By Binu Paul email: email@example.com | Mar 14, 2013 08:36 AM EDT
Regional and rural mobile carriers in the U.S. are apparently supporting the recent push to legalize phone locking as they see it an opportunity to get Apple's iPhone on to their networks.
The small players are reportedly throwing their support behind several bills in Congress that would enable customers unlock mobile phones and tablet computers without carriers' permission, Bloomberg reports.
"Smaller carriers have a very difficult time getting access to smartphones and handsets," Steven Berry, president of the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), was quoted as saying to Bloomberg. "The unlocking is one way the consumer can make the decision that I can try someone else who has better coverage in the area where I live or play."
CCA that represents carriers such as U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile, Cricket, Bluegrass Cellular and NTelos, wants the government to turn down a recent move by the Library of Congress which bans mobile owners from unlocking their devices without permission. The Congress decision is backed by major network carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T who advocates that customers should not be allowed to unlock their handsets without their carrier's approval.
As the report notes, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Charles Grassley of Iowa, the panel's top Republican presented a bill on March 11 demanding an overturn of the earlier rule and wants to add tablet computers to the list of unlockable devices.
Smaller carriers believe that legalization of unlocking phones would open up a way for costumers to shift from larger wireless services to regional ones for better coverage. Large phone companies often gain exclusive rights to offer the hottest devices, leaving the smaller players with lesser devices. In addition, the current laws in the country prohibit altering software to let new phones from one carrier to work on other networks.
Legalizing unlocking will enable users to make their own decision about which wireless provider to use when they complete the terms of their contract. "They should not be forced to stay with their original provider due to software that restricts a phone to only one network," Leahy said.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.