President Obama is set to sign into law the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," which allows consumers take their mobile phone to the carrier that best suits their needs by unlocking the device. In other words, it is now legal to unlock your smartphone.
Typically, phones are tethered to one particular network. If you leave that company, you wouldn't be able to use that phone anymore. If you happen to travel to another country and try to use another network' service on your smartphone, you would be out of luck. This is because the smartphone was locked.
Beginning today, it is now legal to unlock your smartphone, so you can use it on any network that supports it. You are required to have complied with your contract and your phone must be capable of being unlocked.
"Today, President Obama will sign into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and in doing so, will achieve a rare trifecta: a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best -- bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people," the White House stated in an official press release.