The US wireless carrier, Verizon, has been selling unlocked phones for a long time. In the limelight Monday, the carrier told a source that it will begin locking their devices. It has been said that this move will help safeguard their devices from theft.
Initially, Verizon used to follow a procedure wherein the phones are unlocked as soon as a customer signs up and activates cellular service. But starting this spring, the company will join other carriers in keeping phones locked for a period of time following the point of purchase.
Though this is a progressive move to prevent theft, it marks a broad reversal of Verizon’s policy to offer phones unlocked. It also violates a pact signed with the FCC for acquisition of “C block” 700 megahertz spectrum. Verizon argues it’s still following the intent of the rule, and we’re now waiting on further comment from the FCC.
Putting the dilemma that hangs over Verizon and the FCC aside, it’s still unclear the tenure of the locked period for devices shall the policy change go official. The carrier did, however ensure that it will continue to unlock the phones regardless of whether it’s paid off and will accept unlocked phones from other carriers. This will be an interesting topic to watch as we approach the start of the spring season and roll out of 5G connectivity.