Earlier this year, Verizon announced that it was going to ask the FCC for an exemption regarding the restriction placed on its purchase of the 700MHz block back in 2008, preventing it from SIM-locking phones it sold. Verizon wanted to impose a new 60-day carrier lock on its devices, claiming that it would help the carrier fight fraud. Whether you believe that argument or not doesn't matter now, as the FCC has granted Verizon its blessing. Read More
Now that Android Pie is in the rearview mirror, it's time to start obsessing over Android Q. Luckily, a leak last week revealed some positive changes like a system-wide dark mode and refined permissions. It's not all rainbows and unicorns, though. Additions to the Android source code suggest that Google will also give carriers new tools to SIM lock phones. Read More
According to CNET, Verizon Wireless will begin SIM-locking its smartphones out of the box at some point this spring. Essentially no details are provided about how this will be implemented, but it really doesn't matter, because Verizon rather explicitly agreed not to do this ten years ago.
Per the restrictions imposed by the 700MHz Upper Block C spectrum auction it won in 2008, Verizon is expressly barred from locking down handsets on its network that utilize this spectrum. The plain text from the restrictions makes this absolutely clear.
(e)Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b)of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks. (Emphasis added)
So, Verizon's announcement today is complete and utter bullshit. Read More