back to article FCC commish gobbles Verizon's phone-locking BS, says it tastes great

An FCC commissioner has come under fire for seemingly suggesting that Verizon should be granted a legal waiver from his own agency's rules. On Monday, Verizon said that, from this spring, it will start locking down newly purchased smartphones for an unspecified period of time – despite a long-standing and legally binding …

vir
Silver badge

Paper Thin, Indeed

How would a thief be able to tell which carrier a phone is on before taking it?

"Sorry, I didn't know you were on Verizon. Here's your phone back."

Also, is anyone else irked by the "exponentially less desirable to criminals"? Desirability(x) = b^-x?

15
2
Silver badge

Re: Paper Thin, Indeed

"Also, is anyone else irked by..."

Not just irked but a bit depressed too, because too many people seem to be incapable of recognising such bullshit.

5
1
Silver badge

Re: Paper Thin, Indeed

Also, is anyone else irked by the "exponentially less desirable to criminals"? Desirability(x) = b^-x?

Well, it's not entirely wrong. There are two data points: without lockdown, and with it. You can draw any sort of curve you like through two points.

"This will make it elliptically less desirable to criminals."

2
0
Silver badge

I wonder if I can buy a Verizon phone, then get Google to bankroll a lawsuit to test this, like Thiel bankrolled Hogan...

3
1
Silver badge

Or simply boycott Verizon phones and buy unlocked from somewhere else...

I haven't bought a carrier locked phone since the mid 90s.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

I like the European model...

You buy a phone, you decide how to use it. If you buy as part of an X month contract, then the phone is yours at the end of that period and the provider is obliged to unlock it (for free).

This sounds like a good reason to buy a phone elsewhere and get a SIM-only deal for airtime.

9
2
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: I like the European model...

It's almost like you own the device that you've paid for, isn't it?

13
1
Silver badge

Re: I like the European model...

Well, one can do the same in US. Just make sure to avoid Verizon's (or other telco stores). Also, unlocked phone does not necessarily mean phone carrier crap free (as I've learned myself). Do your research before the purchase. EU market is just better suited for open devices - common cellular system and many providers that do not have near monopoly position and thus are able to force this BS onto the market.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: I like the European model...

Yes, in Europe it is easy.

I upgraded our phones last week, a new Hauwei Mate 10 Pro and Huawei P-Smart. Bought on Amazon, SIM card in the new phone, turn on and that's it

We have 30€ contracts with unlimited calls & SMS and 10GB of data - although there is a new 9€ deal for 5GB a month and flats for voice and SMS, so maybe looking to change next time round.

2
3
Bronze badge

Proportionality

Can I see some statistics which show the number of subscribers who suffer financial loss as a result of unpatched operating systems on their mobile devices?

Then I would like to see the number of subscribers who report stolen mobile phones.

Then I would like to see the comparison of the age of the phone. Might it be that the financial impact of customers who have their new shiny physically stolen is outweighed by the impact of 1 or two year old phones still in use?

It might not, I'm just interested...

2
4

I thought all carriers shared a stolen handset list.

The carrier is shown in the upper left corner of your screen, including your lock screen. Am I the only one who's returned a phone to its owner on that information?

The only company that follows this is Verizon?

F*ck all the other carriers then, I'm sticking with Verizon!

0
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought all carriers shared a stolen handset list.

Probably, but a stolen phone that makes traffic is still a source of profit. It would take very little to share the IMEI (or whatever is called) of stolen phones, and block them on any network, without any need to lock them into a single network - which also means it would keep on working on the same network anyway. So, "steal our phones, but keep on paying us only!"

The FCC should manage that list and enforce its use - if it didn't work for the telcos to increase their profits, now. Pai sent his pal first to avoid any "conflict of interests", of course...

2
1
Silver badge

Re: I thought all carriers shared a stolen handset list.

The only difference between Verizon and the other major telecoms is that Verizon pretends like they're different.

3
1
Silver badge
Windows

Re: I thought all carriers shared a stolen handset list.

