Regional and rural carriers are allying to back legislative efforts that would legalize cell phone unlocking. The ban on unlocking cell phones came into effect earlier this year and prevents customers from unlocking their phones for use on another carrier. According to Bloomberg:
Regional and rural wireless providers are backing several bills in Congress that would let consumers unlock mobile phones and tablet computers without carriers’ permission. Big phone companies often land exclusive rights to offer the hottest devices, and U.S. rules currently prohibit altering software to let new phones from one carrier to work on other networks.
Apple has been working on making deals with an increasing number of these regional carriers, which often offer lower prices on plans than the larger national operators, but many still lack access to major devices. Unlocking is the only way these carriers get devices like the iPhone, and with customers now forced to pay a higher premium in order to get an unlocked phone, it’s more difficult than ever to attract new users. By backing these legislative efforts, these carriers hope to make it easier for customers to make the switch if they want to.
Have you unlocked your iPhone to move to a smaller carrier? We’re you thinking about it before the ban?