Sprint's early upgrades program to launch Friday, same day as new iPhones

Carrier says its LTE network has now reached 185 cities

Sprint will reportedly launch a One Up early upgrade program on Friday that allows customers to get a new device every year with a smartphone or tablet trade-in.

With the move, Sprint would be the fourth major carrier to provide early trade-in initiatives, started with T-Mobile US's Jump program launched in July, then followed by AT&T Next and Verizon Edge.

Sprint had no comment today on the first report of the new One Up program carried by CNET on Sunday.

Separately, Sprint announced it has turned on LTE in 34 more markets in the U.S., for a total of 185. Last week, the carrier acknowledged that the new iPhone 5s and 5c, going on sale Friday, won't support Sprint's add-on TD-LTE network running over the 2.5 GHz spectrum. Both new iPhones, however, will support Sprint's 1900 MHz LTE network rollout that has reached 185 cities, and Sprint said there will be no impact from the absence of support for 2.5 GHz spectrum.

With Sprint One Up, a customer can get a new phone with no down payment and 24 monthly installments.

An unsubsidized phone under One Up costs $650 (which is the price for a new iPhone 5c) and would cost $27 a month for 24 months, with slightly more on the final payment, according to the report. A customer would be required to pay off the device's entire balance for leaving Sprint's service before the end of the full term.

An upgrade would be possible with a trade-in of the device after a year, the report added. Sprint's eligible plans include Unlimited, My Way or All-In.

This article, Sprint's early upgrades program to launch Friday, same day as new iPhones , was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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