The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has published the rules and regulations on the unlocking of mobile phones and devices.
Memorandum circular 01-05-2019 defined “unlocking” of mobile phone or device as disabling the software that prevents a consumer from activating a device designed for one provider’s network on another provider’s network even if that network is technologically compatible.
It added that unlocking a cellphone allows consumers to utilize their cell phone from one network to another compatible network.
“Now consumers will have greater freedom and flexibility to change between telco service providers,” said NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo V. Cabarrios in a statement.
The mandatory unlocking covers prepaid and postpaid mobile phones or devices from public telecommunications entities (telcos) in the Philippines such as Smart, Globe and other telco providers.
For postpaid subscribers, devices will be eligible for unlocking after complying with the contract period contained in their subscription agreements.
The NTC has also mandated public telecommunication entities to clearly notify their customers of unlocking procedures through their websites or at point of sale without charging additional fees
Telcos are given two business days to unlock eligible mobile phones or devices after receiving a request.
The NTC said that companies who will not follow the memorandum will be made liable.
The Memorandum Circular shall take effect 15 days following its publication.