Under the updated code, wireless devices will have to be sold unlocked as of December 1; meanwhile, existing individual and small business customers will be allowed to ask their service provider to unlock their devices free of charge, as of the same date.
A locked phone is tied to a specific wireless carrier and therefore can’t be use on another carrier’s network. Unlocking a phone allows an owner to use the device on another network without having to buy a new phone from that specific carrier.
The CRTC is also mandating a 15-day trial period for "unhappy" customers to cancel their contract and return their wireless device, provided they haven't used more than half of their monthly data allotment.
"The changes and clarifications we are announcing today will give Canadians additional tools to make informed choices about their wireless services and take advantage of competitive offers in the marketplace," said CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in a statement.