Robert in Miami, Florida listens through the Radio Garden app and asked: “If I purchase a cell phone from a provider – and stick with them for a year – am I entitled to get the unlock code, to make it an unlocked phone and usable on any carrier?”
Robert, back in 2014, then President Obama signed a bill into law (with the ridiculous name Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act) that made unlocking legal.
After that, carriers dragged their feet a little and about a year later started unlocking phones by request as long as they were fully paid off.
That means that you may not necessarily be able to get yours unlocked after a year, but you will be able to have it unlocked after the contract you signed up for lapses and your phone is fully paid for.
Some carriers will still unlock your phone if you havent yet fulfilled your contract but are willing to pay off the balance left on the phone.
Not all carriers are the same though, what is a very simple process with some in which they just ask for your phones serial number and unlock it for you, may be a painful and long process with others, so give yourself some time if you need it unlocked by a set date due to travel or anything similar.
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