Is It Legal to Unlock Your Cellphone in the United States?


Quick Answer

Unlocking cellphones is legal in the United States as of February 2015. Unlocked cellphones allow consumers to change their wireless providers, claims the Federal Communications Commission.

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Full Answer

The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act is a law signed by President Obama allowing the unlocking of cellphones, states the Los Angeles Times. The method of enabling a phone's settings to work with various cellular networks is defined as cellphone unlocking.

Unlocking a phone is commonly done either in stores or remotely by using unlock codes or software updates from the service provider, claims the Federal Communications Commission. Service providers that signed the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service are legally required to unlock certain cellphones upon request.

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