President Takes on Cell Phone Carriers, Contracts

A new bill will make it legal for consumers to "unlock" cellphones without their current carrier's permission.
1:27 | 07/26/14

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Transcript for President Takes on Cell Phone Carriers, Contracts
What a horrible thing. Reporter: Terrible tragedy. Ron, thank you. Word of a consumer victory tonight for anyone that's tried to change your cell phone company. You are often required to buy a brand new phone. But are those days over? Here's ABC's bazi kanani. Reporter: Phone freedom. A new bill from congress will make it legal to unlock your cell phone so that you can use it with another network without your current carrier's permission. If you have an unlocked phone, it can be as simple as swapping your phone's sim card to get service on another carrier. Reporter: The change could even save consumers a lot of money when traveling internationally. This unlocking freedom is really beneficial for travel earls. It means they can take their phone from the U.S. To another country and get local rates. Reporter: For a wireless carrier, unlocking a phone can be as simple as typing in a code. Some carriers already help their customers do this if they meet certain requirements. This puts a lot more control in the customer's hands. It doesn't mean they have to rely on their carrier to unlock their phone. Reporter: A cell phone user can unlock their phone at any time to switch networks, but if they have to cancel their current contract, they could face a steep termination fee. President Obama says he looks forward to signing the bill into law and when he does, it will be effective immediately. Bazi kanani, ABC news, Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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