NTC issues rules on phone unlocking | Inquirer Business

NTC issues rules on phone unlocking

Greater freedom and flexibility for subscribers
/ 05:12 AM June 06, 2019

Philippine telcos were ordered by the government to unlock mobile phones and other devices free of charge after the contract period ends.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on May 31 this year issued a set of rules requiring the telcos to unlock eligible devices within two business days after a subscriber “in good standing” had made the request.

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The rules will take effect 15 days after the rule was issued and cover postpaid and prepaid subscribers.

The NTC’s issuance was in line with a Dec. 14, 2018, directive from the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

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It is meant to allow mobile subscribers to easily switch between telco providers. The rules cover existing telcos PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom as well as the eventual third player, the Mislatel Consortium backed by businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecommunications.

The NTC said subscribers were the “owners of the mobile phones and devices” after complying with the terms and conditions of the subscription agreement.

It added that subscribers should thus “have the option of changing between compatible wireless service providers, giving the consumer greater freedom and flexibility while increasing incentives for service providers to improve and innovate.

PLDT and Globe said they would comply with the directive.

“We have no opposition to this rule,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for corporate communications, said on Tuesday.

Ramon Isberto, spokesperson for PLDT and Smart Communications, said the group had already started to implement unlocking options for customers.

“We have been assisting customers at the end of their subscription period who have been asking to unlock their phones,” Isberto said on Tuesday.

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Based on the NTC’s rules, the telcos will also be required to post on their website their “clear, concise and readily accessible policy on mobile phone or device unlocking.”

Subscribers under lockup should also be notified once their devices are eligible for unlocking, the NTC said. In cases where the telcos are unable to meet the subscriber’s request for unlocking within two days, an explanation should be provided to the customer.

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TAGS: Mobile phones, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), phone unlocking
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