Mobile phone unlocks to be free from October

Recycling

Mobile phone carriers in Hungary will be compelled to unlock mobile phones that are sold in a package free of charge after the expiry of fixed-term contracts, according to reports. The new regulation will come into effect starting October 24.

Mobile carriers use a wide range of marketing tools to attract new customers and keep them loyal in the long term. One is phone locking, where the subscriber gets a low price, or sometimes a free mobile phone, in exchange for joining a one or two-year loyalty scheme. This means that the phone will not work with SIM cards other than the one provided by the carrier.

The current problem is that one would expect to be able to use a phone freely after the expiry of the loyalty scheme. This, however, is not the case, as all carriers in Hungary will only unlock a phone for a fee of between HUF 2,500 and HUF 15,000. This will change from October 24, when all carriers will be compelled to unlock phones free of charge once a fixed-term contract has expired.

Carriers told Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet that they will be prepared to comply with the new regulation by October 24. Both private and corporate customers will benefit from the new rules, the newspaper noted.

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