The topic of mobile phone unlocking has been rather hot since it became illegal back on January 26. Regardless of how many people actually plan to unlock a phone, it seems that this is a topic that is not ready to go away. We have seen everything from a petition to the White House to talk from the FCC chairman and even the Wireless Consumer Choice Act. Basically, it seems that everyone wants this decision to be reversed. In fact, we are now hearing from AT&T on this very subject.
It seems they are very friendly towards the practice of unlocking. Well, friendly towards the practice provided a few points have been taken care of. The carrier has recently issued a statement on the Public Policy Blog and have said that their "policy is to unlock our customers’ devices if they’ve met the terms of their service agreements and we have the unlock code." They go on to say that this is a straightforward policy and that they want to make it as easy as possible.
To that point, AT&T has recently begun accepting iPhone unlock requests online. Of course, the previous methods of calling customer support or visiting a store are still available. Back to the topic at hand though. AT&T believes that this whole unlocking bit will have "very little impact" on their customers. Basically, they are simply restating the existing policy here in that they will unlock "a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance." In addition, AT&T will unlock devices for customers that have already fulfilled the service agreement.
On the flip side of unlocking so customers can go elsewhere, they also took this as an opportunity to remind potential customers that they will "be happy to offer you a SIM card that enables you to obtain service from AT&T." All said and done, we are fairly sure that there will still be some horror stories about customers not being able to get their device unlocked, but this policy does seem pretty fair.