August 11, 2014 1:15pm
T-Mobile has spent the last year making a reputation for itself as the Uncarrier, and it continues that work this week by allowing some of its customers to unlock their phones with a mobile app.
The carrier on Friday released a new application that allows users to unlock their device for use on other networks. Users can choose to temporarily unlock their phone for one month (for travel purposes) or ask that it be permanently unlocked.
Right now, the app is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Avant and T-Mobile still has to approve the unlocking on the carrier side, which means this is more of a fancy request process than anything. However, it does show just how ready T-Mobile is comply with the new phone unlocking bill the US signed into law earlier this month. Though the bill only lasts until 2015, it’s a step in the right direction for the United States, where unlocking your phone hasn’t even been legal.
Things are a bit more straight forward here in Canada. Unlocking your phone is legal, but carriers don’t necessarily want you to do it and it’s definitely not as easy as downloading an app and hitting a button. Most will make you wait 90 days before unlocking your phone and will charge you fifty bucks for the service. It’s unlikely this move by T-Mobile will change that process anytime soon but it will make phone unlocking seem like no big deal and hopefully push us a bit closer to devices that are unlocked from the start.