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The FCC’s new proposal wants to make it simpler to unlock your phone

Summary

  • The FCC proposes a rule requiring carriers to unlock phones within 60 days of activation to make switching providers easier.
  • FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasizes that buying a phone should allow you to choose your service provider freely.
  • The FCC will announce the full proposal on July 18, followed by a public comment period to discuss its implications.

In the current US mobile market, purchasing a smartphone from any of the leading phone carriers typically means it’s locked to their network. This restriction makes it challenging to use the phone with other carriers. Switching providers often involves a complicated unlocking process that depends on the carrier. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) aims to simplify this with a new rule mandating carriers to unlock phones within 60 days of activation.

When you acquire a new smartphone, it’s generally locked to the carrier’s network you purchased it from. This lock remains until you’ve either paid off the device or fulfilled contract obligations, hindering your ability to switch carriers. Each carrier has its own unlocking policies, adding to the complexity. However, once your phone is unlocked, you can effortlessly switch to any provider.

SIM cards for US Mobile, Mint Mobile, and Visible with a OnePlus Nord N200

Related

How to tell if your phone is carrier locked

Maybe it’s time to move on from your carrier

The FCC’s proposed rule seeks to allow for easier transitions for mobile phone users between service providers (via The Verge). In a statement, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized consumer freedom, asserting that buying a phone should inherently allow you to choose your service provider at any time.

Though the final details of the regulation are yet to be released, the primary objective is evident: enhancing consumer flexibility in selecting mobile service providers. The initiative aims to dismantle the barriers that restrict users from changing carriers, provided their phone is compatible with the new network.

This FCC plan could be a game-changer

The FCC will officially unveil the complete regulatory proposal on July 18, followed by a public comment period. This period will allow stakeholders to discuss the proposal’s implications and suggest how it should apply to both current and future contracts. Additionally, the public can debate how the proposal might stimulate competition in the mobile service market. An increase in unlocked phones in secondary markets could potentially benefit smaller providers, new wireless companies, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).

Importantly, the FCC’s proposed rule could invigorate competition in the mobile service industry. This initiative would alleviate the financial burden of switching carriers, a frequent deterrent for consumers. Standardized unlocking rules across all providers would also minimize confusion, making it simpler for people to change carriers whenever they wish.

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The post The FCC’s new proposal wants to make it simpler to unlock your phone first appeared on www.androidpolice.com

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