Economy

Verizon Says It Will Fight Criminals By Locking Your Smartphone

Verizon Says It Will Fight Criminals By Locking Your Smartphone

"We're taking steps to combat this theft and reduce fraud", Tami Erwin, executive vice president of wireless operations for Verizon, said in a statement.

I'm not sure there is any other way to read this other than Verizon completely ignoring those FCC rules they agreed to.

For many Verizon customers the change won't matter because they don't use their iPhone with different carriers.

The carrier says that it is concerned about stemming thieves, be it person-to-person or through the supply chain, and their would-be revenue streams. Once the new policy is implemented, all iPhones and other smartphones offered by the carrier will no longer be compatible with other carriers until the time Verizon unlocks them, according to MacRumors.

This change does not impact the spirit of that agreement as it is created to deter theft by those who engage in identity theft or other fraud.

Verizon claims that its new locking policy is "not inconsistent" with its obligations under the license agreement.

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Now, it should be noted that other wireless carriers have a SIM unlock waiting period, as well. T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T either automatically unlock the phones or have you put in the request once phones are paid off in full and a certain amount of time has passed. Their customers would have unlocked handsets that they could bring to any carrier store and use it as their own.

Verizon has always been the best bet for those who want unlocked smartphones.

Verizon isn't allowed to lock phones to its network because of that are specific to the "C Block" 700MHz wireless spectrum that and uses for its 4G LTE network.

Verizon did provide us with more details on why it's making the changes. According to CNET, Verizon will make a step forward to combating phone theft problems. We need to protect our employees from criminals with guns and protect customers from criminals who try to use their identities to fraudulently purchase phones.

A spokeswoman for Verizon has been in touch to stress that the post-purchase lock-in period will be a matter of months, not years, and is in line with the lock-in periods rival operators enforce. Phones will remain locked for a period of time following purchase, but at the moment, Verizon hasn't revealed how long that locked period will last.

The days of buying unlocked phones are over. Most consumers, however, will likely not feel the pending change once it goes online. The change could make it more hard to switch carriers in the U.S. or use a local SIM card to stay connected while traveling overseas, our sister site ZDNet said.


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