AT&T (T) responds to T-Mobile USA's (TMUS) Jump smartphone upgrade plan by launching its own...

|By:, SA News Editor

AT&T (T) responds to T-Mobile USA's (TMUS) Jump smartphone upgrade plan by launching its own monthly installment/early upgrade offering, and Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) might not be far behind. AT&T Next lets users pay for devices via 20 monthly installments, and with no activation/upgrade fees. Unlike Jump ($10/month, no contract, 2 upgrades/year) there's no additional monthly fee, but there is a service contract requirement, and a 12-month wait between upgrades. Meanwhile, a leaked Verizon slide suggests the carrier is about to launch VZ Edge, a plan that combines installments with the option to upgrade after a device is 50% paid off.