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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2006, 04:28 PM
John Navas
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Default NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

<http://www.theregister.com/2006/11/23/congress_dmca_cellphones_censorware>

The US copyright office will permit mobile phone subscribers to
unlock their phones, allowing them to be used by rival network
providers.

It's a right that's taken for granted in most of the GSM world, where
there's little operators can do to stop it.

But US carriers, being the enlightened souls that they are (lowest
form of wit - ed.) used fear created by the 1998 Digital Millenium
Copyright Act to prevent unlocking. The DMCA outlawed the
circumvention of technological protection measures on copyright works
- with few exemptions. It promised to permit the US Congress'
copyright office to review these exemptions from time to time.

Now, in its third review of permissible DMCA exemptions, the US
Congress' copyright librarian has lifted the fear of prosecution from
unlockers:

"Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless
telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication
network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of
lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network."

[MORE]

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2006, 05:06 PM
Scott
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in
news:56mbm2hnf0njo8eflcmij44q9ptr3qp2t1@4ax.com:

> <http://www.theregister.com/2006/11/2...phones_censorw
> are>
>

<snip>

This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept unlocked
phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to occur.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2006, 06:42 PM
John Navas
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Thu, 23 Nov 2006 23:19:51 -0800, SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com>
wrote in <4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net>:

>Scott wrote:
>
>> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept unlocked
>> phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to occur.

>
>The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the carrier
>supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will work just
>fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM phone.
>
>What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive
>about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
>phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
>without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
>beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
>thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
>subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.


The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:48 PM
Scott
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in
news:4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net:

> Scott wrote:
>
>> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept
>> unlocked phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to
>> occur.

>
> The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the
> carrier supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will
> work just fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM
> phone.
>


Sorry- I should have been clearer. There is nothing to force, say, Sprint
to put an unlocked Verizon phone on their network. I can also see where
this goes if they are eventually forced to comply- a new charge to reflash
the phone to make it network-capable. I'm also waiting to see a ton of
complaints from the uninformed who believe that they are entitled to full
phone funcationality from a carrier that doesn't actively support a phone.
We already see it with limited BT functionality from carriers that do
support the phones- it'll only get more outrageous going forward.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:50 PM
Scott
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in
news:qcubm2de2uhjk93jhos7l0j32nq1ccmln2@4ax.com:


>
> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.
>


Actually a fairly good point. How does a carrier know if another carrier's
phone was stolen or not?

I smell a new government-mandated database- a national "stolen phone" list.
A great way to add yet another fee to our bills to support its operation.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2006, 06:19 AM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Scott wrote:

> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept unlocked
> phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to occur.


The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the carrier
supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will work just
fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM phone.

What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive
about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2006, 12:49 PM
Andy S
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

>>> Scott wrote:
>>>
>>> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept
>>> unlocked phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to
>>> occur.

>>
>> SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in
>> news:4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net:
>> The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the
>> carrier supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will
>> work just fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM
>> phone.
>>
> >"Scott" <how.do@you.do> wrote in message
> >news4SdnTZDZOSprvvYnZ2dnUVZ_oOdnZ2d@adelphia.co m...

> Sorry- I should have been clearer. There is nothing to force, say,
> Sprint
> to put an unlocked Verizon phone on their network. I can also see where
> this goes if they are eventually forced to comply- a new charge to reflash
> the phone to make it network-capable. I'm also waiting to see a ton of
> complaints from the uninformed who believe that they are entitled to full
> phone funcationality from a carrier that doesn't actively support a phone.
> We already see it with limited BT functionality from carriers that do
> support the phones- it'll only get more outrageous going forward.
>

Last I knew VZW didn't allow former sprint phones on their network.
IOW, You couldn't bring a Sprint phone to VZW after the terms of contract
were met with Sprint and vise-versa
--
Andrew D. Sisson
LG VX8100 VZW AC II SINCE APRIL 1993
SonyEricsson Z525a CINGULAR NATION SINCE MARCH 2006



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2006, 08:40 AM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Andy S wrote:

> Last I knew VZW didn't allow former sprint phones on their network.
> IOW, You couldn't bring a Sprint phone to VZW after the terms of contract
> were met with Sprint and vise-versa


If Verizon supported a specific model, and another carrier had that
model, and you unlocked the phone, you could activate it on Verizon.
That was my experience anyway.

