You can take your Sprint phone to other US carriers next year

HTC One for Sprint

If you're with Sprint, you don't have many options for unlocking your phone's SIM card slot; if you can do it at all, you're limited to service on foreign networks. You'll have far more flexibility in the near future, though. The carrier has revealed that it will unlock devices for American use starting with those launched on or after February 11th, 2015. The move will let you use SIM-based features (such as LTE data) on AT&T, T-Mobile and other US providers as long as your device supports the right frequencies. Sprint's prepaid brands, including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, will also offer the added freedom.

The move isn't a complete surprise when Sprint had committed to unlocking phones as part of the CTIA's Consumer Code. Still, this is a big step toward having real choices among US carriers. If you're unhappy with Sprint's service next year, there's a real chance that you'll get to jump ship without having to ditch your handset at the same time.