New mobile phones in the UK must be unlocked from next December

  • New regulations come into effect in December 2021 that will prevent phones from being locked to specific networks.

    If you've ever had to switch mobile phone networks, you may have had to queue for hours on the phone to request your PAC code or even pay for an unlock code. UK regulator Ofcom has found that this effort and cost is enough to prevent them from switching networks and getting a better deal, and it's stepping in to change things.

    From December 2021, all UK mobile networks are forbidden from selling phones that are locked to their networks. Networks O2, Sky, Three, and Virgin already abandoned network locking, while other providers such as EE or Vodafone do require phones to be unlocked before moving networks.

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    The decision comes after an Ofcom study into the unlocking process, which found that around 50% of those who attempt to unlock their phones run into some kind of problem. Many are forced to wait in a queue on the phone to get their PAC code, while some are given incorrect codes that don't work, and others have run into problems buying codes from third parties.

    Source: BBC News


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