The problem is that Verizon and Sprint have very few phone models in
common, even phones that are essentially identical often have slightly
different model numbers. However Alltel often had phones identical to
Verizon phones, and these could be activated on Verizon if unlocked.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2006, 08:42 AM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Scott wrote:
> SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in
> news:4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net:
>
>> Scott wrote:
>>
>>> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept
>>> unlocked phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to
>>> occur.

>> The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the
>> carrier supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will
>> work just fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM
>> phone.
>>

>
> Sorry- I should have been clearer. There is nothing to force, say, Sprint
> to put an unlocked Verizon phone on their network.


Right, but if it's a phone that Sprint otherwise supports, then it may
be okay. With Verizon, you could use a Motorola phone from another CDMA
carrier on Verizon's network, if Verizon also supported that model. This
is despite the fact that the phone from the other carrier probably had
slightly different firmware.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2006, 10:35 PM
Cavity Search
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

"John Navas" <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in message
news:qcubm2de2uhjk93jhos7l0j32nq1ccmln2@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 23 Nov 2006 23:19:51 -0800, SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com>
> wrote in <4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net>:
>
> >Scott wrote:
> >
> >> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept

unlocked
> >> phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to occur.

> >
> >The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the carrier
> >supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will work just
> >fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM phone.
> >
> >What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive
> >about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
> >phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
> >without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
> >beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
> >thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
> >subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.

>
> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.


I was under the impression carriers locked their phones to prevent folks
from getting free or discounted phones, then simply walking off to another
carrier or selling it on Ebay.

Since it's so easy to buy unlocked phones, or have one's phone unlocked, I
don't see how any of this can possibly prevent fraud.

CS



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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2006, 11:04 PM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Cavity Search wrote:

> Since it's so easy to buy unlocked phones, or have one's phone unlocked, I
> don't see how any of this can possibly prevent fraud.


It has nothing to do with fraud. It's solely to prevent a subscriber
from using the phone on another carrier. It's one way to try to reduce
churn, though ineffective except for expensive PDA phones, since for
regular phones the new subscriber typically gets the phone either for
free, or for a token price, with a new two year contract.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2006, 11:44 PM
Scott
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in
news:456a2b9d$0$82583$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net:

> Cavity Search wrote:
>
>> Since it's so easy to buy unlocked phones, or have one's phone
>> unlocked, I don't see how any of this can possibly prevent fraud.

>
> It has nothing to do with fraud. It's solely to prevent a subscriber
> from using the phone on another carrier. It's one way to try to reduce
> churn, though ineffective except for expensive PDA phones, since for
> regular phones the new subscriber typically gets the phone either for
> free, or for a token price, with a new two year contract.
>



The intent of locking may not be to prevent fraud, but fraud is much easier
controlled with the locks in place. The point is moot anyway, as the
carriers are under no pressure to accept unlocked phones from other
carriers. As long as the status quo is maintained, the headline of this
thread is much ado about nothing.

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2006, 12:34 AM
dold@51.usenet.us.com
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote:
> What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive


I wouldn't say "sensitive". I would say "clueless". The front line
service reps don't know anything about unlocking. What reference do you
have that indicates they are sensitive about it, or refuse to provide the
code for a phone that is locked to them?

> about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
> phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
> without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
> beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
> thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
> subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.


If you ask Cingular for the subsidy unlock code, specifically because
you are traveling out of the country and want to use another SIM, they
will give you the unlock code. I received my unlock code within a few
months of buying the phone.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2006, 01:26 AM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Scott wrote:

> The intent of locking may not be to prevent fraud, but fraud is much easier
> controlled with the locks in place. The point is moot anyway, as the
> carriers are under no pressure to accept unlocked phones from other
> carriers. As long as the status quo is maintained, the headline of this
> thread is much ado about nothing.


True, but GSM carriers do accept unlocked phones from other carriers. So
do CDMA carriers, if the locked version is one of the phones on their
approved list.

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 05:00 AM
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

John Navas wrote:
>
> On Thu, 23 Nov 2006 23:19:51 -0800, SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com>
> wrote in <4565f45a$0$82584$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net>:
>
> >Scott wrote:
> >
> >> This is meaningless- there is nothing to force carriers to accept unlocked
> >> phones on their network. It only allows the unlocking to occur.

