The decree-law was finally published, which obliges telecommunications operators to free the equipment that was blocked from the network free of charge, but only after the loyalty period has ended. The document had already been promulgated after it was amended, integrating not only mobile phones but also other devices such as internet access cards, modems and routers and set top boxes.
Decree-Law 56/2010 limits the loyalty period to 24 months, a value that is already part of the operators’ practice, and defines the charging limits that operators are subject to to unlock the terminals even during the loyalty contract. This is 100% of the price in the first six months (deducting the amount already paid by the user), 80% until the end of the first year and 50% in the second year.
Operators cannot charge any additional value for unlocking the terminals, nor fees, and Anacom is responsible for monitoring compliance with the rules.
If there is no loyalty but the terminal is limited to the operator’s network, the operator cannot charge for the service more than the difference between the value of the equipment – at the date of purchase – and the amount already paid by the user.
The new legislation comes into force on September 1, 90 days after the date of publication, and applies to all contracts in execution at the time of its entry into force, which excludes terminals whose loyalty contract has already ended.