Sprint will become the last of the “big four” wireless carriers to enter the “early upgrade” game, as they are readying the launch of their “Sprint One Up” program. “One Up” will allow customers to pay for their smartphone or tablets in monthly installments, and upgrade every year by trading in their devices. The program is set to launch September 20th. The same day as… Well, you know…
Sprint is the last of the national carriers to offer such a program, after T-Mobile kick-started the trend in July with its own Jump program. Shortly after AT&T launched NEXT, and Verizon introduced Edge. The moves underscore the increasingly competitive nature of the business, with each player looking to mimic its rivals.
Sprint declined to comment when contacted by CNET.
Sprint’s program will follow along much the same lines as the other carrier’s programs, with a few small differences. Sprint’s One Up allows customers to select a device with no money down, and then pay for the phone in 24 monthly installments. For example, a device that costs $649.99 will run the customer a monthly payment of $27 a month. If the customer want’s to close out service before the monthly payments are completed, they are responsible for the balance remaining for the device, payable the following month.
One Up is most like T-Mobile’s Jump program, as it offers customers a bit of a break on the cost of the service plan in exchange for a non-subsidized device.
After a year, the customer can get a new device by trading his or her old one. Signing up for a service plan is, of course, required. A customer has the options of an Unlimited, My Way or All-In plan. One Up provides a $15 discount, which allows for an unlimited talk, text, and data plan that costs as little as $65 a month. T-Mobile’s comparable unlimited plan costs $70 a month.
If you’re an existing Sprint customer, and have been on contract for at least a year, you’ll be eligible for the new program, although the offer may be limited. You’ll need to turn in your existing phone, unless you’re already eligible for a discounted upgrade, and of course, the device you’re trading in has to be in good working order. Prepaid customers are not eligible for the new program.