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The contentious cell phone unlocking ban that went into effect this year may be on the ropes. The Obama administration filed a petition (pdf) with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, asking the agency to create new rules that would allow cell phone users to unlock their handsets once their carrier contracts expire. The petition, formally filed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), requires that wireless carriers unlock devices that are paid in full, allowing users to move their device to another carrier.
Currently, the law mandates that wireless customers may only unlock their devices with permission from the carrier. The Librarian of Congress, which issues new rules every three years to allow for exemptions to the DMCA, decided to remove cell phone unlocking from the list of approved practices last year, where it sat since 2006. Sina Khanifar, an entrepreneur turned digital rights activist who launched the White House petition, says the NTIA petition is an important first step toward restoring consumer rights.
Khanifar adds that, even if the petition successfully lifts the ban, it does not solve all the problems.
Update: Well, would you look at that, just moments after reports of a deal being near comes the news that a deal has actually been reached.
Disclosure: Each carrier will post on its website its clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on postpaid and prepaid mobile wireless device unlocking. Postpaid Unlocking Policy: Carriers, upon request, will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock their devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan or payment of an applicable early termination fee.
Prepaid Unlocking Policy: Carriers, upon request, will unlock prepaid mobile wireless devices no later than one year after initial activation, consistent with reasonable time, payment or usage requirements. Notice: Carriers that lock devices will clearly notify customers that their devices are eligible for unlocking at the time when their devices are eligible for unlocking or automatically unlock devices remotely when devices are eligible for unlocking, without additional fee.
Response Time: Within two business days after receiving a request, carriers will unlock eligible mobile wireless devices or initiate a request to the OEM to unlock the eligible device, or provide an explanation of why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why the carrier reasonably needs additional time to process the request. Deployed Personnel Unlocking Policy: Carriers will unlock mobile wireless devices for deployed military personnel who are customers in good standing upon provision of deployment papers. Carriers reserve the right to decline an unlock request if they have a reasonable basis to believe the request is fraudulent or the device is stolen.
But carriers already unlock devices upon customer request it if they’re out of contract. First of all, the disclosure provision is definitely new and not something the carriers are going to necessarily like. What consumers need is a way to unlock their phone ahead of their contract expiration as long as their account is in good standing and they are obliged to continue their monthly payments. So the government believes we should have a choice in cell carrier, but not a choice in healthcare providers or service.
Unlocking a cell phone or tablet with a cellular radio allows owners to use the device on multiple wireless carrier networks. The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 would also make it permanently legal to jailbreak cell phones and tablets, which allows unauthorized apps to run on devices, and to mod game consoles – all of which are currently forbidden under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. While cell phone unlocking was granted exemption under the DMCA for the past six years, the Library of Congress decided last October to remove the unlocking exemption for all new cell phones. Jailbreaking – which allows users to install unofficial apps on a device – still enjoys exemption under the DMCA for the next three years. The Librarian’s decision to remove the exemption from unlocking immediately sparked a firestorm of protest from consumers and rights activists, like entrepreneur Sina Khanifar, who created a successful White House petition condemning illegal unlocking. Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs for advocacy group Public Knowledge, agrees that the Unlocking Technology Act is a major leap in the right direction for consumers. Introduction of the bill comes as the House Judiciary Committee begins a comprehensive review of U.S. The US President Barack Obama has signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law. Previously, unlocking your phone was considered as a violation of federal copyright law, although it was rarely enforced. Cell phone unlocking is particularly beneficial for customers who are frequent travelers and  wish to take their cell phones with them to another carrier to other countries and prefer to use the services of a local network instead of paying a premium for roaming charges. Though the law makes unlocking legal, it does not direct wireless carriers to provide unlock codes without a valid reason. Sneha Bokil is a tech enthusiast and is currently using Nexus 5X but she still treasures her Nokia N70 (M).
These companies can even serve other purposes as well, like unlocking your cell phone, collecting and backing up lost data, repairing cracked LCD screen, changing any part of a cell phone and the list is endless. Die to some technical glitch or mishandling problems, you might have to take help of cell phone unlocking services, from our professional experts.
In case you do not want to take your phone to any leading service centers, you can also deal with cell phone unlocking services, all by yourself, without taking anyone’s help. Our services, associated with cell phone unlocking services are quite reliable and affordable, at the same time.
