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Tech Japanese mobile phone providers banned from locking mobile devices

News stories related to technology and innovation.


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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As of October, Japanese mobile phone providers will no longer be able to tie the unlocking of mobile devices to ridiculous restrictions. This was already announced in 2019 and has finally come into effect.

In Japan, however, while unlocking your smartphone isn’t illegal, the nation’s three big phone companies, Docomo, SoftBank and AU, make it extremely difficult to do. From contract stipulations to essentially forcing customers to purchase a brand new smartphone along with a network plan, getting a cell phone can be a real headache in Japan. Luckily for all smartphone users, though, Japanese phone companies will soon be banned from locking cell phone SIM cards. Decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication on August 10, the new policy is in effect starting from October. Previously, if you wanted to go through the hoops to unlock your phone, your phone would have to technically be paid off whether you bought it from the phone company with a lump sum or finished all your monthly payments, and your contract with a network carrier fulfilled. Now thanks to this new upcoming policy, smartphone users will have more freedom to switch network carriers and reuse their devices, which will certainly save them some money.

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