Published June 26, 2019
Verizon has succeeded in gaining a partial waiver from the "C-block rules" put in place in 2007 which allows the carrier to add a temporary lock on all new phones.
As Droid Life reports, when Verizon licensed the 700MHz C Block spectrum for its LTE network, it agreed to leave new phones unlocked all the time. However, in February Verizon wanted to implement a new locking policy and requested a Declaratory Ruling from the FCC allowing it to SIM lock phones for 60 days. After that, the phone would automatically unlock.
Verizon explained at the time that although unlocked phones are great for customers, they also offer an opportunity for fraudsters to order and steal handsets. They are then sold on the black market around the world for a quick and healthy profit.
The FCC did not give Verizon a Declaratory Ruling, but the agency has allowed a partial waiver. It means Verizon can now lock new phones for 60 days, but must automatically unlock them thereafter. The only exception to the rule being if a phone is discovered to have been purchased through fraud.
With the temporary lock in place, Verizon says, "fraudsters who order and steal phones - clearly with no intention of ever paying for them will have a much harder time." At the same time, "Even with these safeguards in place, Verizon will still have the most consumer-friendly unlocking policy in the industry and we see very little impact on our legitimate customers' ability to use their devices."
The temporary phone lock will go into effect "very soon."