Now that phone unlocking is legal once again, you might be wondering how it affects you, and what exactly you can do now.
Millennials -- and in particular, young Latinos -- are ahead of the "digital curve" in the United States. But according to the latest Nielsen data available (via NHMC), Latinos on average also spend the most on monthly cellphone bills. The high cellphone turnover, plus the need to lower monthly costs (who doesn't want a lower cellphone bill?) and phone unlocking becoming legal again means there are some options for using a "bring your own device" (BYOD) low-cost, and usually prepaid, wireless carrier. If you're thinking of unlocking your smartphone that you bought with a wireless contract, you need to take into consideration what network you're on.
There are some exceptions, like some GSM phones that work on Verizon LTE data networks and some of Verizon's iPhones, which can work on GSM.
Again, another category where there's lots of variation and no set rules, but unlocking your device can take up to two days, according to the wireless industry's own lobbying group (via GigaOm). Once that information is collected, here's how you unlock your phone for each major carrier. As you'll see, the main takeaway from this list is that if you're on a CDMA device, your options are much more complicated and limited than if you have a smartphone from AT&T or T-Mobile.
Straight Talk: Starts at $30 per month for 1,000 voice minutes, 1,000 texts, and 30MB of data.
Ultra Mobile: Starts at $19 per month for 1,000 voice minutes, unlimited texts, and 100MB data. Telcel America: Starts at $29 per month for unlimited nationwide minutes, 1,000 minutes international to landlines, 100 minutes to Mexico and Guatemala cell phones, 100 MB data, and unlimited texts (including international).
Page Plus Cellular: At $30 per month, you get 1,200 minutes, 3,000 texts, and 500MB of data. TracFone and its subsidiaries are unique in that they support both GSM and CDMA handsets, so no matter what carrier you're coming from, you're likely to find a signal on their network. We got an exclusive look at what's new and happening at Disney Parks in Orlando, as part of their Awaken Summer Media preview, and we're here to tell you what to keep an eye out for.
Senate Passes Cell Phone Unlocking Bill, What Does It All Mean For You And Your Cell Phone Plan?
The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act sounds like a mouthful, perhaps too much to care about, but it’s going to change the way you do business with your cell phone company.

Before this law was amended, you could not switch phone companies and continue to use your cell phone from a different carrier. This means wireless providers can treat you unfairly and do whatever they please, but if you are unhappy and want to switch services, you can’t take your phone with you, unless you want to go to jail. On February 25, 2014, the house passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law.
The whole reason unlocking cell phones became illegal in the first place has to do with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, specifically a part titled “Section 1201.” Instituted in 1998, the DMCA is poorly written and criminalizes seemingly unrelated acts, thus taking away consumer freedoms. According to Tim O’Reilly, “Section 1201 of the DMCA takes away critical rights from owners of consumer electronics. Since the Library of Congress is elected to protect the rights of everyday Americans, and not big corporate interests, they are fast to fight this off. The CTIA gives another defense for keeping the ‘unlock’ law in place, warning that unlocked cell phones will increase the ease of stealing and selling smartphones. If you want to switch carriers for any reason at all, you can switch without buying a new phone. Those excited about the law changes can thank Sina Khanifar, the man behind the movement to stop the ban on unlocked cell phones. A clear improvement from before when cell phones were 100% illegal to unlock, there are still 5 key problems with the current unlock act. Since cell phone carriers seem reluctant to follow along with the new rules, the FCC is being pushed to continually check up on providers and see if they are making it easy for customers to have their phones unlocked. Some service providers will still not allow you to unlock your device unless your service plan has spanned the entire 2-years and the contract is now expired.
While the new act asks the Library of Congress to make an exception and include other mobile devices in its law, as of now it does not. Anything that increases competition and makes customer retention more difficult is clearly not going to be loved and adored by any brand trying to make money and keep down costs.
A White House petition calling on the Library of Congress to make cell phone unlocking legal again has caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The power to change the rule more directly lies with Congress and the Librarian of Congress. After several angry consumers became aware of the new ban, they brought the media’s attention to the issue and created a White House petition to make unlocking cell phones legal again. If approved, wireless carriers would be required by law to unlock customers’ devices. If enacted, the new FCC rules would also allow those who buy secondhand devices to unlock them via the original carrier. If a person unlocks a device without carrier permission, he or she would be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which protects the software used by carriers to lock devices to their networks.
