Starting Friday, December 1, 2017, anyone will be able to unlock their cellphone or other mobile device for FREE upon request. The ruling comes directly from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Anyone with an existing device will have to manually request for it to be unlocked. Carriers will not automatically unlock them. However, all newly purchased devices will come unlocked if purchased after December 1.
The CRTC has also added a rule where customers can cancel their contract within 15 days and return their device in near-new condition at no costs. One catch is you must have used less than half of your monthly usage limits.
What are the benefits of an unlocked device? Normally, if you buy a phone from Rogers, you’ll only be able to use that phone on the Rogers network with a Rogers SIM card. An unlocked device allows you to put another carriers SIM card into the device and use that carriers network. So if you wanted to switch over to Bell and keep your Rogers phone, you can now do it without paying a fee to unlock your phone.
This is also very beneficial when travelling overseas. Canadian carriers will charge you an arm and leg when roaming abroad. However, with a unlocked device, you can purchase a local SIM card and connect your device to the local overseas network. Overseas networks often offer pay-as-you-go plans that are significantly cheaper than Canadian overseas roaming rates.