> >
> >The carriers currently accept unlocked phones. With CDMA, if the carrier
> >supports a phone, either the locked or unlocked version will work just
> >fine, while with GSM you can generally use any unlocked GSM phone.
> >
> >What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive
> >about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
> >phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
> >without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
> >beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
> >thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
> >subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.

>
> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.


What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
penalties. Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID (separate
from the SIM identity).


--
Paul Hovnanian mailto:Paul@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 05:02 PM
John Navas
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Sun, 26 Nov 2006 15:35:02 -0800, "Cavity Search"
<phamaps@linkline.com> wrote in <12mk8bkk3o5ma5d@corp.supernews.com>:

>"John Navas" <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in message
>news:qcubm2de2uhjk93jhos7l0j32nq1ccmln2@4ax.com.. .


>> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.

>
>I was under the impression carriers locked their phones to prevent folks
>from getting free or discounted phones, then simply walking off to another
>carrier or selling it on Ebay.


Fraud can come into play when stolen credit card numbers are used to buy
the phones, which then disappear. Although the IMEI numbers can be
eventually blocked, the value of the stolen phones is much less when
they are carrier locked.

>Since it's so easy to buy unlocked phones, or have one's phone unlocked, I
>don't see how any of this can possibly prevent fraud.


It works well enough to discourage less sophisticated thieves, and it's
actually pretty hard to get some of the latest phones unlocked without
help from the carrier.

Think about. The carrier can't really be worried about legitimate
customers, since they can just ding credit cards. They therefore are
really worried about illegitimate customers.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 05:04 PM
John Navas
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 22:00:41 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."
<paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in <456BD089.9F87BA3E@hovnanian.com>:

>John Navas wrote:


>> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.

>
>What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
>subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
>penalties.


That's not fraud. Think stolen credit card numbers.

>Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID (separate
>from the SIM identity).


It takes time to respond and block the IMEI, by which time much harm can
have been done, which is part of why fraud is such a huge problem for
carriers. The point of locking is to discourage fraud in the first
place -- a locked phone is of much less value, particularly to a less
sophisticated thief.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 05:05 PM
John Navas
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 01:34:47 +0000 (UTC), dold@51.usenet.us.com wrote in
<ekdfbn$e4f$1@blue.rahul.net>:

>SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote:
>> What doesn't make sense is the fact that the carriers are so sensitive

>
>I wouldn't say "sensitive". I would say "clueless". The front line
>service reps don't know anything about unlocking. What reference do you
>have that indicates they are sensitive about it, or refuse to provide the
>code for a phone that is locked to them?
>
>> about the subject. You still have to sign a contract to get a discounted
>> phone, and you can't leave for another carrier for one or two years
>> without paying a termination fee. I guess the carriers are thinking
>> beyond those two years, or in the case of quad-band phones they're
>> thinking about international roaming revenue as opposed to having
>> subscribers opt for prepaid SIM cards.

>
>If you ask Cingular for the subsidy unlock code, specifically because
>you are traveling out of the country and want to use another SIM, they
>will give you the unlock code. ...


*If* your account is established for a reasonable period of time and is
in good standing.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 06:13 PM
Jeffrey Kaplan
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

It is alleged that John Navas claimed:

> It takes time to respond and block the IMEI, by which time much harm can
> have been done, which is part of why fraud is such a huge problem for
> carriers. The point of locking is to discourage fraud in the first
> place -- a locked phone is of much less value, particularly to a less
> sophisticated thief.


Serious question: How much of this fraud is there in Europe and Asia?
This business of locking phones to a specific carrier seems to be
unique to the US, home of the alleged free.

--
Jeffrey Kaplan www.gordol.org
The from userid is killfiled Send personal mail to gordol

"Not having any idea who I was, he looked at me with something akin to
pity in his eyes, as if this was the one big thing I'd ever done and I
had come by to relive that moment of accomplishment...and he asks if I
did anything after that, and I said Babylon 5...he didn't have a clue
what it was and said, 'So, did that work out okay for you?'" - JMS
recounts a conversation he had at the He-Man booth at ComicCon '02
after mentioning that he used to write for the show)

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 07:35 PM
John Navas
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 14:13:31 -0500, Jeffrey Kaplan <nomail@gordol.org>
wrote in <pe2pm2ds4m94304f8b2m54c5ofagokut9m@gordol.org>:

>It is alleged that John Navas claimed:
>
>> It takes time to respond and block the IMEI, by which time much harm can
>> have been done, which is part of why fraud is such a huge problem for
>> carriers. The point of locking is to discourage fraud in the first
>> place -- a locked phone is of much less value, particularly to a less
>> sophisticated thief.