Ummm.

The FCC has nothing to do with the Fraud Management on cell phones. Internationally, carriers share a 'stolen IMEI' listing and are required to collate fraud data to share with other carriers and the financial folks. It is a *huge* cost to the businesses and massively important.

1
1

Re: I thought all carriers shared a stolen handset list.

"The only difference between Verizon and the other major telecoms is that Verizon pretends like they're different."

And charges quite a bit more for it.

1
0
Silver badge

"Surpringly"?

"Surprisingly, however, that skepticism was not shared by one of the FCC's own commissioners"

There's nothing surprising about that whatsoever. The FCC has already made it very clear that they view the interests of major telecoms to be much more important than little things like the public good or what actual human beings want and need.

Nothing about this is surprising. Expect the sell-outs to continue.

11
2
Silver badge

Gonna start using this as an excuse

to get out of playing "unofficial tech support" at work.

"Take a look at what's wrong with your phone? Sure, I'd love to- wait, that's a Verizon phone. I can't help you do anything with that, it's locked. Not connecting to our VPN? You'll have to take that up with Verizon or their subsidiary company, the FCC."

Or just, like, ask the actual IT group for help.

7
2
Bronze badge
FAIL

Verizon is already an undesirable phone company due to their high rates

If they insist on locking the phones for some unknown length of time, that will only make Verizon exponentially undesirable to consumers.

3
1

Re: Verizon is already an undesirable phone company due to their high rates

VZ investors pay a lot for their spectrum and infastructure.

I have exactly two choices: the best network with the most spectrum coverage or the best in-your-face marketing group with annoying ringtones.

Don't even bother, T-Mobe...

2
5
Silver badge

Do they mean locking phones bought on contract or full price purchases?

The latter would be criminal, the former would just catch them up to what AT&T and other US carriers have done for years.

0
5
Silver badge
Stop

One small correction...

"These steps will make our phones exponentially less desirable to criminals."

FTFY

9
1
Anonymous Coward

Seriously, who needs this sht?

Corporate favoritism / social welfare programs in disguise! 101-More-Reasons to just buy an unlocked new / second-hand 'feature' phone instead. I've many rusty XDA's, this isn't about being a Technophobe. Its about turning your back on everyone that's out to get you, from corrupt regulators to mobile Malware writers to winner-takes-all Corporations...

2
2
Bronze badge

The GAO is investigating the FCC for not enforcing its own rules already. The FCC doesn't care that it's lost several class action suits over its regulations and non-enforcement, so what's a couple more?

5
1

How much do you guys pay for 4G data anyway? Here in the UK we can get a perfectly reasonable sim-only contract for 4GB data, all you can eat texts and calls, for £10pm ($13). You'll need a $150-300 smartphone, or to get an iPhone with similar specs, about $1000.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Plans_for_phones

2
2

"How much do you guys pay for 4G data anyway? Here in the UK we can get a perfectly reasonable sim-only contract for 4GB data, all you can eat texts and calls, for £10pm ($13). "

https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/verizon-plan/

Medium 4GB

4GB for $50/mo.

Data Boost $15/1GB

1
0

Yet another example that Ajit Pai is a corporate shill. There will be retribution. It is unfortunate that some of the more barbaric ancient methods of dealing with criminals are no longer an option in cases like this. Is it illegal to start a legal defense fund for alleged assassins?

2
0
Bronze badge

A six-eight week lock-in would give consumers a full billing cycle to notice a problem. It would also prevent thieves from doing an immediate switch, and thus substantially increasing the risk and cost of an operation. While I know nothing about Verizon's internal operations, I would be shocked if they could recover the cost of bringing a new account online in less than three months. I could buy a three-month lock-in. After that...NO.

I'm curious about people assuming that thefts would be armed. Most smart phones are only slightly larger than what is easily palmed.

So...sure they are corporate scum. Sure, the FCC is "industry friendly". But despite the despicable "exponentially" adverb in the press release, I don't see this as a completely invalid idea. Devil in the details, of course.

1
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018