All US Carriers Now Required to Unlock Off-Contract Phones
As of today, all of the major wireless companies in the US have promised to abide by policy agreements laid down by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) regarding device unlocking. These guidelines, first proposed in 2013, require carriers to disclose their policies on prepaid and postpaid device unlocking, offer unlocks to all owners of postpaid devices and prepaid devices after one year, to notify customers when their hardware qualifies for unlocking, to respond within two business days to requests for an unlock, and to unlock devices for deployed military personnel.
February 11 was the deadline for implementation of the CTIA’s policies, which means that starting today, all major US carriers should be on the same page. Note, however, that this doesn’t necessarily mean all carriers will adopt the same policies regarding when they unlock products or which devices they’ll unlock while still on-contract. Customers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon can view each company’s respective policies at the links provided.