally unlock their phones until January 26th 2013. Users can YouTube the unlocking process for their phone and carrier.
More about Technology, Mobile technology, Tmobile, iPhone
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