DICT orders NTC to make phones unlockable after initial lock-in period

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Friday, December 14, announced it was ordering the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to set up rules and regulations for telecommunications companies to follow, allowing subscribers' devices to be unlocked once an initial lock-in period has been completed. 

The memorandum order provides telco subscribers with the option to switch among compatible service providers.

It said those who subscribe to a telco who have completed the usual lock-in periods and have no outstanding obligation on their contracts can demand the unlocking of their phones or other devices with their telco "at convenient sites, facilities and processes that will be provided by their respective wireless service providers."

The memorandum order said the policy provides consumers "greater freedom and flexibility while increasing incentives for consumers to innovate."

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. called the policy declaration "an additional Christmas Gift of this administration to the Filipino telco subscribers.” 

“While we empower the industry through the entry of the new major player, we are also pushing for pro-consumer measures,” Rio added.

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