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You Can Now Legally SIM Unlock your Phone Again, Thanks to Obama

August 1, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Some of you may remember about a year ago, there was a big stink over the fact that we could no longer SIM unlock our smartphones legally. Even though many people were still doing it. Well there was a petition signed by a ton of people, so the House of Representatives and the Senate took a look and decided that it should be legal for us to unlock our phones. And today, President Barack Obama signed it into law. So rejoice, you can now unlock your phone legally, again. Now just to be clear we are talking about SIM unlocking, not unlocking the bootloader. By this we mean that you can buy an AT&T smartphone, get it unlocked and use it on T-Mobile or another carrier in another country. Which is a big deal when people are traveling.

Just last week, Obama made it clear that he would sign this into law. It was just a matter of when. And now it’s signed into law. The bill, known as the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act,” directs the Library of Congress to allow consumers and third-parties to legally unlock phones that were received through a carrier, typically through a subsidy. Carriers have always been able to lock down their phones, and the big thing with that, is that carriers were afraid that users may sign a two-year contract then skip out before paying off the device – because you are paying it off over the next two years. But carriers will usually unlock your device for you as long as your in good standing and don’t owe them money.

For the most part this only applies to those that are on AT&T or T-Mobile. Simply because Sprint and Verizon are still CDMA and they can’t be used on other carriers. Although most of their phones are now “world phones” meaning they do support GSM networks. But for the most part that part of the phone is unlocked out of the box. So there’s that. So now we can unlock our phones legally. Who’s going to unlock it now? Let us know in the comments below.