Ofcom look to ban locked handsets

Ofcom the UK telecoms watchdog has proposed a ban on the sale of any locked handsets, in order to add ease for consumers looking to swap networks.

Many networks offer this as a service since Apple first offered the original iPhone as a locked handset to O2.

However, the practice still continues to this day and many handsets once purchased from the leading networks, will then need to be unlocked when the contract ends and an alternative network offer a better sim only deal.

In order to unlock the handset a code is often required by the network who originally sold the handset.

Ofcom has said that “nearly half” of customers find this part of the process to be difficult.

Some networks will still charge for this as an added service, so once your contract has completed you will have to pay the network to be able to use your phone.

This isn’t true to all networks and some have dropped the locked handsets in favour of offering people the choice something which Ofcom feel is important.

Lindsey Fussell, the Ofcom Consumer Group Director said,“By freeing mobile users from locked handsets, our plans would save people time, effort and money – and help them unlock a better deal,”

We will keep you updated as the story unfolds.

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