Canada's CRTC Spurns Carriers, Only Unlocked Smartphones Can Be Sold As Of December 1

If you are a Canadian with a cell phone, we have some excellent news for you regrading regulations surrounding device unlocking. In this case, nearly everyone should be happy with the outcome; well with the exception of the executives at Canadian mobile carriers.

Canada's CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) has just announced that beginning on December 1st, mobile carriers will be unable to charge a fee to allow someone to unlock their phone. It's a move that will save most people about $50, if they need to make use of the service.

Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus Front bottom3
Samsung's beautiful Galaxy S8 is available in an unlocked variant

Over the years, it's become commonplace to lock phones to the carrier that they were sold through. But the reality is that it is an anti-consumer practice. With a locked phone, users can't go to whichever carrier they want, and are in fact trapped with their original one unless they cough up a not-so-modest fee. Nowadays, it's not hard to buy a completely unlocked phone, but they're still exceptionally rare - especially in Canada and the United States. When they are unlocked, they generally carry a price premium.

Free services to unlock a phone are great, but this gets even better: after December 1, all smartphones sold in Canada must be unlocked from the start. In effect, beginning in December, the mere concept of "unlocking" can disappear from Canadian minds (except to feel bad for everyone outside of Canada, at least!)

It can't be emphasized enough: this move needs to spread to the rest of the world as soon as possible. Locked phones shouldn't have ever been a thing, and today, way too many people are trapped because they don't want to (or can't) shell out upwards of $50 to remove a limitation that shouldn't have existed in the first place.

Tags:  Mobile, crtc, carriers