1. dpham00's Avatar
    For USA residents, as of August 1, 2014, it is legal for you to unlock your phone. However, I wanted to clarify what exactly the recently passed bill entails:
    -The owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner may unlock the phone either by himself (through methods usually requiring root or whatever, if available) or through the use of a third party unlocking service.
    -This bill explicitly states that this unlocking is to be used “solely in order to enable such owner or a family member of such owner to connect to a wireless telecommunications network”.
    -This bill is referring to sim unlocking, not unlocking of the bootloader.
    -Under this bill, the carriers are under no obligation to unlock the phones for you. All carriers have unlock policies in place, but they all require that the phone to be fully paid for (fulfillment of contract or device payment plan). This policy is still in effect and is discussed in the “Voluntary Unlocking Agreement” and "Current Carrier Unlock Policies" sections below.

    The summary of the bill can be found here:
    Ry, Enrique2SIM and jmagid51 like this.
    08-20-2014 12:53 PM
  2. dpham00's Avatar
    Voluntary Unlocking Agreement
    There was an agreement between the FCC and CITA (representative for the 5 major carriers) regarding unlocking. This would be fully in effect in December 2014, but it still contains the requirement to fully pay off the phone before the carrier would unlock the phone. The PDF can be downloaded here:
    CTIA Letter on Carrier Unlocking Voluntary Agreement, FCC Statements | FCC.gov
    Ry likes this.
    08-20-2014 12:53 PM
  3. dpham00's Avatar
    Current Carrier Unlock Policies (as of 08/2014)

    Verizon: Most of its current 4GLTE smartphones are factory sim unlocked.
    -Some older devices may require an OTA update.
    -Some Verizon devices do not contain GSM radios, and as such cannot be unlocked.
    -Some non-4GLTE smartphones may contain GSM radios, these can be unlocked by contacting Verizon or using an unlock service.
    -Please note that some older devices, when sim unlocked, might block USA carriers, but should work internationally.

    AT&T Unlock Requirements:
    - a current or former customer
    - the device has been paid in full and the phone was not reported lost or stolen.
    -Account has been active for 60 days and in good standing
    -Must be an AT&T device
    -Maximum of 5 unlocks per account per year
    You can request an AT&T unlock here:

    T-Mobile Unlock Requirements:
    -Must be a T-Mobile device.
    -The account must be in good standing and must be active on T-Mobile for 40 days (1 year for prepaid phones, or $100 in refills for smartphones and tablets)
    -The device has not been reported lost or stolen
    -If under contract, you must have fulfilled at least 18 months, or if on device payment plan, the device must be paid in full.
    -Maximum of 2 Unlocks per line of service per year
    -Full terms and link to contacting customer service for unlock:
    Unlock your mobile wireless device | T-Mobile Support

    Sprint Unlocking Requirements:
    -Device is paid in full (either service contract or device payment plan).
    -Account is in good standing
    -The device is not reported lost or stolen
    -More info and phone number to call for unlock:
    Legal / Regulatory & Consumer Resources
    Ry likes this.
    08-20-2014 12:54 PM
  4. Enrique2SIM's Avatar
    Very useful information. This topic has to be known by more people...!
    08-23-2014 09:54 AM

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