As of January, unlocking a device without wireless carrier approval has carried a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $2,500 fine per violation.
Older devices and those produced by smaller manufacturers may not be easily unlocked due to out-of-date or incomplete databases of unlock codes.
The CTIA has posted a PDF document that reveals some of the agreed upon terms of the negotiations. However, there is now a clear and concise message for cell phone unlocking in the US and the timelines for each type of customer. Everything else is already being followed and for anyone who actually wants their device to be unlocked, either by already knowing devices can be unlocked or through googling to find out how to use a device on another carrier and learning about unlocking, is not hindered in any way by the current implementation that they will not be by the new one. But it, too, could lose its exemption status, if the Librarian of Congress decides it does not deserve DMCA exemption during the next round of rule making. Consumers who are still under a previously-signed service contract with their wireless provider will still need to satisfy the terms of that contract before being allowed to unlock their device.
If you are suffering from any of the problems mentioned above, please feel free to contact us at our official website, at Wireless Solutions for proper assistance. There might be some very relevant data, which you need to retrieve from your phone but cannot as it is locked.
However, you need to follow some specific tips and advices, which are ideally associated with this section.
These phones are compatible with all sorts of network that will help you to work with any sort of service providers, who have proper knowledge in cell phone unlocking services. All you need to do is just visit our site at Wireless Solutions NY and get in touch with our professionals. It's actually quite complicated, so here's a rundown of what's changed, and how you can take advantage of unlocking. That means Latinos are more likely to own a smartphone, use wireless Internet, and to plan on buying or upgrading their smartphone much faster than the general population. You can buy an unlocked device outright or unlock your current device if it suits you and find a low-cost option without the contracts. But there are lots of variations and you don't want a phone that, for example, works on your new network for 4G data but can't make a call. And because you're a customer who's leaving, your current wireless provider has no incentive to help you, and every incentive to make it a painful process. This includes the main account holder's name and account number, the social security number associated with the account, the phone number of your device, and the IMEI number. You can unlock your device online here or call 611 on your phone to start the process.
Sprint's phones are made in a way that makes it technically very difficult to use on any other network, including Verizon.
The Simple Choice Plan for $50 per month gives you unlimited talk, text, and data (1GB of 4G LTE before throttling begins) with no contract. We'll see, but in the meantime, Virgin does offer some of the deepest discounts on contract-free phones. This new law allows users to ‘unlock’ their phones and take them over to any service carrier they want. In order to use your phone through a different service provider you must have the phone unlocked. People that needed to unlock a phone for financial or travel reasons risked up to 5 years jail time doing so. Even if your phone was fully paid for and your contract was canceled or no longer in effect, the phone was not to be unlocked and used through any other service. In 2009, Texas Instruments threatened to sue 3 different bloggers after they each wrote about ways you can “reverse-engineer” aTI-83 Plus calculator so that it runs a completely different operating system.
One member of the Library of Congress spoke out about their decision to leave the law alone, Gayle Osterberg, said that her team of congress kept the cell law the same because they believed cell phone providers could be trusted to take care of when and when not to unlock their phones. Even though the law has now passed, he remains busy making sure that Congress renews the exemptions for tablets and other devices. If on a whim you decide to travel abroad and unlock your own device, it is still considered a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison.
If a long and tedious process is asked of all customers that want their phone unlocked, this isn’t useful and shouldn’t be accepted.
Every company is different; you will have to read the fine print to find out what your cell phone service offers (Read More).

Only phones can be unlocked, no smart watches or tablets are included in the current unlock bill.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that cell phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon were slow to come to an agreement about changing the law so that cell phones can legally be unlocked.
The deal constructed stated that unlocked cell phones are legal, but they won’t come unlocked, instead customers have to ask their carrier to unlock the phone.
Under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) the Librarian of Congress was authorized to issue exemptions to the law, which bans technology that violates copy write laws.
The petition has now exceeded the 100,000 signature threshold and is awaiting the White House’s response.
The unlocking ban would also be lifted for both cell phones and tablets that are locked to a specific carrier. Further, says Khanifar, the new rules would not require wireless carriers to unlock devices in a timely manner. The bottom line is no matter what, this is a major win for consumers and the overall industry even if the carriers are probably steaming over the deal.