>
>Serious question: How much of this fraud is there in Europe and Asia?
>This business of locking phones to a specific carrier seems to be
>unique to the US, home of the alleged free.


SIM-locking isn't uncommon in Europe.
There's a lot of cell phone fraud in the USA.
<http://www.nd.gov/itd/security/start/phone6.htm>

... a recent promotional message from a major wireless provider
stated that over one million cell phones were stolen in the U.S. in
1999

<http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cellphonefraud.html>

The cellular industry estimates that carriers lose more than $150
million per year due to subscriber fraud.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 07:36 PM
Todd Allcock
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Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

At 28 Nov 2006 14:13:31 -0500 Jeffrey Kaplan wrote:

> Serious question: How much of this fraud is there in Europe and Asia?
> This business of locking phones to a specific carrier seems to be
> unique to the US, home of the alleged free.


The British mobile operators lock phones as well (as do the Canadians.)
I suspect that many other countries' operators do as well, if they
subsidize handsets.

The real difference is that in many places outside the US, consumers
regularly purchase unlocked handsets sourced directly from manufacturers
(as opposed to the operators.)

That can be done here as well, but it's not common, because we've been
trained to take a subsidy. When I bought my current phone, my T-Mo MDA,
I chose to buy it from T-Mo for $250 w/ a 1-year contract extension,
rather than buying the identical unlocked "I-Mate" version for $600. The
$350 I saved represents seven months of T-Mo service including taxes.
What advantage would an unlocked "unbranded" phone get me, unless I was
after a model US carriers didn't offer? (By contrast, I bought my wife a
cute little pink Panasonic G51 on eBay from a seller in the UK last year
for about $100- she wanted a tiny phone she could lose in her purse, and
at the time, the G51 was about the smallest GPRS-enabled phone available.)

I believe the free market tends to work- if there was a "real" demand for
unlocked/unbranded handsets, we'd see more retailers selling them. Since
it's a "specialty" market, they are harder to find- but today even some
mainstream retailers like Fry's and CompUSA carry them, as well as online
retailers and independent wireless shops. This idea that some vast
wireless conspiracy between carriers and handset makers prevents unlocked
handsets from being sold in the USA is simply nonsense- even Nokia
(supposedly part of the conspiracy!) sells a few models of their phones
directly to consumers via their website. And certainly handset makers
not favored by the carriers (like Panasonic, for example) would certainly
try to get their foot in the door in the USA by selling unsubsidized
handsets if they thought they had a reasonable chance of success, but
they too realize there is a very small demand for unsubsidized phones in
the US.

Cellphones aren't that different than any other consumer electronics-
people tend to want the "hot" model everyone else seems to be using
(think iPod vs. any number of equally or better valued MP3 players out
there!) so no matter how good and thin an unsubsidized
Panasonic/Pantech/DoCoMo/etc. phone might be, nobody is going to spend
$150 for it when they can get a subsidized Razr for "free."

Remember it wasn't always this way- when I started selling cellphones in
the late 80's, you paid full retail for the phone ($700-$1500) and
monthly rates started as low as $0/month plus 75-cents/minute for an
"emergency-only" type plan. Of course, carriers could afford to offer
much lower monthly rates then, since they weren't starting $100-200 in
the hole by "paying us" to take a phone.

Of course, cellular use in this country didn't explode until
subsidized/free phones became available. That's the great thing about
the free market- we get the products and services we ask for...
...whether it is good for us or not! ;-)


--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2006, 11:58 PM
Scott
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

"Paul Hovnanian P.E." <paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in
news:456BD089.9F87BA3E@hovnanian.com:


>
> What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
> subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
> penalties. Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID
> (separate from the SIM identity).
>
>


Point taken, but how does Cingular efficiently and cheaply check to see if
the unlocked T-mo phone in the customer's hand was stolen or not?

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:22 AM
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

John Navas wrote:
>
> On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 22:00:41 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."
> <paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in <456BD089.9F87BA3E@hovnanian.com>:
>
> >John Navas wrote:

>
> >> The carriers are actually thinking about fraud.

> >
> >What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
> >subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
> >penalties.

>
> That's not fraud. Think stolen credit card numbers.
>
> >Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID (separate
> >from the SIM identity).

