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.

[via AT&T]

  • Andy_in_Indy

    Unlocking for their customers is one thing. What we want is the ability to unlock to phone and go elsewhere. AT&T will only unlock the phone for an existing contracted customer who has met the criteria. If you try to get a phone unlocked for pay as you go, no dice. And if bring them an old iPhone 3GS, they will not let you go month to month. Their statement underscores their ignorance of the issue.
    Personally, I don’t think AT&T should be required to unlock the old phone I just bought on eBay – I am not trying to be their customer. I just don’t think the Library of Congress should tell me that no one else should be able to do that, either.

  • I’m with big red, I wish I could have a rooted sg3 from them or an option anyway,unlocking is a no big deal but some folks will jump ship 4 less monies and no nasty word (contract)att and Verizon are the best reception carriers as I’ve had both with little or no droped calls and super fast data,so that’s my take on unlocking a device!

    Stay thirsty my friends!

  • brando_slc

    “It seems they are very friendly towards the practice of unlocking.” – I almost fell off my chair. THEY lobbied for the unlock ban. Try asking them to unlock a phone you bought off of eBay.

    And you’re wrong, it’s not fair. If you legally obtain a phone that is not under contract, it is your property, you shouldn’t need to meet X number of further requirements. The device belongs to you.