Telus To Unlock Devices In 2011 For A Fee


Leading up to the new year, Telus has been making a lot of changes that are actually improving its services.

Over the last month, the company has released fairly competitive price plans, restructured their cancellation policy (for the better), and introduced a new early hardware upgrade program that actually lets Telus customers get a new device earlier, and at times, for cheaper than having to purchase the device at full price.

According to Telus, this has all been a part of a new strategy at the Canadian wireless company. Now, the company is set to reveal that last part of this strategy in early 2011 by unlocking customer devices for a small fee.

Telus providing unlocking services is a big deal, especially considering that the other wireless players (Rogers, Bell, Fido, etc) have their devices locked to their respective networks, even if the device is purchased outright at full price from the carrier.

By unlocking Telus devices, customers can choose to take their device to another network at the end of their contract. This gives customers a lot of flexibility with their devices, especially for iPhone users who would normally have to pay at least $659.00 from Apple to have an unlocked iPhone.

At this time, there is no information on how much this unlocking “fee” will be, but for customers to find it useful, the price will have to be competitive and reasonable.

[Financial Post]


  • Guest

    This is a huge step in the direction of customer mobility ! Coming from France where this is mandatory practice (except unlocking must be free 6 months after the contract is in effect), I can only applaud this move.

    I am one inch away from regretting having bought a factory-unlocked iPhone…

  • Meemurray

    Thank god! Been waiting for one of the big carriers to break, and if this is true it’s awesome. Maybe we can finally start to see some real competition in this country!

  • Noahattic

    wow… this is hugeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! good job, telus!!! finally some1 breaks the ice. it’s making a lot of sense when the customers agree to pay the service for 3 years. not to mention, i really doubt anyone would leave the network which provides unlock service.

  • Chrome262

    I think this is just preemptive on their part. There is a bill going through the house as we speak that will require this of cell phone companies. Actually the bill could be stalled if companies do it on their own. If the legislative bodies feel that the bill isn’t needed they could just stop it. so maybe its a plan to keep the power in their hands, they could always revoke it later. I am just hopping the other companies follow suit regardless. Of course I am with Fido, so they will be the last to follow suit, but it could be a good precedent.
    The bill is better though, it requires companies to do it for free at the end of contract.

  • Anonymous

    A step in the right direction. Hopefully the fee is reasonable.

  • Adrian

    if this happens im getting my iphone 4 unlocked and switching to telus. im so sick and tired of rogers/fido poor network.

  • SilverSurfer

    For the people who know anything about cydia, I don’t think its a big deal. Pls correct me If I ‘m wrong.

  • Were was this back in my blackberry storm days? Lol

  • Cydia/Ultrasnow is a soft unlock, not a hard unlock. We all know that one wrong move and your unlock via Ultrasnow is gone…perhaps forever.

    This is a hard unlock. Once done, it’s forever – no worries about updating firmware and loosing it.

  • It’s TELUS that is doing the unlocking, not Rogers/Fido. You can soft unlock your iP4 and go to Telus, but I doubt that they will (or even could) subsequently hard unlock your iPhone seeing as it wasn’t originally purchased through them.

    Of course, there’s that little technicality of the cancellation fees you’re going to get hosed with by leaving Fogers way early in your contract.

  • DevTeam7

    It’s going to be costly to pay Apple to release Telus locks off their server.
    Because you know Apple is going to want their piece of the pie considering “they” are only supposed to be the ones selling factory unlocked iPhones.
    And Telus won’t be jb’ing and applying ultrasn0w for people, LOL.
    I bet iPhones will be excluded, or the cost to the user will be exhorbant.

  • Ari

    I’m leaving Fido as soon as my contract is up. I am tired of having a 3GS that I paid full price that I have to jailbreak just to use it in Japan with a rental sim.

    My next iPhone will either be Unlocked iPhone directly from Apple or a subsidized iPhone from Telus that I would later pay to unlock for travel purposes. Hopefully it would not be too big of a fee.