>
> It takes time to respond and block the IMEI, by which time much harm can
> have been done, which is part of why fraud is such a huge problem for
> carriers. The point of locking is to discourage fraud in the first
> place -- a locked phone is of much less value, particularly to a less
> sophisticated thief.


But how would that differ from someone stealing a credit card, buying a
(locked) phone with a plan (possibly prepaid) and using it without
shifting carriers until the theft has been discovered?

No part of this scheme requires the perpetrator to switch plans. So
locking the phone provides no remedy.

> --
> Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
> John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>


--
Paul Hovnanian mailto:Paul@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:37 AM
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Todd Allcock wrote:
>

[snip]

> I believe the free market tends to work- if there was a "real" demand for
> unlocked/unbranded handsets, we'd see more retailers selling them. Since
> it's a "specialty" market, they are harder to find- but today even some
> mainstream retailers like Fry's and CompUSA carry them, as well as online
> retailers and independent wireless shops. This idea that some vast
> wireless conspiracy between carriers and handset makers prevents unlocked
> handsets from being sold in the USA is simply nonsense- even Nokia
> (supposedly part of the conspiracy!) sells a few models of their phones
> directly to consumers via their website. And certainly handset makers
> not favored by the carriers (like Panasonic, for example) would certainly
> try to get their foot in the door in the USA by selling unsubsidized
> handsets if they thought they had a reasonable chance of success, but
> they too realize there is a very small demand for unsubsidized phones in
> the US.


I think this is the real reason behind the FUD over unlocked phones. If
the providers can restrict the market channels available to the
manufacturers to themselves, they have the manufacturers over a barrel,
so to speak. Not unlike the way WalMart can dictate terms to many
manufacturers.

Not that Cingular is guilty of this behavior to the same extent as
others. But what do you think would happen if those 'others' couldn't
lock down phone features, Even those that should have nothing to to with
the network, like up/downloading phone data directly to a PC, or WiFi
protocols. These allow users to bypass equivalent services provided by
the carriers, for a fee of course.

I guess some carriers might consider giving the consumer some choices a
kind of fraud......

--
Paul Hovnanian mailto:Paul@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
I have a very firm grasp on reality. I can reach out and strangle it any
time!

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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:42 AM
John Navas
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 20:37:04 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."
<paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in <456D0E70.FC7F6734@hovnanian.com>:

>Todd Allcock wrote:
>>

>[snip]
>
>> I believe the free market tends to work- if there was a "real" demand for
>> unlocked/unbranded handsets, we'd see more retailers selling them. Since
>> it's a "specialty" market, they are harder to find- but today even some
>> mainstream retailers like Fry's and CompUSA carry them, as well as online
>> retailers and independent wireless shops. This idea that some vast
>> wireless conspiracy between carriers and handset makers prevents unlocked
>> handsets from being sold in the USA is simply nonsense- even Nokia
>> (supposedly part of the conspiracy!) sells a few models of their phones
>> directly to consumers via their website. And certainly handset makers
>> not favored by the carriers (like Panasonic, for example) would certainly
>> try to get their foot in the door in the USA by selling unsubsidized
>> handsets if they thought they had a reasonable chance of success, but
>> they too realize there is a very small demand for unsubsidized phones in
>> the US.

>
>I think this is the real reason behind the FUD over unlocked phones. If
>the providers can restrict the market channels available to the
>manufacturers to themselves, they have the manufacturers over a barrel,
>so to speak. Not unlike the way WalMart can dictate terms to many
>manufacturers.


Except carriers don't have manufacturers over any barrel. Lots of
channels are available to manufacturers (e.g., WalMart, Amazon.com).
The problem is insufficient demand at non-subsidized prices -- carriers
represent far greater volume.

>Not that Cingular is guilty of this behavior to the same extent as
>others. But what do you think would happen if those 'others' couldn't
>lock down phone features, Even those that should have nothing to to with
>the network, like up/downloading phone data directly to a PC, or WiFi
>protocols. These allow users to bypass equivalent services provided by
>the carriers, for a fee of course.


If that was really a big factor, then it would massively drive business
to GSM carriers, and that isn't happening.

>I guess some carriers might consider giving the consumer some choices a
>kind of fraud......


Consumers clearly don't care about these issues, or the market would
respond differently.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:44 AM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 20:22:02 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."
<paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in <456D0AEA.28344CD4@hovnanian.com>:

>John Navas wrote:


>> It takes time to respond and block the IMEI, by which time much harm can
>> have been done, which is part of why fraud is such a huge problem for
>> carriers. The point of locking is to discourage fraud in the first
>> place -- a locked phone is of much less value, particularly to a less
>> sophisticated thief.

