NTC releases guidelines on mandatory unlocking of mobile phones
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has released guidelines for the mandatory unlocking of mobile phones and devices after its lock-in period.
The Memorandum Circular 01-05-2019 dated May 31, 2019, details the rules and regulations on unlocking of mobile phones and devices.
Under the guidelines, a Public telecommunications entity (PTE) (Globe, Smart, etc) shall post on its website its clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on mobile phone or device unlocking.
The PTEs, upon request, shall unlock devices or provide the information to unlock the devices of customers and former customers who have already fulfilled their postpaid contract, financing plan, or payment of an applicable termination fee.
PTEs are also required to notify customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking. PTEs may also automatically unlock the devices remotely when eligible without an additional fee.
PTEs shall unlock or initiate a request to the OEM To unlock the eligible device within 2 business days after receiving a request. An explanation should also be provided if the device does not qualify for unlocking or why the PTE needs additional time to process the request.
According to the memorandum, “PTEs that fail to comply with any of the obligations shall be a cause for the imposition of applicable penalties provided in subsisting laws, rules and regulations.”
Globe and PLDT-Smart told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that they will comply with the policy.
The policy will take effect on June 18, 2019, 15 days after its publication on June 3, 2019.
In December 2018, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to promulgate rules and regulations for telco entities to mandatory unlock phones and devices after its lock-in period.