It is Now Legal to Unlock Your Cellphone in the US

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    As of Friday, August 1st, it is now legal for US consumers to unlock their cellphones and take them to other carriers. Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives (in an ultra-rare bipartisan decision) signed off on the bill, and Friday was the day that President Obama signed it into law.

    The White House commented on the bill signing, calling it a "triple win" - one for the American consumer, one for wireless competition, and the other for bipartisan congressional action. (Did you see any flying pigs this weekend?)

    Here's a quote with a few more details,

    Of course, you need to remember that not all carriers use the same radio technology, so you can't just take a Sprint phone and use it on AT&T. You will need to be cognizant of whether your device's radio is GSM or CDMA (or both) and plan accordingly.
    mslaceyrose likes this.
  2. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    My cdma Note2 works fine on gsm T-Mobile. I suppose it's the world radios?

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
  3. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    How does one go about doing this though? Can we go into a carrier and ask for it to be done and it gets done?
  4. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I simply put a T-Mobile SIM card in mine and the guy at the T-Mobile store added their network into my settings. I set the network to world and it automatically picks out which network my SIM card uses and changes accordingly to that network.

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
  5. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    On nice. It sounds like the carrier you are going to is able to unlock it to their network upon activation.

    I have no reason to do that unless I am lucky enough to travel outside the US but at least those who do have the need can do it now.
  6. akhenax
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    akhenax Well-Known Member

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  7. shockracer
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    shockracer Member

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    I bet VZW still won't let any other phone or device on there network that isn't from them.
  8. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Agreed on that. A few years back they implemented a policy to allow phones from other carriers on their network once the said model passed their testing to make sure it'd work. To date not 1 phone ever passed the test. This was back before SIM cards on Verizon so the new law may very well make it so Verizon has to allow other carrier phones that have the proper radio for their network

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
  9. shockracer
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    If that happens, it would be the best for consumers as they could switch carriers at any time. Fingers crossed!
  10. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    When I switched to T-Mobile I was using my Verizon Note2 until I decided to try out a G2, ended up liking it much better than the Note2.

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
  11. akhenax
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    akhenax Well-Known Member

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    I think something may need to be cleared up here:
    There are two types of unlocks. There is:
    1. Carrier Unlock, where you can bring a phone to any carrier as long as it has the capabilities to do so.
    2. Bootloader Unlock, whereas you can modify system properties to obtain root.

    I think this law has to do with Carrier unlock.
  12. grenefroggie
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    grenefroggie DF Super Moderator

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    This law has to do with carrier unlock.

    If you are in a contract or owe money on the phone it will be very hard for you to get your phone carrier unlocked.

    Once you have met your commitment with your carrier, you should be able to go to your carrier and have them remove the SIM lock on the phone.

    With Verizon phones, being that a good portion of them are world capable, this unlocks lots of options. But even if you carrier unlock your phone, you have to make sure your phone model supports the carrier you wish to move to. It won't work on all Verizon phones, but I know a lot of the newer phones (Note 3 for example) supports EDGE/GSM/UMTS/HSPA in common frequencies used around the world (850/900/1800/1900/2100Mhz).
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  13. tja
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    tja New Member

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    If I am not mistaken, all Verizon 4G phones are already unlocked. All of Verizon's 4G/LTE are unlocked for use anywhere in the world. Use any sim in the phone from any country and it will work".
  14. grenefroggie
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    grenefroggie DF Super Moderator

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    That is very possible. I could of sworn they were locked, but I am not a VZW customer.
  15. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Correct. The world phone radio(s) is the key.

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
  16. Jeffrey
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    Jeffrey DF Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

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    There have been reports that the VZW Sammy variant does work but has issues with SMS and Data in the GSM environment.
  17. Quicksilver7714
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    Quicksilver7714 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    This is a big win for the manufactures as well. I hope this will simplify phone builds in the future. No longer should a manufacturer need to build multiple device models for each carrier. One model with all proper bandwidth access could work on any network and the consumer could benefit as well.
  18. akhenax
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    akhenax Well-Known Member

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    Now when can we get a law passed for bootloader unlock? If it's my phone (not rented), and I'm on your service, that I pay a fee to use, why can't I have full access to my device?

    I can see it now, we all marching in Washington, holding our various Android phones high, all makes and models, singing we shall overcome.