Verizon has been granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission to lock newly purchased phones to its network for 60 days. Verizon has said in a statement that it’s going to do just that. Customers who purchase new phones from the country’s largest mobile carrier will not be able to get them unlocked for 60 days.
Ronan Dunne, executive vice president at Verizon, has said that once the 60 day period is up, the phones will be unlocked automatically. “That means, fraudsters who order and steal phones — clearly with no intention of ever paying for them will have a much harder time,” he said. Verizon is going to implement this 60 day lock on newly purchased phones “very soon.”
Verizon needed permission for this from the FCC due to a condition of the 2008 auction of the 700MHz spectrum. Verizon on the “C block” spectrum but it was required to unlock the phones that it sold so that they could be used on any carrier the devices could support. Verizon has adhered to the policy ever since. It’s less restrictive than the other carriers’ policy which either keeps devices locked for a set period of time, until the customer has paid them off fully or both.
“This limited waiver will not undermine the underlying policy objectives of the handset unlocking rule and will, in fact, better serve the public interest,” says the FCC.