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Phone unlocking now mandatory â NTC
Memorandum Circular 01-05-2019, which was signed by the NTC on May 31, provides the rules and regulations for public telecommunications entities (PTEs) when it comes to unlocking mobile phones and devices after the lock-in period and compliance with the conditions of subscription agreements.
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Phone unlocking now mandatory — NTC

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued the guidelines on the mandatory unlocking of mobile phones and devices after their “lock-in” period, enabling subscribers to have greater freedom and flexibility to switch providers on their wireless devices.

Memorandum Circular 01-05-2019, which was signed by the NTC on May 31, provides the rules and regulations for public telecommunications entities (PTEs) when it comes to unlocking mobile phones and devices after the lock-in period and compliance with the conditions of subscription agreements.

The circular mandates PTE’s to post on its website its “clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on mobile phone or device unlocking.”

Upon request, PTEs are required to unlock mobile phones or provide the necessary information to unlock the devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan, or payment of an applicable early termination fee.

“PTEs that lock devices shall clearly notify customers that their devices are eligible for unlocking at the time when their devices are eligible for unlocking or automatically unlock devices remotely when devices are eligible for unlocking, without additional fee,” the circular stated.

“Notice to prepaid customers may ocur at point of sale, at the time of eligibility, or through a clear and concise statement of the policy on the PTE’s website,” it said.

Further, the circular mandates PTEs to unlock eligible devices or initiate a request to the equipment manufacturer within two business days after receiving a request.

PTEs should provide an explanation of why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why it needs additional time to process the request.

The circular said PTEs which fail to comply with their obligations “shall be a cause for the imposition of the applicable penalties in subsisting laws, rules, and regulations.”

PTEs such as Globe and Smart offer their subscribers mobile phones and devices free of charge or at subsidized cost in exchange for a fixed lock-in period.

In December last year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) issued a memorandum order which gives postpaid subscribers the option of changing between compatible wireless service providers.

According to the memorandum order, subscribers who have completed such lock-in periods and have no outstanding obligations on their subscription contracts can demand to mandatorily unlock their phones and devices on convenient sites, facilities and processes that will be provided by their respective wireless service providers.

The agency has mandated the NTC to promulgate rules and regulations for telco entities to mandatory unlock phones and devices after its lock-in period.

NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION PHONE UNLOCKING
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