For free: NTC orders telcos to unlock postpaid phones after contract period ends

  • The National Telecommunications Commission issued a memorandum mandating telecoms to unlock mobile devices after lock-in-period
  • The NTC said the device shall be unlocked two days within the request of a customer
  • Globe and Smart have no qualms on the issuance
Photo from Pixabay

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a memorandum mandating telecommunication companies to unlock mobile phones and devices, either postpaid or prepaid, upon the request of a customer whose lock-in period has lapsed.

Local telecom companies in the Philippines like Globe and Smart offer cheaper deals for devices in a lock-in-period. A device in a lock-in-period can only be used on a specific network provider.

NTC Memorandum Circular 01-05-2018, signed on May 31, as per GMA News, states that telecom companies shall unlock the mobile device within two days upon the request of a customer provided that he has already fulfilled his/her obligation with a network.

The memo states that telcos shall write a “clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on mobile phone or device unlocking” on their website; also to notify subscribers when their devices are eligible for unlocking without extra fee.

Image by Globe Telecom via Facebook

Remate quoted a part of the issuance which reads, “Mobile phone and device users, after having complied with the terms and conditions of the subscription agreement within the agreed lock-in period and are the absolute owners of the mobile phones or devices, should 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.”

Image capture from Jonathan De Quiroz’ IG photo

According to Inquirer, the NTC’s memo was in line with a directive from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) last year on allowing subscribers to easily switch between telco providers.

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

PLDT and Smart Communications spokesperson Ramon Isberto said they have already started to implement unlocking options for customers.

The memorandum will take effect 15 days after its issuance.