Gov't orders 'mandatory' unlocking of phones after telecom lock-in period


Posted at Dec 14 2018 03:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 14 2018 05:04 PM

People get their smart phones ready to catch the first bursts of light on their mobile phone videos as they attend the formal lighting of the Araneta Christmas Tree in Cubao Quezon City, November 16, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Communications and Information Technology (DICT) on Friday ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to promulgate rules for the mandatory unlocking of mobile devices after the provider's lock-in period expires.

This would ensure that subscribers have "greater freedom and flexibility" on using wireless devices, the DICT said in a statement.

Subscribers who have completed lock-in periods and with no outstanding obligations can demand telecommunication firms to "mandatorily unlock" their phones to allow use with other providers, the statement said. 

“While we empower the industry through the entry of the new major player, we are also pushing for pro-consumer measures, said DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio.
“This is also a step to encourage our service providers to innovate on their offers,” Rio added. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the entry of a third major telecommunications player to challenge the duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc.