Ban on selling locked phones

About time! How has it taken so long??


Interesting times ahead, end of next year the surface of the telco industry will look very different.

People not upgrading handset every year
Telco’s struggling to keep up vs telcos on the blistering edge of tech
Ripping out and replacing core infra because reasons
5G normalised

And the rebellion will keep on growing



That’s exciting! Was wondering when it’d happen…

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Besides Zevvle (which is limited in what their MVNE supports), is there any other telco actually pushing the envelope in terms of tech?


Not that I know of, I feel like Zevvle could start a trend, or be part of one or something like that.

When I was introduced to Monzo, magically a bunch more prepaid services came to my attention all within weeks of each other. I’m not saying that’s how it goes or went. It just happened.

With Zevvlers boasting about what happens on our network, it could inspire or pressure others.

Like the whole card freezey thing, magically a bunch of other banks are ‘modern’ as they try to champion it.

Aren’t you working on some projects :eyes:

I don’t think I pressed reply to your message but this was for you @Rjevski (and everyone else :heart:)


This is great news - I wonder if providers will end up waiving their unlock fees too for older devices?

On the subject of locked devices, I’ve noticed Zevvle SIMs seem to work in devices locked to EE, not sure whether this is meant to be so but sure is convenient… :eyes:

I wonder, can MVNOs (e.g Zevvle) get customer devices unlocked, or is that something only the host network lets themselves do?


It’s normal for phone locked to a specific network to also work on MVNOs of the same network, this as Zevvle uses EE, it works with phones locked to EE but not other networks such as Vodafone or O2.

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I’m kind of surprised to hear that phone locking wasn’t already a thing of the past. Was there ever an even nearly coherent justification for it in the first place?


Yep, but releasing a half-assed Zevvle knockoff (okay, it’s better in certain aspects, but worse on others) isn’t my intention and I don’t think it’ll do much good for either of us so I’m waiting for the right time and the right partners to work with (the one I’m dealing with now still can’t set up the integration 8 months later) to release something that’ll actually be a good fit for consumers and has a chance to succeed in the market.

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It’s only the host network. For older phones an unlock code needs to be generated, which requires a secret that only the host network has access to (or at least it’s supposed to be that way). For newer iPhones, network locking is handled by Apple and the host network has a special agreement with Apple where they are able to control the locking state which is then pulled down from Apple’s servers when the phone is “activating” (when you reinstall it or put a new SIM in a locked phone).

Was there ever an even nearly coherent justification for it in the first place?

It’s just a money grab, not surprising from this scummy industry. The “justification” is that it somehow prevents theft and or fraud, but clearly they don’t mind stolen devices being around as long as they can only be used by giving them more money (in the form of a plan on their network) so I don’t buy it. If theft protection/deterrence was the actual goal they’d just blacklist the IMEI completely.

The problem with unlocking is that even if you do everything by the rules and are technically within your rights to get it unlocked, the process is intentionally complex and time-consuming. This serves as extra friction for switching networks (or avoiding roaming fees when abroad by using a local SIM) or as some sort of revenge if you’ve already switched and now just realized that your old phone still won’t work with the new network.


Ah, just like every domain name registrar then.