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10th Oct 2016

Mobile companies will soon stop charging you to unlock handsets

Could this be the end of long contracts?

Carl Anka

The days of long phone contracts and high fees could be a thing of the past, as mobile phone companies are set to scrap fees for unlocking your device.

Previously, customers would have to pay up to £20 if they wanted to have their handset “unlocked” so they could use it on another network.

But according to reports in The Sun, these fees are set to be scrapped after the larger phone companies took government advice to do away with the set-up.


Following government talks to introduce laws outlawing the charges if phone companies failed to act voluntarily, it is believed O2, EE, Vodaphone and the other mobile phone giants decided to scrap the fees wholesale.

According to The Sun, new government guidelines would mean mobile phone providers must issue unlock codes within three days, a massive reduction on the current 30-day wait period.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: We were clear that we wanted to see the unfair practice of charging to unlock handsets for customers scrapped and we’ve worked with all the major providers to make it happen.

“This will save consumers a substantial amount of money and make it even easier to switch provider to get a better deal.”

The shake up could save customers around £48m a year in mobile phone fees, and should allow phone users to use a SIM card from any network on their handset.

More freedom to change providers, seek out better deals, or even recycle old phones to new users. Bargain.