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Consumers should be able to legally unlock their mobile device within 12 months

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The number of people participating on social media networks via their mobile devices is growing every day. Cellphones and tablets are being used by many who want to participate on a social network while they are on the go.

It won’t be long before cellphone and tablet owners in the U.S. will be able to unlock their devices. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, known as “CTIA The Wireless Association” is the trade group that represents the wireless industry. Today, it submitted a letter to the FCC agreeing to a “voluntary set of six principles for consumers' mobile phones and tablets."

Unlocking your mobile device enables the device to run on any carrier network. Current U.S. law prohibits unlocking a mobile device without a carrier’s approval. Several advocacy groups and President Obama have come out in favor of making the unlocking of a cellphone or tablet legal.

In November, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a letter to the CTIA requesting that it voluntarily agree to support legalization so the FCC didn't have to promulgate regulations.

The CTIA agreed to adopt a voluntary commitment to permit mobile device users to legally unlock their cellphones. In a letter to the FCC, it said,

We are pleased to announce AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless agreed to adopt a voluntary set of six principles for unlocking of consumers' mobile phones and tablets. CTIA and these companies share the goal of ensuring that America’s wireless consumers continue to benefit from the world-leading range of competitive devices and offerings they currently enjoy, and believe that these voluntary principles will enhance these consumer benefits.

In light of this development, it won’t be long now before carriers will begin to implement the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service and all the principles should be in place within 12 months.

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