Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Large wireless service providers in Canada should be forced to “unlock” subscribers’ cellphones if requested, says a bill being tabled by the NDP on Thursday, which could dent carriers’ profits and lead to subscribers moving more easily between cellphone companies.

If passed, the proposed “Cell Phone Freedom Act” would require wireless companies, such as Rogers Communications Inc. or Telus Corp. to tell customers that a phone is restricted to their own networks, and then remove the lock either when handsets are bought at full-cost without a contract or when a customers’ contract expires.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/wireless-carriers-could-be-forced-to-unlock-phones/article1607337/

Makes sense if new Copyright Act goes through in Canada making circumventing a digital lock supposedly "illegal".
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
Wow, and I was just saying on another thread that is should be illegal to sell locked phones because its a restraint of trade.

I hope this bill has legs!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,861 Posts
Makes sense if new Copyright Act goes through in Canada making circumventing a digital lock supposedly "illegal".
According to Michael Geist, the new copyright act contains an exception to allow you to unlock your cell phone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Wow, I was just talking to someone about this very subject today. I'd love to see this bill past but since it's coming from the NDP it will probably not stand a chance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Oh, please! This won't go thru at all. All the parties need the lobbying money from the telco carriers. That's why they all waste taxpayers money by making you think they are actually doing something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
If the current Parliament survives long enough, this bill will almost certainly pass, although it is baffling why it took so long for any MP to table it. The Liberals have already indicated support, the Bloc will be on-side and the Conservatives see themselves as champions of the little guy when it comes to wireless (see Tony Clement and how he treated the other carriers when WIND came knocking).

Is it just a coincidence that the NDP discovered the opportunity here just about 48 hours after Apple announced that it will sell its phones unlocked in Canada? Google started it a few months ago with the Nexus1, but that got scarce media attention compared to Apple's announcement. To remain competitive, the other manufacturers may have to respond in-kind; i.e. phones purchased without subsidy will be sold unlocked.

However, as I have noted elsewhere, expect the carriers to respond with disincentives for subscribers who don't want to sign a multi-year contract; e.g none of the included bonus features we have come to expect available for MTM customers. I hope I'm wrong; we'll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,292 Posts
^^^^
As mentioned in another thread, unlocked phones have been available for years. It's just those that the cell carriers have a hand in selling that are unlocked. In return, the initial purchace price is lower, but your contract price may be higher, depending on length. The main reason the phones are locked is so that someone won't get a subsidized phone and use it elsewhere. I have no problem with carriers selling a locked phone, provided they also sell an unsubsidized, unlocked phone and they remove the lock at the end of the contract for locked phones.
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
Technical hurdles dwindling

The idea of forcing the North American carriers to offer unlocking of phones had a technical complication in the past that tended to stop all discussion of it. Since CDMA phones did/do not use SIM cards the way that GSM phones do, unlocking a CDMA unit involved the prospect of reflashing the phone, which always entailed some risks of ruining the device. I know from personal R&D lab experience that the burn rate of CDMA phones lost due to reflashing was unsustainable for any carrier. Portability of personal data (contacts, calendars, etc.) for transfer from one CDMA carrier's phone to another CDMA or a GSM carrier's was not that great either, if at all possible if the carrier's own applications were not standard.

As the technical barriers fall between the different standards and vendors, hopefully this idea will be more attainable in the real world so that a consumer could take a mobile phone purchased from Telus, Rogers, Bell, etc. to a different carrier as desired.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,292 Posts
^^^^
My first cell phone wasn't locked. I bought it about 15.5 years ago. It was an analog Uniden model that could easily switch between "A" and "B" carriers. In general, the B carrier was the incumbent phone company, such as Bell and the A carrier was the newcomer (Rogers).
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top