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Sprint pushes SIM lock to iPhone 4S customers, offers to undo it for good boys and girls

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We all knew this day would come. It's hardly a tragedy, but some globe-trotting types out there might be a little annoyed. Starting today Sprint is pushing a SIM lock to all iPhone 4Ss on its network. As you may remember, the first batch of Apple handsets sold on bee-hued carrier were unlocked, but the company was perfectly clear that would be changing. A Sprint spokesperson told us this doesn't constitute a change in policy, "think of it as getting the device in compliance." Subscribers in "good standing" for at least 90 days can always call customer service and request the device be unlocked (again). Check out the full explanation of the locking/unlocking policy after the break.

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Sprint's policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. Beginning on November 11, the International SIM will be locked for devices provisioned on the Sprint network. Customers in good standing for at least 90 days can request to have their SIM unlocked for international use by calling Customer Care at 888-211-4727.

Customers can sign up for one of our international rate plans and use this phone in most countries all over the world. When traveling internationally, there is a setting that must be turned on within the device to connect to GSM. International voice and data charges are on a pay-as-you-go basis and vary based on the country where the customer is using their phone; a list of rates is available at www.sprint.com/international.

Sprint offers two international voice plans that customers can subscribe to for discounted voice rates:

· The Canada Roaming add-on is $2.99 per month and all calls placed from Canada are only 20 cents per minute. Without this add-on, calls from Canada are 59 cents per minute.

· The Sprint Worldwide Voice add-on is $4.99 per month and offers discounted rates in countries around the world. For example, calls from Italy are $1.69 per minute with this add-on or $1.99 per minute without the add-on; calls from Peru are $2.29 per minute with the add-on or $2.49 per minute without it.

Sprint does supply notifications of data roaming charges to help protect customers from high costs. Notifications are sent to the customer's preferred method, either text or email, and are sent once the device exceeds approximately $50, $250, $500 and $1,000. To protect the customer from additional charges, the device's international data roaming capability will be suspended after the customer exceeds approximately $500 of international data charges in a billing cycle.

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