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T-Mobile could intro 'anytime upgrade' club today

The carrier already made headlines this year by moving to no-contract plans. A new model could do the same for buying new phones.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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T-Mobile CEO John Legere at the carrier's March 26, 2013, press conference. Lori Grunin/CNET

T-Mobile could introduce an aggressive new phone-buying model on Wednesday that would let its no-contract customers upgrade to a new handset at subsidized pricing anytime they want, according to reports.

The upgrade program, which could be called Jump, would make it easier for people to pay a lower upgrade fee when replacing their current phones, rather than paying the full, retail price to switch.

CNET first learned of this concept in March, where CEO John Legere said it was still an idea that the carrier was tossing around.

Catch our live coverage of T-Mobile's 'Boldest' news, Wednesday at 11 a.m. PT

At the time, it was conceived of as a kind of a club, in which members would pay a small fee in exchange for phone insurance and the chance to upgrade phones at a cheaper rate twice per year.

"We're going to innovate in this space," Legere told CNET in March. "This model will allow us to do that."

An upgrade program of this nature launches a further attack on traditional contract carriers Verizon and AT&T, which give subscribers a pricing break on phone upgrades only every two years.

Lowering the barrier to eligibility would not only give T-Mobile an edge to lure away customers from the U.S.' most dominating wireless providers; it would also encourage phone sales for gadget fans seeking the next new thing.

Join CNET live today at 11am PT to see what T-Mobile is calling its boldest move yet.