Home > Contemplations, Life, The Universe, & Everything > The Canadian Mobile Landscape & Locking Phones

The Canadian Mobile Landscape & Locking Phones


Yesterday, I wrote about “My Friend Ben’s Experience With Fido’s Call Center & Unlocked Phones In Canada” and I referenced a CBC article where a Rogers spokesperson gave the reasoning for why carriers in Canada lock their phones. However, I did not mention what the Rogers representative said next in that same CBC article as well as CBC’s follow up to it – ‘“carriers can ensure the quality of services, features [and] benefits offered to their customers over the network.” Rogers didn’t respond to a follow-up question about how locking ensures quality of service.’ This, in my opinion, is a talking point that is categorically untrue. It is misinformation that the Canadian cellular companies are feeding the consumers and maybe even the federal government and have been for years.

The GSM standard is managed by the the GSM Association (http://www.gsmworld.com/). The GSM Arena’s stated ‘About Us’ is its spans “219 countries, [and] the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.” This means that across over 200 countris and 800 mobile operators (including Rogers) and 200 companies including handset manufacturers.

Therefore, any cell phone that is rated to work with the GSM standard has to go through the GSMA and has to be certified by the FCC in the USA and probably the CRTC? in Canada so it can work properly within the standards. This means that we have phones that can roam in different countries (something Rogers boasts about) around the world. This also means the statement above about worrying if the phones will work on the Rogers network or interfere with it, is, as I said above, complete garbage. If it was true how could anyone ever be expected to roam on a different network?

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  1. February 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | #1

    Is North America the only cellular area that bothers to lock their phones? From what I’ve seen on the International Scene all the phones looked to be unlocked out of the box.

    • February 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm | #2

      As far as I know, yes.
      HOWEVER, in the USA both T-Mobile & AT&T will unlock your phone for you after (I think) 90 days (or some amount of days which is relatively trivial) as long as you are a customer in good standing…FOR FREE.

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