Network Freedom Act will let you unlock mobile devices upon end of contract
The Senate Subcommittee on the Network Freedom Act chaired by Senator Win Gatchalian has begun the process of ironing out the details of Senate Bill 1643 which lets subscribers unlock their mobile devices upon the end of their contract.
The S.B. 1643, also known as the Network Freedom Act, was filed in January 2018. It aims to promote consumer protection and foster competition in the telecommunications industry by prohibiting the locking of mobile wireless devices to a public telecommunications entity.
Under section 4 of the bill, a public telecommunications entity shall be prohibited from locking a mobile wireless device to its network, whether such devices are sold as a unit or issued under a mobile communications service contract. The new version of the bill also provides that subscribers be fully informed of the unlocking process, with the terms stipulated in writing under the mobile communications service contract.
Representatives from Globe and Smart who participated in the committee’s Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting said the time period varies per device manufacturer, but agreed that telcos must automatically unlock devices within 24 hours upon completion of the service contract or upon full payment of the device should a subscriber wish to pre-terminate his contract.
The group also clarified that unlocking will be done by the telcos free of charge and will not void the warranties provided by the manufacturers.