NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sprint Corp on Friday joined its three biggest rivals in offering an early upgrade option for smartphones, and it promised savings greater than those available from its competitors.
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider, will allow customers who pay for their phones in installments to upgrade their devices every 12 months, instead of the two years allowed under existing plans.
The company said customers participating in the new plan, called One Up, will pay $15 per month less than its standard service fees for unlimited talk, texts and data.
It also said customers choosing its upgrade option will pay up to $45 a month less than they would for comparable offerings from AT&T and Verizon.
Sprint did not immediately say how much it will charge per month for the smartphone on top of its service fees.
T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, first offered an upgrade plan earlier this year and Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc followed suit in the summer. But, AT&T and Verizon have been criticized for charging their customers too much.
All these installment plans are aimed at reducing carriers’ costs as well as satisfying consumers who do not want to wait two years to upgrade.
The new Sprint plant was reported earlier this week but not confirmed by the company until Friday.