Notice to prepaid customers may occur at point of sale, at the time of eligibility, or through a clear and concise statement of the policy on the carrier’s website. Most turn to questionable services on line (some legit, some aren’t, I love Chronicunlocks). House of Representatives on Thursday would completely legalize cell phone unlocking by amending one of the most controversial sections of U.S.
Customers who wished to unlock their device would have to receive permission from their wireless service provider to avoid breaking the law. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is currently the reason that unlocking cell phones is illegal. Now, with the help of a Smartphone, you can easily send and transfer files via Bluetooth medium, click pictures, share videos and even browse through the internet.
During such instances, it is mandatory to take help from top-notch and legalized service centers as they have years of experience under their sleeves. When it comes to practical demonstrations, you have to swap the SIM card account inside your cell. In fact, the most recent Nielsen survey on Latino digital consumers found that 49 percent said they were planning on replacing or upgrading their smartphone within the next six months. Sorry, you need to have actually paid for your device in full either through fulfillment of your contract or by buying out the rest of your unpaid balance on installment plans before unlocking -- getting a sweet discounted phone and then cancelling your contract is not an option. Sprint and Verizon are CDMA-based, while T-Mobile and AT&T (and most of the rest of the world) use GSM. The IMEI can be found either in the "about this device" section in your phone's settings, or barring that, usually underneath the battery cover. You can still try online with a customer service chat or by dialing * 2 on your device, though. TracFone is a company that offers various subsidiary flavors of service -- all prepaid -- and has been adding subscribers this year like gangbusters.
Once upon a time it was legal to unlock your phone, but since 2012, unlocking your cell phone has been punishable by jail time. If unlocking is illegal, that means you can’t buy a Verizon iPhone and then use it at AT&T, even if you later switch to their services. It’s become normal, but when you think about it it’s completely unfair, if you have purchased the phone it’s rightfully yours and you should be allowed to do as you please with it. From 2006 until 2012 the Library of Congress made an amendment in the law that allowed cell phones to be unlocked legally. There are so many issues with this law that there is an entire movement surrounding the need to fix the DMCA, hence how over 115,000 signatures were collected last year in protest. He also strives to make these measures permanent so that if one-year people turn a blind eye, cell phone companies don’t end up winning over the average American again. Cell phone companies further negotiated that phones can only be unlocked after the contract is canceled or has come to an end. Previously the Librarian of Congress had opted not to criminalize the unlocking of cell phones, but changed his mind late last year. For other carries, since I just assumed their processes would be similarly standardized considering they are major carriers, things may be getting a lot more user-friendly.
Unlocking without carrier permission potentially carried hefty fines – up to $2,500 per illegally unlocked device. However, being an important electronic device, any mobile phone might stop working after a certain point of time.
Moreover, you might come across different other cheap companies, who claim to offer best services.
In case you find out that the service providers have locked the phone for you, then we are always there to help you get out of this problem, in a jiffy.
President Obama calls the new law, “…another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, that that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget.” He signed the bill into action and applauded Congress for their good work.
When you want it to do something more, you can’t modify it.” Many of these unwarranted bans come directly from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The strange thing is that in 2012 they decided not to extend the exception, causing quite a commotion. It is said that cell phone service providers were putting a lot of pressure on the Library of Congress to leave the law as-is, without the amendment from 2006-2012. What the FCC really needs to do is something regarding the insane prices of services such as texting. However, every three years, the Library of Congress can make specific exemptions to this law. During such instances, only a reliable and authentic cell phone repairing company can be your one stop solution.
This started a movement, which was able to collect over 114,000 signatures bound for the White House, in hopes of changing the law. This way, cell phones would legally have to remain locked, an obvious upside for businesses like Verizon and T-Mobile. You only need 100,000 signatures in order for the White House to check into an issue and offer a response. It can’t possibly cost that much to send such trivial amounts of data, even when in the thousands of messages.
Later that same year, in 2013, President Obama spoke publicly about the issue, and asked that the Federal Communications Commission change out the rules and give consumers back their right to unlock their phone. Only T-Mo really at the disadvantage, but they seem to be OK with that because they’ve already pushed ahead with the no-contract business model. Finally, it kinda appears to indicate that PrePay doesn’t HAVE to tell you at point of sale if the device is or will be locked, just that they MAY.

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