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No more locked phones or unlocking fees in Canada, wireless regulator rules

Posted: , by Plamen D.

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No more locked phones or unlocking fees in Canada, wireless regulator rules

2017 is shaping up to be a good year for the global consumer. Just yesterday, roaming charges were abolished across the European Union, and now, it looks like there's some good news for Canadians as well. 

As of December 1, 2017, all new mobile devices sold in the North American nation must be carrier unlocked. In addition, Canadian telecoms will be barred from charging people with unlocking fees.

This sounds truly great, however, such practices are employed by carriers all around the world. As such, many of you might be wondering "Why exactly is this happening in Canada?".

A survey conducted by the CRTC (Canada's wireless regulator who issued the ban) established that consumers in the country pay some of the highest fees for wireless services of any G7 nation. 

CBC reports that Canadians looking for 150 minutes of monthly mobile service are paying an average of $41.08 per month. For comparison, the same wireless package costs just $17.15 in Germany. 

Furthermore, carriers in the country charge $50 or more for unlocking a device, a business which generated the equivalent of $28.5 million USD in 2016. 

Naturally, Canadian telecoms didn't agree with the ruling. Howard Slawner, VP of Rogers Wireless, was quoted saying: 

We think it's a lot more appropriate that people who actually have their device unlocked bear the cost of the unlocking.

We'll refrain from making any comments on this statement, but we feel obliged to mention that carriers are the ones who are locking said devices in the first place.

What's your take on this ruling? Do you think other countries should adopt a similar stance as well? Let us know in the comments!

source: CBC via Engadget

14 Comments
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posted on 16 Jun 2017, 06:51 3

1. sun0066 (Posts: 174; Member since: 12 Feb 2011)


Greediness at its best ! ( by Rogers CEO )

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:03 8

2. trojan_horse (Posts: 4934; Member since: 06 May 2016)


"but we feel obliged to mention that carriers are the ones who are locking said devices in the first place."

That sums it up, Plamen!

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 09:22 3

9. Rampage_Taco (Posts: 516; Member since: 17 Jan 2017)


"We think it's a lot more appropriate that people who actually have their device unlocked bear the cost of the unlocking."

Had they not locked them in the first place there wouldn't be a charge to unlock them.... Damn greedy people

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:08 3

3. markobarko (Posts: 112; Member since: 09 Oct 2016)


Here in Slowenia EU member, are all phones unlocked by law since ages. So I'm happy to see other countries are finally following.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:16 6

4. tedkord (Posts: 14114; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Unfortunately, in the US now the laws are going to go the other way.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:21 3

5. PrYmCHGOan (banned) (Posts: 335; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)


Well if they were unlocked, rhere wont be any cost to unlock.

Good move. I doubt thr FCC would ever do that im thr US.

The corps own our aocall govt.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:52 3

6. Omran2000 (Posts: 91; Member since: 18 Aug 2016)


Mountains of typos .....

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 09:10 1

7. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3575; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


There are still locked phones out in the wild that benefit from this ;)

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 09:10 1

8. Zylam (Posts: 1120; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Destroy Carriers and make them hurt as much as possible.

Carriers are a venom in the wireless industry, they are nothing but pipelines but act as if they made the mobile.

Good riddance!

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 10:53 1

10. Myphoneisonfire (Posts: 355; Member since: 05 Sep 2016)


How to destroy carriers? There was an article recently about wireless operators in Asia charging 8$ a month for 60gb data and unlimited phone calls. I think India , Im not too sure.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 14:52

12. Bfrenz (Posts: 192; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


Yes indeed, I agree with you, they're the vampires who we need the most. we made them big.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 14:49

11. Bfrenz (Posts: 192; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


Cheers to all the Canadian readers, what will be the Bell's reply?

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 18:42

13. cncrim (Posts: 910; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Greedy carrrier, like US Special Tmobile and Sprint they want to hold you by the foot when askimg for umlock, even the phone has no more obligation financed.

posted on 20 Jun 2017, 22:53

14. Skizzo (Posts: 148; Member since: 14 Jul 2013)


Canadian user here, and this make me so happy to hear!
Our monthly data plans are RIDICULOUS, and we're getting robbed at every turn. My current plan of 250 daytime minutes, and 5gb of data costs $110/month!
I've been paying to have my phones unlocked for decades (if I buy through carrier which I avoid doing), as I travel often, and would rather just pop in a local sim instead of paying even more ludicrous roaming charges. Their greed is unbelievable, and any strike against the carriers, no matter how small, is welcome.

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