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Love 'em or hate 'em, T-Mobile is shaking up the U.S. wireless market with its "Uncarrier" moves, and its larger rivals are starting to feel the heat, responding with ever-shrinking timelines for buying your next smartphone.
CNET reported Sunday that Verizon Wireless has tweaked its Edge early upgrade plan, which now allows customers to upgrade their smartphone in as little as 30 days instead of every six months.
The move is clearly in response to T-Mobile US, who announced during CES 2014 that the carrier would pay early termination fees (ETF) for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint customers looking to get out of their two-year agreements. But the change is also aimed at making T-Mobile's own early upgrade plan, Jump!, look like a bad deal — priced at $10 per month, it allows customers to buy a new smartphone twice per year.
The revamped Verizon Edge, by comparison, has no such monthly fees — the full retail price of the handset is split into 24 monthly payments and added to the customer's wireless bill. Assuming at least 50 percent of the smartphone is paid after 30 days, subscribers will be eligible to upgrade by trading in the device for another.
Not to be outdone, AT&T announced a similar move on Monday which allows existing customers on a two-year agreement to upgrade to AT&T Next with no money down once they are past the six-month mark.
The change went into effect on Saturday, January 18, and existing AT&T customers can take advantage of an early upgrade online or in retail stores.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter