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T-Mobile unlocking app for Samsung Galaxy Avant surfaces

08/08, 3:34pm

Device Unlock only works with one T-Mobile smartphone

T-Mobile is now allowing customers to unlock their smartphones, though in a limited number of cases. Using a rumored app called Device Unlock, owners of the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy Avant are able to unlock their devices relatively simply and at no charge, though it appears only one smartphone model has been enabled to use the app at present.

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Senate passes cellphone unlocking bill, reconciliation fight starts

07/16, 3:29pm

Disparate versions of the bill need to be combined before Presidential review

The US Senate has passed a controversial bill allowing customers to unlock off-contract cell phones. With a unanimous vote, the Senate's passage of the bill directs the Librarian of Congress, the authority for rulemaking for such matters, to "consider whether other wireless devices, like tablets, should [also] be eligible for unlocking." The bill has a ways to go before it reaches the President's desk, however. A similar bill, passed by the House of Representatives, needs to be reconciled with this version of the bill -- the House's version of the bill does not contain language allowing bulk unlocking by companies.

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Senators attempt to neutralize cellphone bulk-unlocking 'poison pill'

06/24, 10:48am

Proposal would allow resellers to mass-unlock phones for resale

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced on Monday an agreement on bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, by making mass cellphone unlocking for resellers legal. The revision to existing legislation will be listed on the Judiciary Committee's agenda for this week's executive business meeting.

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Samsung Galaxy Avant allegedly includes T-Mobile unlocking app

06/16, 7:09am

Report claims T-Mobile Galaxy Avant can be unlocked using onboard app

A smartphone heading to T-Mobile could have an app for carrier unlocking pre-installed as part of a new T-Mobile initiative, according to a report. The Samsung Galaxy Avant, an Android device believed to be heading to the carrier in the near future, will apparently unlock itself after following a number of prompts in the app, resulting in a completely unlocked smartphone which can be used on other carrier networks.

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Briefly: WhatsApp hits 500M active users, Sprint domestic unlocking

04/23, 7:39am

WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily

WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.

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Cellphone unlocking exemption passes House, with 'poison pill'

02/26, 11:30am

Last minute revision adds prohibition to bulk unlocking

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking, against the will of the groups who originally sponsored the bill in the first place. The bill is now headed for the Senate, with what opposition has called a "poison pill" attached, preventing companies from bulk-unlocking devices for resale. If approved, the proposed bill extends an exemption currently in place for two years that legally allows cellphone unlocking, instead of the originally-proposed permanent solution.

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FCC, carriers close to agreement on new phone unlocking policy

12/12, 2:04pm

New mobile phone unlocking rules expected soon

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to completing a list of rules for cellphone unlocking with US carriers, according to a report. The new rules would govern how a carrier advises a consumer about unlocking and the timing of the unlocking process itself, with the deal between the mobile phone networks and FCC expected to be agreed upon in the near future.

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