posted at 21:00
Author: Christina Warren
What the Cellphone Unlocking Law Means for You
The ability to "Unlock" your cellphone or tablet - that is, provision the phone to run on a different carrier network - gained visibility in early 2013, after a Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemption that made the practice legal in the U.S. expired. Alright, so you'll soon be able to unlock your phone again. With CDMA devices, even being unlocked doesn't guarantee a Sprint phone will work on Verizon's network. The networks still have to provision different phones and in most cases, a Sprint phone won't be provisioned to run on Verizon's voice network and vice versa. Let's assume you have a "World phone" - that is, a phone that has both CDMA and GSM support. If you have a Verizon iPhone 5 the unlocked phone will only get HSPA+ speeds on T-Mobile and AT&T. Unlike the United States, the rest of the world has almost entirely standardized on GSM. That means that as long as your Verizon or Sprint phone is designated a "World phone," it can be unlocked and used in Europe and many other countries. Early supporters of the cellphone unlock movement expressed their displeasure with an early version of the bill, which denied legal protections to "Bulk unlockers" - that is, companies and services designed for unlocking your phone.

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