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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:34 PM

US phone unlocking deadline set to expire

Source: BBC

From Saturday, Americans will have to get permission to "unlock" their smartphone so it runs on more than one mobile network.

On that date a 90-day time limit that made it legal to unlock phones without permission is due to expire.

Many Americans unlocked their phones to avoid running up big bills when travelling outside the US.

An online petition has been started asking for unlocking without permission to be made permanently legal.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21200566

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply US phone unlocking deadline set to expire (Original post)
Bosonic Jan 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #1
enlightenment Jan 2013 #2
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #3
enlightenment Jan 2013 #5
Mutatis Mutandis Jan 2013 #4
mwooldri Jan 2013 #7
47of74 Jan 2013 #9
davidpdx Jan 2013 #10
L0oniX Jan 2013 #6
Xithras Jan 2013 #8

Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:44 PM

1. In my case, with AT&T, I believe only they can unlock it anyway...

Unlocking is different from jailbreaking.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:48 PM

2. Doesn't seem to matter -

most of the newer technology seems to be moving away from simcards (CDMA), so you can't "unlock" the damn thing.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:38 PM

3. I don't think CDMA 'phones work in Europe at all.

Europe is GSM only.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:54 PM

5. Yep - found that out the hard way.

I use Virgin Mobile US - all their accounts are no contract, which I like. I bought (ouch) a Motorola Triumph, mostly because the screen is large enough for me to see without stopping to put on my readers. I thought - because I'm obviously an idiot - that I'd be able to take the damn thing to the UK and use Virgin there. I travel there often and was thinking it would be nice to have something I could text with, since my kid and friends are all text happy fiends - and in the time I could type a short text message with a non-QWERTY keyboard I could hop on the tube and be across town. *sigh*

Yes, I am still kicking myself. Nobody's fault but my own (though I will point a bit of a finger at the salesperson who said "yes" when I asked if I could use the phone in the UK . . . only a bit, since I didn't ask "Can I use it as a phone?" )

Oh, well.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:00 PM

4. SIM cards are GSM, not CDMA, and CDMA outside of USA and China (their own form) is very very rare

 

If you have a CDMA phone here in the EU, you basically have a paperweight.

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Response to Mutatis Mutandis (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:40 PM

7. I have an el-cheapo "clamshell" phone for outside USA.

T-Mobile said it was locked, but I pulled out T-Mobile USA SIM and popped in T-Mobile UK SIM and worked just fine. No roaming charges.

That said, if you have a Verizon or Sprint iPhone then those phones do have a GSM radio in them (as well as the CDMA) and the SIM is removable, so a local SIM can be put in (but might need a SIM cutter since iPhones use micro-SIMS). Just need to be calm and persistent with Verizon/Sprint and eventually you can get the phones unlocked.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:13 PM

9. That was one nice thing about my Blackberry

It had both the CDMA and GSM radios. I got a hold of the right people at Verizon and since I had been a subscriber for some time I got Verizon to unlock my phone. I was then able to pop a Telecom Italia Mobile SIM card in my phone and use that during my last trip to Italy. Worked out real nice because I was able to call home several times when my granddad got sick while I was over there. (And use the phone to call the tour director from the back of the bus instead of yelling questions up towards the front). I think the cost per minute was maybe about 1/3 of what Verizon wanted to use their service in Italy.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:11 AM

10. Funny you mention this

I'm in South Korea and people here are obsessed with cell phones and always getting the newest one. So someone brilliantly came up with the idea of selling the used ones at convenience stores for $35 a piece. I've never had one and may go that route since I won't be tied into a contract.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:16 PM

6. Android: to who the fuck ever ...fuck you ...idiots!

I got root on my Android ...I paid for it ...I control it!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:49 PM

8. Rooting and unlocking a phone aren't the same thing

Rooting means that you've unlocked the bootloader and can change your ROM or otherwise modify the software on your phone. This is still perfectly legal.

Unlocking means that you have removed the FIRMWARE limitations that prevent your phone from reading SIM cards from other carriers. Unlocking, and more importantly the software that makes self-unlocking possible, is now illegal.

If you buy a subsidized Android phone from AT&T, you can't just swap in a T-Mobile SIM card to change carriers, even if you have already rooted it. Rooting has no impact on the phones SIM lock. Likewise, if you get the unlock code from AT&T, you can unlock your phone and swap it to another carrier without having to root it or touch the ROMS.

This confuses a lot of people, and there are many phones sold today that are both rooted AND unlocked, but the two are unrelated.

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