by Matthew Sims
November 11, 2011
Sprint announced that beginning today it will start, by default, locking the micro-SIM slots on all iPhone 4S devices they activate on or after Nov. 11, 2011. We've known about this since last month, but it has gone into effect starting today. The SIM lock update will not impact any current iPhone 4S users (prior to Nov. 11, 2011) and those can still be unlocked when needed. Your account must be active for 90 days and in good standing (no bills due, etc). The Sprint iPhone 4S uses CDMA in the U.S., but also has a SIM slot so that you may use it as a world phone with other carrier's SIM cards to avoid international roaming fees. In the end Apple officially has stated they will sell the unlocked iPhone 4S at some point in November giving you that option to be free at all times. Here is Sprint's official press release on the matter:
Sprint's policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. Beginning on November 11, the International SIM will be locked for devices provisioned on the Sprint network. Customers in good standing for at least 90 days can request to have their SIM unlocked for international use by calling Customer Care at 888-211-4727. Customers can sign up for one of our international rate plans and use this phone in most countries all over the world. When traveling internationally, there is a setting that must be turned on within the device to connect to GSM. International voice and data charges are on a pay-as-you-go basis and vary based on the country where the customer is using their phone; a list of rates is available at www.sprint.com/international. Sprint offers two international voice plans that customers can subscribe to for discounted voice rates: · The Canada Roaming add-on is $2.99 per month and all calls placed from Canada are only 20 cents per minute. Without this add-on, calls from Canada are 59 cents per minute. · The Sprint Worldwide Voice add-on is $4.99 per month and offers discounted rates in countries around the world. For example, calls from Italy are $1.69 per minute with this add-on or $1.99 per minute without the add-on; calls from Peru are $2.29 per minute with the add-on or $2.49 per minute without it. Sprint does supply notifications of data roaming charges to help protect customers from high costs. Notifications are sent to the customer's preferred method, either text or email, and are sent once the device exceeds approximately $50, $250, $500 and $1,000. To protect the customer from additional charges, the device's international data roaming capability will be suspended after the customer exceeds approximately $500 of international data charges in a billing cycle.