House Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

A legislative effort to once again make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without seeking their carriers’ permission is a step closer to reality after being passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. [More]


Wireless Companies Adopt Voluntary Unlocking Standards. Are They The Right Ones?

A month after new FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler asked the wireless industry to stop futzing around and agree to some consumer-friendly standards for unlocking wireless devices, the wireless biggies get around to revealing what they believe are guidelines that are the best for everyone. [More]


Commerce Dept. Asks FCC To Require Wireless Companies To Unlock Cellphones

A year ago, the Librarian of Congress decided that consumers no longer own their cellphones, and that they can not legally unlock that phone to take to another, compatible wireless carrier, without the permission of their current service provider. Because this is idiotic, everyone from consumer advocates to the FCC to members of Congress to the White House has called for this rule change to be reversed. Now another important governmental group has piped in, calling for a rule change that could undo some of the damage done. [More]


There’s Hope For Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Back in January, unlocking your new cellphone or other wireless device without your current wireless provider’s permission became illegal, even if you own the device outright, thanks to a wildly off-the-mark interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the Librarian of Congress. Since then, the FCC, White House and consumer groups have stated that the LOC overstepped his authority and made a decision balanced far in favor of wireless providers. But the only way this rule will change is if Congress acts. [More]


Incoming FCC Chair Calls For End To Ban On Unlocking Cell Phones

Earlier this year, an ill-advised ruling by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock their new wireless devices — thus allowing the phones to be used on compatible networks — without permission from their current carriers. Recently exited FCC Chair Julius Genachowski had expressed concerns over this new rule, but he’s gone back to the private sector. Luckily, his apparent successor also wants consumers to be able to do what they want with the devices they buy. [More]


Consumers Union Calls On FCC, Lawmakers To Relax Rules On Cellphone Unlocking

As many of you know, the Librarian of Congress, who has the authority to interpret (and reinterpret) the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, recently heeded the siren song of the wireless industry and decided that after the DMCA no longer allowed consumers to unlock their cellphones — i.e., unleash them from their current provider to be used on a competing but compatible network — without getting permission from that current provider. It’s move the public doesn’t like. Neither does the White House, the FCC, or members of Congress, but what’s being done to remedy the issue? [More]


Congresswoman To Introduce Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Just days after both the White House and the Federal Communications Commission expressed concerns about the Librarian of Congress’ decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock their own cellphones, a U.S. Representative from California says she intends to introduce legislate to right this wrong. [More]


White House Agrees That Cellphone Unlocking Should Be Legal Again

In January, a decision by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock new devices without the permission of their current wireless carrier. This decision sparked public outrage, including a petition on the White House website calling for the administration to give this right back to consumers. The White House has since responded to say it concurs that this decision is a little messed up. [More]

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

Back in January, a new rule changed kicked in that makes it illegal for a consumer to unlock a cellphone purchased after Jan. 25, 2013, without getting the permission of their wireless carrier. Now the Federal Communications Commission is going to look into the matter, but isn’t sure if it can actually do anything. [More]


Will Eliminating Phone Subsidies Save T-Mobile?

Remember the heady days before Google’s Nexus One launched, when we wondered whether a search engine company might be the one to save us from handset subsidies tied to onerous contracts. Two years later, we haven’t quite been saved yet, but one mobile carrier announced bold plans to get rid of handset subsidies. Simply put, the idea of a T-Mobile iPhone is tempting for many, but would you pay as much as $800 up front for one? [More]

Google Not Done Yet With Direct-To-Consumer Phones, According To Motorola

Google Not Done Yet With Direct-To-Consumer Phones, According To Motorola

Motorola told its investors today that it’s working on building an Android phone for Google to sell directly to consumers alongside the HTC-built Nexus One. There are no other details yet, other than that it should be released in 2010, according to Motorola’s co-CEO Sanjay Jha. [More]

Best Unlocked Phones

The recent Copyright Office ruling on unlocking GSM phones puts some much-needed power back in the hands of you, the wireless consumer. This means you can now bring your Cingular phone over to T-Mobile, or vice-versa. You also have the right to switch between prepaid and postpaid service on the same phone. And when you travel abroad, you can pop an international SIM card into your phone for much lower rates.