Telcos Now Required to Offer to Unlock Your Phone After Lock-in Period

As mandated by a new memo from the National Telecommunications Commission.

( Cell phones may be a pretty recent development in human history, but most of us today can't imagine living in a world without them. What we can do with these devices—beyond the cool specs your unit might have—depends greatly on your network provider, and being stuck to just one definitely puts a limit on the possibilities. Which is why the National Telecommunications Commission recently pushed out Memorandum Circular No. 01-05-2019 on May 31, mandating that network providers offer the option to unlock their subcribers' phones once their lock-in period ends.


While unlocking of phones by providers is not new, this memo by the National Telecommunications Commision (NTC) will act as the legal guideline to the process. According to the memo, subscribers should be able to choose their own network provider once their original contract has lapsed and all terms have been fulfilled—making them absolute owners of their mobile device. This is meant to give "the consumer greater freedom and flexibility while increasing incentives for service providers to improve and innovate," said the memo. 

Public telecommunications entities, as NTC mentioned, are mandated to make the unlocking policy absolutely clear to the subscriber at any point during the sale process. They are also required to post their unlocking policy on their website. 

The memo also gives network providers a total of two days to act on any request by a subscriber to unlock their device, whether it's initiating the open line or an explanation as to why their request has been denied. 


Main image by War Espejo.

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