>
>But how would that differ from someone stealing a credit card, buying a
>(locked) phone with a plan (possibly prepaid) and using it without
>shifting carriers until the theft has been discovered?


Organized fraud (resale of phones) concerns carriers much more than the
actions of some individual customers.

>No part of this scheme requires the perpetrator to switch plans. So
>locking the phone provides no remedy.


Read what I wrote more carefully and objectively.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:45 AM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 20:47:33 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."
<paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in <456D10E5.B53B0A4A@hovnanian.com>:

>Scott wrote:
>>
>> "Paul Hovnanian P.E." <paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in
>> news:456BD089.9F87BA3E@hovnanian.com:
>>
>> >
>> > What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
>> > subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
>> > penalties. Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID
>> > (separate from the SIM identity).

>>
>> Point taken, but how does Cingular efficiently and cheaply check to see if
>> the unlocked T-mo phone in the customer's hand was stolen or not?

>
>The same way they check to see if the locked Cingular phone in the
>customer's hand was stolen. If the infrastructure isn't in place to
>disable the handset by its IMEI, there's nothing stopping the thief from
>(fraudulently or otherwise) just obtaining another Cingular account.
>
>Once IMEI blocking is implemented (efficiently) carriers can share
>(possibly through law enforcement) each other's stolen handset lists.


There is a central database.

--
Best regards, FAQ FOR CINGULAR WIRELESS:
John Navas <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cingular_Wireless_FAQ>

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:47 AM
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

Scott wrote:
>
> "Paul Hovnanian P.E." <paul@hovnanian.com> wrote in
> news:456BD089.9F87BA3E@hovnanian.com:
>
> >
> > What kind of fraud are you referring to? Leaving a provider with a
> > subsidized phone? That's already taken care of with termination
> > penalties. Stolen phone? Phones can be deactivated by their ID
> > (separate from the SIM identity).
> >
> >

>
> Point taken, but how does Cingular efficiently and cheaply check to see if
> the unlocked T-mo phone in the customer's hand was stolen or not?


The same way they check to see if the locked Cingular phone in the
customer's hand was stolen. If the infrastructure isn't in place to
disable the handset by its IMEI, there's nothing stopping the thief from
(fraudulently or otherwise) just obtaining another Cingular account.

Once IMEI blocking is implemented (efficiently) carriers can share
(possibly through law enforcement) each other's stolen handset lists.

--
Paul Hovnanian mailto:Paul@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" while looking for a rock.

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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 04:55 AM
Todd Allcock
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

At 28 Nov 2006 18:58:59 -0600 Scott wrote:

> Point taken, but how does Cingular efficiently and cheaply check to see

if
> the unlocked T-mo phone in the customer's hand was stolen or not?


They could, at regular intervals, trade stolen phone lists with other
carriers.

Obviously they have a way to restrict use of stolen Cingular phones. How
expensive would it be to trade/update that info with other carriers?

(As an aside, other than for good public relations, does a carrier really
care if a stolen phone is being activated as long as the bill is being
paid? Carriers are in a service business- the hardware is simply a means
to that end. Does a gas station owner really care if the guy who just
paid cash for $50 worth of gas pumped it into a stolen car?)



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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2006, 05:11 AM
Todd Allcock
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: NEWS: Congress unlocks US cellphones

At 28 Nov 2006 20:35:19 +0000 John Navas wrote:

> There's a lot of cell phone fraud in the USA.
> <http://www.nd.gov/itd/security/start/phone6.htm>
>
> ... a recent promotional message from a major wireless provider
> stated that over one million cell phones were stolen in the U.S. in
> 1999


Maybe I'm missing something, but how is that a big problem for carriers
in this day and age? Sure, it's a hassle for the consumers whose phones
were stolen, but the carriers sell service. The cloning days are long
behind us. How does it hurt Verizon, for example, if I activate a stolen
Alltel phone on their service? To be completely pragmatic, it doesn't
realistically even hurt Alltel- they probably just roped the victim into
another contract to replace his stolen phone!



> The cellular industry estimates that carriers lose more than $150
> million per year due to subscriber fraud.


According to your source, that loss is primarily from identity theft-
starting new contract service in someone else's name and running off
without paying a bill. How does subsidy-locking the phone combat this?



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