Step in the right direction

Story: White House calls for cell phone unlocking ban to be overturnedTotal Replies: 7
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Mar 05, 2013
5:01 PM EDT
This is a step in the right direction but it's only a step. The battle is far from over and the mobile providers will continue to fight. It is good to see this administration siding with consumers, though.

Mar 05, 2013
5:25 PM EDT
You won't get me to say much good about this administration, and yet I agree completely.

Mar 05, 2013
6:00 PM EDT
I thought you might. :)

Mar 05, 2013
6:03 PM EDT
Quoting:This is a step in the right direction but it's only a step.

Don't get your hopes so high as things could change pretty quickly.


Mar 05, 2013
6:34 PM EDT
For TA because this is an area I simply don't know much about. As far as I am aware, the only "locking" of a mobile phone to one particular provider in Australia is during the initial phone purchase contract where although the phone is supposed to be used on that one provider's network, there is nothing to prevent you from purchasing a SIM card from a local newsagent and bunging it in for use on another network. But why would you ? I don't think that is "locking in the sense of the USA system".

As far as I am aware, Australians who purchase their phone outright, pay out a contract or come to its end are free to select whichever carrier they wish - just put in the new SIM card and away it goes on that network. Obviously, if you bought a phone outright from a Telstra shop, then they would be all fired up to try to get you to sign up a contract with them - but you wouldn't have to do so. As far as I know there has never been a "locked mobile" in Australia other than possibly Apple and even then I am uncertain. The concept of a mobile device permanently locked onto one network supplier by the seller is foreign to me and rather repulsive, so if the USofA is moving in the same direction that I think exists here already, great news and I hope it all comes about. Comments please TA.

Mar 05, 2013
7:01 PM EDT
To the best of my knowledge, in Australia carriers my not lock you in to their network, you must be explicitly allowed to change easily, which effectively means unlocked phones. This belief mirrors my experience of changing carriers. BTW, my phone has, in the settings area, a option to select one of each of the three major carriers Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, so I'm guessing that should I so choose I could easily move to a different carrier, by either inserting a new SIM card, or by having it transferred to the other carrier (I like to keep my number).

To be able to state definitively what the case is I would need to check what the actual law states.

Mar 05, 2013
8:40 PM EDT
This is only half a solution, as in North America, the cellphone providers *somehow* managed to get the available spectrum so divided by various frequencies and communications standards that even "unlocked" phones from ones provider may not be compatible with a suitable competitor's network.

To be truely "transferable" you may need to buy your phone independently of your service provider (to get a fully functional quad-band or penta-band phone) but you probably will still be stuck with the same rate structure as if you were getting a "subsidized" phone from your service provider.

Mar 05, 2013
9:41 PM EDT
Thanks Tracyanne. What you wrote was pretty much my understanding as well. What really amazes me is that the US carriers have been allowed to set up a system that first, was not universal for all mobile phones, and second, could be locked. So often Australian freedoms that you and I take for granted are very often lacking in the places where you would most expect them.

@BernardSwiss.....thankyou as well.......your post explains even more about the USA system and confirms my thoughts on the lack of a "universal system"......As far as I know, all Australian mobile phones use the exact same radio spectrum.

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