  • Noahattic

    no, it should not be costly of a hard unlock from a carrier. many other countries’ carriers do it for about $20~30. some of them even do it for free as long as you use their network. check O2 of uk. and those carriers in Australia

  • Lee

    Telus has gone down the tubes lately with service. They lost my business when the iPhone 4 came out. My brother, my bf and myself are all on the same $65 iPhone plan and have been so since the 3GS came out except for my brother who got it a few months ago. We have evenings from 9 (which they switched to 6 like 1 month after we signed up but wouldn’t give it to us). Anyway, we’re all about 2.5 years into our 3 year contracts. My brother calls Loyalty, because he had a Blackberry on the old network until a few months ago. He inquires about prices but the price she gives is the normal iPhone plan so I tell him to tel her forget it. The girl says it’s too late she already changed the plan and that if he wants to go back to the blackberry plan it’s $50 because $25 to go to iPhone plan and $25 to change back, even though my brother never told her to do it. She refused to give us a manager saying she was one, and took 2 days to sort it out. Finally got another guy, he said he’d credit it all, then he helped my brother find a plan, gave him the 6GB data for free as well. My bf and I call, they refused to give us the 6GB data even though they gave it to my brother, saying I have to sign another 3 year agreement or be a new customer which I’m not. They basically said we’re liars when we said they gave it to my brother, and refused to check his account to confirm he had it. When my brother finally got his bill, he had $170 in handset and rate plan change charges then $40 worth of credits which made no sense. Called back, they wouldn’t credit anything, tried to explain that it’s $50 to switch plans, plus $50 to change the hardware and all these extra service fees. Complete joke. They used to be so good, when you’d call Loyalty they actually wanted to keep you as a customer but now they have no interest which is too bad. Glad my contract is done in 3 months then I’m out of here!

  • Anonymous

    so as a non-telus costumer, i couldnt bring my iphone to get it unlocked ?? u gotta b with telus for them to unlock it for u???

  • Ex

    You probably have to be an existing Telus subscriber.

  • Larry

    I would keep on calling until you get what you want. That’s what I did. Some reps are great and some suck big time. You’ve got three month to work on it. But you will require to sign up long term if you want additional features. The grass is not always greener on the other side (to use an old cliche).

  • Jd2157

    I wonder if I subscribed to Telus postpaid with my old Rogers iPhone 3G if they’d unlock it for me? Either way, it’s REALLY nice, and almost fair (depending on the fee size), to see one of the Big Three offer unlocking of phones off contract.

    Very interested in the details of this announcement.

  • Jd2157

    Completely agree! There’s no way after giving a company thousands of $$ for a phone and overpriced services should they have any right to keep it locked to their network after the contract is up.

    I have a Rogers iPhone 3G that’s been off contract for years and I’ve contacted them numerous times and get a different version of ‘no’ every time… we can’t, we won’t, no one does this, etc. Apple refuses too, an agreement with Rogers I assume, Rogers likely pays Apple extra to lock them and to agree (in writing likely) to never unlock them.

    Full price or only from a company with an unlock agreement is the only way I’ll buy a new one. Hopefully the unlock fee will be fair and that they won’t go back on their word in a couple years.

  • Jd2157

    Far as I know Apple doesn’t have to do anything when a carrier unlocks a phone. The carriers already have the software to do it and the unlock process itself is little more than setting a flag in a database (at Apple) that iTunes checks when you activate your phone.

    It’d be nice if Telus keeps the charge under $50…

  • Jd2157

    Yup, unlocking via Cydia/Ultrasnow is a big hassle. It only lasts until you upgrade to the latest iOS. Then you need to wait for the new iOS to be jailbroken, then you need to verify your baseband and current iOS version to see if they’re compatible with the jailbreak. Some of the jailbreaks are pretty dangerous, one of the current ones requires you to load iPad’s baseband on your iPhone which you may never be able to undo.

    A factory unlock, from Apple or the carrier, means you never have to jailbreak again to move your phone to another carrier. It’s nice to have the freedom to install any apps you like by jailbreaking but I’d skip it if I was able to get my phone factory unlocked.

