CTIA Announces Voluntary Principles on Unlocking Wireless Devices

Dec 12, 2013

WASHINGTON Please attribute the following to CTIA-The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent:

“We are pleased to announce AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless agreed to adopt a voluntary set of six principles for unlocking of consumers’ mobile phones and tablets. We will recommend that this set of principles be included in the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service, in accordance with CTIA’s bylaws. Once they have been adopted, the companies will move quickly to implement these principles.

“We believe this agreement will continue to foster the world-leading range of devices and offerings that Americans enjoy today. The robust and differentiated technological ecosystem has brought unparalleled and world-leading benefits to American wireless users, in the form of high-end and affordable devices, post- and pre-paid options, and with the world’s most advanced devices being launched first in the United States.

“It is important that consumers know that unlocking devices may not necessarily mean full interoperability since devices that work on one provider’s network may not be technologically compatible with another wireless provider’s network. Additionally, unlocking a device may enable some functionality of the device but not all (e.g., an unlocked device may support voice services but not data services when activated on a different network).           

“We look forward to working with the FCC and the participating wireless providers to educate consumers on the technical aspects of unlocking.”

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CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry’s leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

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