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UK to ban sale of carrier-locked phones from December 2021

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1002383824.jpg.0.jpg Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom is banning phone carriers from selling locked handsets starting in December 2021 to make it easier for people to switch providers, the watchdog has announced. Although BBC News notes that many carriers like O2, Sky, Three, and Virgin already sell unlocked handsets as standard, others like EE, Vodafone, and Tesco Mobile sell phones that need to be manually unlocked before they can be used with other networks.

Ofcom says the rule is part of a new set of measures designed to make it simpler to switch between cell carriers. According to its research, over a third of people who decided against switching said they were put off by having to unlock their phone first. Unlocking a phone costs around £10...

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