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Sprint Preparing Its Own Early Upgrade Program to Rival T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T

September 15, 2013 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

T-Mobile really did shake up the entire U.S. wireless industry with its JUMP! early upgrade program. Verizon and AT&T followed pretty quickly with their own offerings that ended up being a total rip-off. According to a report from CNET, Sprint is now preparing an early upgrade option of their own. Called One Up, Sprint has put together an early upgrade plan that is closer toT-Mobile’s JUMP! than Verizon’s Edge or AT&T’s NEXT options. We’ve confirmed through two sources that One Up is real. This may actually be a decent deal for Sprint customers that want a new phone every year.

One Up is a payment plan that lets Sprint customers break up the cost of a new phone or tablet over 24 monthly installments, with the last installment being slightly higher or lower depending on the cost of the device. A new smartphone that sells for $649.99 at full retail price would end up being $27 a month, with the last payment being $28.99. Subscribers who sign up for One Up can then trade their device in every 12 months for a new one. This is in line with the time frame that the T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon early upgrade options are using.

Where One Up could be a good deal is in the monthly fees. When customers sign up for One Up, they get a $15 discount on their monthly plan. One Up works with Sprint’s Unlimited, My Way, and All-In plans. With the $15 discount, the Unlimited plan would only cost $65. That’s $5 less per month than T-Mobile’s unlimited plan.

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One Up is available for brand new Sprint customers and existing customers who have been on contract for at least one year. Existing customers who are still locked in to a contract will have to trade in their current device, too, unless they are already eligible for a discounted upgrade. The phone or tablet that is being traded in must also be in good working condition, so keep that in mind.

When you do the math, Sprint’s One Up early upgrade program looks like the best deal of the four offerings from these U.S. national carriers. Sprint is apparently going to launch One Up on September 20th. If you are Sprint customer who likes to upgrade your phone more often that every two years, keep an eye out for One Up.