Telecomms regulator Ofcom is set to ban the sale of locked mobile phones in December 2020. It's a move to help the consumer switch networks without hassle and loss of coverage.

Ofcom's research reveals that a third of people find it off-putting to switch networks.

Ofcom's Connectivity Director Selina Chadha said:
We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we're banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort – and help them unlock better deals.

This is a huge move that will create a level playing field amongst network providers. Although, some networks already sell unlocked mobile phones such as; o2, Three and Virgin Mobile.

Some networks charge £10 to unlock mobile phones, whilst Vodafone has specific terms to meet, such as you will need to actively use their SIM card for 30 days to request an unlock code! Seriously who can wait 30 days?!

If your network is not playing ball, you can always buy an unlock code from unreliable sources such as eBay, cheap as £1 to a whooping £40!

What Does This Mean For Consumers?

A more transparent and easy way to switch networks without the hassle, but only moving closer to the time will reveal. Also, if accompanied by "text to switch" this will be a simplified way of switching whilst keeping your phone number.

Direct Benefits To Consumers:

  1. Saving on unlocking fee.
  2. Find a better deal.
  3. Easier switching process.
  4. No loss of coverage.
  5. The phone will hold more value.

The benefits are advantageous especially like me you like selling on your unwanted mobile phone or passing it over to a family member it just makes things a little easy, not to mention an unlocked phone holds better trade-in value.

What does this mean for Network retailers?

One can only assume that this will create a level playing field where networks may become more competitive with each other, thus benefiting the end consumer. After all, no network lock may see a shift in brand loyalty, especially if it's done with ease.

Let's see, come December...

Photo by Silvie Lindemann from Pexels
Ofcom related article