Phone Codes

Kansas City, MO: (Oct-27-07) A class action lawsuit was filed against Sprint Nextel Corp. by wireless subscribers who claimed that they were unable to use their phones if they switched to a new carrier. As part of a settlement reached, the Reston, VA-based provider, with operational headquarters in Overland Park, KS, has agreed to provide departing Sprint PCS customers with the code necessary to unlock their phones' software. The code is said to allow the phones to operate on any network using technology called code division multiple access, or CDMA. Competitors that use such technology include Verizon Wireless and Alltel Corp., although the Sprint handset still would have to meet those networks' technical standards to work.

The settlement came as a bid to end the California class action lawsuit, filed in 2006, accusing the company of anti-competitive practices. The plaintiffs claimed the software lock forced customers wanting to switch carriers to have to buy a new phone, thereby thwarting competition. Company spokespersons claimed that Sprint will share the unlocking code with all current and former subscribers once their phones are deactivated and their bills are paid. [LOS ANGELES TIMES: SPRINT PHONE CODES]

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