12/13/13 Huffington Post
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. wireless carriers on Thursday pledged to make it easier for consumers to "unlock" their mobile phones for use on competitors' networks, responding to pressure from consumer groups and the top U.S. communications regulator.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp, T-Mobile US and U.S. Cellular agreed to "clearly notify" customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and to process unlocking requests within two business days, said wireless industry group CTIA.
U.S. wireless carriers often "lock" smartphones to their networks as a way to encourage consumers to renew their mobile contracts. Consumers often get new devices at a heavily subsidized price in return for committing to longer contracts.
The top carriers have long allowed consumers to unlock devices and take them to another network at the end of a contract term - commonly, two years - though the process varies by company and can be quite painstaking.
Then in late 2012, the Library of Congress, the minder of U.S. copyright law, completed a new triannual review of exemptions to the law that effectively made phone unlocking illegal, even after the consumer completed the contract.
The ruling surprised many telecom observers, outraged phone users, and finally landed on the White House's agenda thanks to an online citizen petition that gathered 114,322 signatures, more than the 100,000 needed to spur a response. The White House sided with the petitioners.
I have been a Verizon customer for a decade (10 years). Verizon is now misleading me about having my iPhone 4s unlocked. After a long discussion they finally unlocked my families phones leading me to believe it was nationally. I just found out that they are REFUSING to unlock my phones in an effort to keep me with Verizon and very large monthly payment plan. If my phones were unlocked, I might stay with Verizon, however, in light of their deliberate attempt to lie to me and keep me hostage, I will most like buy new phones and move away from Verizon within the week.
Can anyone tell me if they have had success in having Verizon unlock their iPhone 4s?
I believe that the carriers have 3 months to partially implement this "pledge" and 12 months for it to be fully implemented.
I have not heard of anyone getting a Verizon iPhone 4s unlocked yet for use in the US.
Thanks for this.
It would be helpful if someone from Verizon could reply to this thread with an estimate of when this service will be available.