Stating that this practice discourages users from switching carriers, the UK regulator Ofcom has ruled that all phones should be sold unlocked as of late 2021.
Ofcom, the UK regulator, which is expected to introduce a spectrum of 700MHz to its 5G network in early 2021, has announced that it will ban the sale of locked phones to certain companies. From December 2021, all UK phones should be sold unlocked.
The announcement comes 11 months after Ofcom published its plan to enforce such a ban, and the only new detail is the date. Speaking at the plan’s launch in December 2019, Lindsay Fussell, Consumer Group Manager at Ofcom, said that “Switching up a mobile service provider can be really frustrating.”
“By freeing cell phone users from locked phones, our plans will save time, effort and money – and help them open a better deal,” she said.
to me BBC NewsUK Networks had previously argued that locking phones helps deter theft and fraud. However, perhaps to comply with current EU rules, four of the UK’s major carriers are already selling unlocked phones.
These are O2 – the original carrier of the iPhone in the UK – as well as Sky, Three and Virgin. The remaining carriers are BT, EE, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile.
Vodafone said, “We are ready to implement these changes when they take effect.” BBC News. EE says it will work with Ofcom to comply.