Newly appointed FCC chairman calls for wireless carriers to unlock cell phones

By Justin Kahn
Nov 15, 2013
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  1. Newly appointment chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, is already kickstarting some changes by issuing a letter surrounding regulations on carrier locked cell phones.

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  2. You go dude. You bought the phone, so you should own it. This ain't software.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    No it is hardware turned off by software to bring cheaper devices, because the features that are locked were not paid for. If you want all the features unlocked on all the phones, they will all come with a higher price tag.
  4. Nonsense.
  5. Why should we have to pay for features already in place but just locked. locking phones is just a cheep way to make more money that no one really needs
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    Locking features on a phone is a way for them to mass produce the same phone while selling different configurations of that phones. The same concept is used on many different things. CPU's and GPU's are sold the same way. While there are people who don't mind spending $500 to a $1000 on CPU or GPU, there are many times more people who don't and choose to purchase CPU's and GPU's with features locked or throttled. Your question should be why the carrier locks features without a price tag option to unlock, not why you should have to pay extra for features already contained within the phone.
  7. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 963   +147

    cliffordcooley, I don't understand your point. I think that the topic is on network unlock so that a phone can be used on other networks and not unlocking of (additional) features. or did I miss something?
    Phillip Seni and howzz1854 like this.
  8. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 585   +79

    this isn't even about features. it's about using the phone to talk and text on a different network. just because you bought a phone to use on one network, why the hell does the same person have to buy another exact phone just to use on another network. what's the logic of that? its' the same exact phone you use to talk and text.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    Any aspect of the phone and service whether locked or unlocked is a feature. Just because it is not advertised as a feature you don't see it as one. If they ever start advertising unlocked phones, would you then see it as a feature?
  10. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 585   +79



    if you honestly think it's about some kind of feature, you've been drinking their cool aid for way too long. it's about locking you into their network making it harder for customers to switch, therefore maximizing their profit.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    Of course, and if you want to buy an unlocked phone and then pay for their service you are free to do that as well. However I highly doubt you will be able to get the same low prices, which are the same low prices you will loose if carriers are forced to unlock.

    People are always free to switch carriers at the end of a contract. It is not the locked phones keeping people with specific carriers, it is the contract that was signed. It is simple, if people don't want to stay with a specific carrier they don't have to continue signing contracts. There are always options to get out of signing new contracts, and locked phones is a pathetic excuse to continue serving a specific carrier.
     
  12. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 585   +79

    then let me ask you. once the subsidized phone is paid off through two year contract, why is it that your phone is still locked. why is it that you're still paying the high monthly price. if by your logic, that one could purchase the unlocked phone at full price, as oppose to paying for a subsidized phone, then by the end of your two year contract, you should have a fully unlocked phone with low monthly price. the fact that many carriers still charge you the same high monthly rate even after your contract ends makes no sense.

    when I switched from ATT to Tmobile, I called them about unlocking my phone to use on Tmobile, they confirmed with me on the phone that unlocking the phone would only "unlock" the phone to be able to use on another carrier on the same spectrum. it says nothing about "feature". you gain nothing more, nothing less as far as feature. it's the exact same phone. except the carrier only sell you a phone that they want you to use that phone on their system, not others. having the phone locked is not an excuse, it's to make your life more difficult to switch. this is why now Tmobile is doing awway with it. they understand that consumers are tired of having their phones locked in, even after their contract ends. more carriers are starting to follow.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    You are paying for a service. The phone is to be used with their service and the cost is covered under the service. But to make sure the phone is fully paid, the service must be maintained for a specific amount of time. The phone is not a gift for you to use with another carrier. It is a tool to be used with the contract. If the phone outlast the contract, consider yourself lucky because it was only meant to be used during the cycle of the contract. Trust me when I say they don't care about the phone, they want you to stay under contract. A phone with a lifespan shorter than the contract would likely have better chances of getting you to extend your current contract.
    The term feature can be a specific or generic term and is off topic, regardless of what you or I think the definition is.
    Phillip Seni likes this.
  14. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 585   +79

    your logic fails me. how is "if the phone outlast the contract, consider yourself lucky..." logical? do you work for ATT, or Verizon? do you lobby for them? because that's the most illogical argument one could make in their case. you're basically saying if your two year contract is up, consider yourself lucky. paying more than you should is lucky? I guess that's why more and more people are switching to Tmobile every quarter. because they love paying more than they should, and they love the two year contract.and I guess that's why ATT and Verizon are doing such a great job winner over their customer, because people just LOVE to be tied into two year contracts.

    and if the two year contract is there to cover the cost under the service, you don't see them rushing to your mailbox to lower your bill once that two year is up. "hey customers, great news.. the cost is now fully covered, we're lowering your bill!!!".

    you must love paying your cable bill too.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,421

    You are looking at this from the consumer point of view, not the carriers. No I don't lobby for them. And no I'm not naive and actually think they want to drop charges from consumers bill either. And if my carrier found out I had a phone that by their definition would require a Data Plan, my bill would be $25 higher each month regardless of whether I use it. By the way, if I actually did use it my bill would automatically increase the $25. And it would only take a one time use, which means they would be making more money on a service that is hardly ever used. But yet here you are complaining about charges after a contract. I would rather ***** about the BS charges contained within the service period. And it doesn't matter where you go, it is the same BS throughout all carriers.
    Phillip Seni likes this.
  16. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 585   +79



    sounds like you need to look into Tmobile. you're paying more than you should.

    if you happen to use the data, even if you don't really need it. it's part of the line with Tmobile, there's no additional cost. and if you go over, there's no additional cost either, it's unlimited, they'll just throttle you.

    I personally don't complain about charges, I just pay the early termination fee and went to another carrier and be done with it. I don't even bother. this is why I switched and this is why consumers are fed up with the big three. to get two smart phones I would be paying $160 a month at a minimum, with less data allocation, and overage fee if additional were to incur. the same two smart phone with current Tmobile plan I pay $105 out the door, unlimited data, and no overage if you go over. best of all, if you get a new phone with Tmobile, once the phone is paid off, your bill is lowered. that time frame is typically two years. (sound familiar?)

    and no I don't work for Tmobile. I just thought more people should know that they can get better deals with them than Verizon and ATT, or Sprint. and if that means letting more people know online, or offline, it'll only help the competition.
  17. dennis777

    dennis777 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 274   +29

    Has somebody been jailed because they unlock their phone? can they trace it?


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