So that was short lived. After T-Mobile set the industry ablaze by announcing phase two of their “Uncarrier” program, an early upgrade option known as JUMP, other major US carriers were quick to follow suit. Sprint’s version, known as One Up, has already been retired.
Sprint quietly ended their One Up plans on January 9th in favor of the newly introduced Framily plan. In essence, the oddly named service option mimics many of the aspects of One Up, including unsubsidized phones that must either be purchased outright or through an installment plan. In exchange, Framily plans see the monthly price per line reduced for each new line added to the plan.
One Framily line costs $55 per month for unlimited talk and text plus 1GB of data. Add another line and all lines see their monthly fee reduced by $5 (two lines at $50 per month). Add another and the cost per line again drops by $5 and so on until the price per line bottoms out at $25 per month.
Device payments are divided over 24 months, but Sprint has made no mention of an early upgrade option, which could be a killer for some. Still, the payments stretch over the two-year period most with subsidized devices are already used to, and early upgrades are technically possible if the user doesn’t mind paying off the remaining balance on their current phone.
Is it a better deal than One Up? In many ways, yes. A better deal than what other carriers are offering? It’s competitive for sure. Tempting? Yes. The seismic changes that have occurred in the mobile industry since T-Mobile’s bold shakeup are likely to continue in the wake of more Uncarrier announcements. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to your new mobile bill.