  • Jd2157

    It’d be really interesting to find out if carriers are able to unlock other carrier’s iPhones. It doesn’t seem like something Apple would allow. A conversation I had with a Bell saleswoman indicated they’d unlocked phones from other carriers but weren’t allowed to do it anymore. I’d have to see it to believe it.

  • Guest

    Wouldn’t be too hard on yourself… no one could’ve predicted any of the carriers would start unlocking phones that were off contract… and until they start doing it and we get the full details on pricing and restrictions we have no idea what they’re actually going to do. For instance, I’d be shocked if they unlock phones from other carriers that want to subscribe to Telus.

    I’m cautiously optimistic though… c’mon Telus… we’ve all got our fingers crossed.

  • Agreed, they’re likely just getting in front of Bill 60 before it spreads across the country. Far too many questions to get too excited yet, i.e. will they only unlock phones locked to Telus’ network (probably), will they unlock any phone including iPhones (not likely, the Financial Post article mentions ‘the vast majority of their handsets’, if they’re won’t unlock some the iPhone would be a good one to keep locked), what will the fee be?, will they stop unlocking in the future?, will they unlock for prepaid and non-subscribers (not likely), etc.

    Either way, things are headed in the right direction. Here’s to hoping for some fairness in Canada’s wireless industry.

  • Ragman

    Sick of their crap, I got hosed with cancellation fees AND the cost of a new phone when I moved to the coast and left Telus to try out Rogers. With no service with Rogers where I was living out there, I bought/traded with a friend for her Virgin phone. And it only got worse. I ended up having to cancel both of those phones (since she was still using the Rogers phone in my name and stopped paying the bills). Three phones, three huge early cancellation bills, from the three major cell superpowers – all in the span of a year and a half.
    Long story short, I moved to Argentina.
    Glad to see Telus is coming around.

  • Any news on this………

  • Any news on this………

  • Carolove

    I first bought an iPhone 3 from Telus and paid full price. then decided to get the iPhone 4 from Apple, and
    transfer my account over, and give my iPhone 3 to my sister as a late Xmas and early birthday present.

    When she tried to transfer her Bell acct, Bell told her that the iPhone 3 is locked. I called Telus and asked, they confirmed it is locked, and they do not unlock it, and because I bought the iPhone 3 from them and that gives them the right to lock it.

    They said I can get it unlocked by somebody else, but after 3x’s, it cannot be unlocked.??
    They said my iPhone 4 is not locked, because I bought it directly from Apple
    Any suggestions?

  • Guest

    Any update

  • Gfmextra

    Except they WON’T do it. I have an iPhone 3GS that meets all their requirements (been with Telus 90 days, up to date on billing, etc.) and planned to pay to have it unlocked so I could use a European SIM. (I had tried their “US pass” and “international pass” plans and they did NOT save me money, in fact cost me outrageously.)

    The answer I got was that “we are sorry you were misinformed.” I pointed them to their own press release but got nowhere. Guess I go find a jailbreak.

  • Gfmextra

    Except they WON’T do it. I have an iPhone 3GS that meets all their requirements (been with Telus 90 days, up to date on billing, etc.) and planned to pay to have it unlocked so I could use a European SIM. (I had tried their “US pass” and “international pass” plans and they did NOT save me money, in fact cost me outrageously.)

    The answer I got was that “we are sorry you were misinformed.” I pointed them to their own press release but got nowhere. Guess I go find a jailbreak.

  • Stefanjdutoit

    This is a lie. I bought an iPhone 4 over 3 months ago from Telus, after being told by the sales rep that I can have it unlocked after 3 months. Now Telus denies this when I phoned their customer helpline. I was sold a phone under false pretences and deserve my money back.

  • From the Outside

    Telus still will not unlock an iphone 4 or 4s.  When you call their ‘customer service’ they will tell you Apple has to unlock it, and that Telus can not.  This is a lie, I went to an Apple store and they confirmed the carrier has to unlock it.  Rogers will, Fido will and SaskTel will…
    Carriers won’t even give you a monthly plan discount if you buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple and use their service.