Carriers will get more power with Android Q

Carriers will get more power with Android Q
If you're an Android fan into Dark Mode, you're probably eagerly awaiting the next major Android build. As we told you the other day, a Google engineer has already blabbed about a possible system-wide Dark Mode feature that will be built in to Android Q. On the other hand, four commits found under the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) website (via 9to5Google), suggest that there is also a dark side coming with Android Q.

The commits show file contents for the Android Q project, and four were posted under the title of "Carrier restriction enhancements for Android Q." The result is that with the next major Android build, the carriers will have even more "lock down" control over the devices that run over their networks. In theory, the changes could allow a major carrier to block a phone with one of its SIM cards installed from connecting to an MVNO that uses the same exact network. An MVNO is a wireless provider that doesn't own the towers used to provide service to subscribers. Examples include Project Fi and Xfinity Mobile.

Another change in Android Q could allow a carrier to prevent a user with a dual SIM phone from using another provider's SIM in the second slot unless their own SIM is in the first slot. These changes could help manufacturers sell more unlocked phones in the U.S. and give Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint more power over Android users.

Android Q should be introduced at Google I/O 2019, which should be held this coming May in Mountain View, California.

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34 Comments

1. odachek

Posts: 123; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Can't wait for Android Quaker Biscuit!

2. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

More ability for carriers to install bloatware.

21. bucknassty

Posts: 1341; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

this is ... TERRIBLE... one of the reasons why updates take so long is the control carriers have in android... and now to bastardize the dual sim, I cant stand the limitation of iOS, but at least they have the balls to say F off my operating system.... I need another operating system to shake up the game

3. trollz

Posts: 62; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

This isn't good news, especially with project treble along with Android one making recent strides in the android software update experience. Carriers should be given less control, not more.

4. phoneguynh

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 31, 2018

And that is why I own an iPhone.....

6. lyndon420

Posts: 6790; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Explain?

9. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Carriers have absolutely no control over the iOS features.

11. notfair

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

if it comes to this I will switch to apple

13. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Since the first iOS the only ones that had control over your iPhone were Apple and you. That is one of the reasons that the iPhone was an innovation and not because it removes the buttons from the phones...

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

True, but sim-locked iPhones were locked on the Apple server. So still sh!tty.

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I don't follow your complaint: the user buys a subsidized device from a carrier with a price plan for a period of time; at the end of that time, the user is entitled to unlock the device and use it with any carrier he/she wants. How is that s**tty?

19. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Well, a locked phone is sh!t when you travel abroad and want to use a local sim. But with this new Android feature, it will be the same. Locked during the period, after which it will be unlocked.

23. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

How so? There are years now since you can travel everywhere in EU without the need of a local sim (with my business plan I can use all my resources - and they are very generous - abroad, without the "reasonable usage" crap). But you are right: dual-sim phones are useful sometimes (and with Apple adopting eSIM, maybe we'll see it more and more with the carriers all over the world).

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Absolutely true, for the EU. Loving that btw since I travel for work quite frequently. I only have a dual-sim for the times I go to US (which is rarely). I do wonder one thing about this option though, will it work for phones bought through the carrier only. Or can they push these profiles to any phone (running Q) that uses the carriers sim? In that case, it would be an, even more, s**ttier move on Google's part (I don't agree they are supporting this even more).

28. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The roaming for USA is way too expensive even to consider; dual phone is a must (or buy a local modem and use voice over wifi). It would be against the law to tamper with my property - my phone - without my consent.

32. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Tell me about it, the first day in Chicago I used Google maps to get to my friends and downloaded 330 MB of data. Not knowing it was 9 euro per MB. Where are u from btw?

33. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

RO. That happened to me in Moldova at the border (it cost me 50€ when the phone backed up some pictures in iCloud - my carrier tells me when I get to 50€ and stops my paid services, unless I confirm that I want them on), after that, I learned my lesson; the business plan has some internet (not much, enough for email and to get me from the plane to the closest shop) and some calls. I have a 4G wi-fi modem no bigger than a lighter (it came free with an internet plan a few years ago) I carry with me when I go to US, that way I hardly use the roaming (local 4G -> wi-fi for internet: vowifi, iMessage/WhatsApp).

34. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I was in luck. Had to pay almost 3000 euro, but normally you get a text message at 100 euro that u need to reply to agree to go on. They never send that message, so ended up paying 100 euro 'only

27. andrewc31394

Posts: 295; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

don't forget that the unlocking process with any of the big 4 US carriers can be a real pain in the ass. it's like they don't want to unlock your phone form fear of you jumping over to the competition

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The process is simple and straightforward with my carrier: the user has an option in the account to unlock the device; he just ask for that, he pays the charge (if the phone is still under contract) and the phone is unlocked the very next moment.

30. andrewc31394

Posts: 295; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

devices on pretty much every US carrier are rarely ever subsidized anymore

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

True, but sim-locked iPhones were locked on the Apple server. So still sh!tty. Just buy the phone sim-unlocked and you're good

5. phoneguynh

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 31, 2018

Apple pretty much tells the carriers to get stuffed and googles giving it all away on the first date. Boy the times have changed.

7. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Because carrier no longer subsidized for out phone it is time cut that BS bloateware installed on our phone. One version update can take a year and it is due for the next already.

8. kick413

Posts: 162; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Android needs to take a page out of Apple's book when it comes to carrier control over phones.

22. bucknassty

Posts: 1341; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

damn right

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I actually think this is a good thing, because it will increase the security of the device; imagine getting your phone stolen, with Android you can’t control s**t - the thief just wipes it clean and uses it like a new phone; but this way the carrier blocks the phone from being used on other carriers so that the rightful owner can track it through the cell towers and or imei. Or maybe google will prove me wrong and they are just evil with his users...

12. notfair

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

or or... get this, the money hunger f**kers lobbied google to implement this "feature" so they can block a consumer on their network for proper milking.

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Actually, there is the factory reset protection from Android/Google. But it's easier to hack than Apple's version. But a standard wipe doesn't bypass the FRP.

18. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"easier to hack than Apple's version" There's a little nugget of manipulation: Android can be hacked while Apple's version has proven to be IMPOSSIBLE to hack (so far), so it's unfair what you have done...

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