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updated 8/31/2011 8:17:14 PM ET 2011-09-01T00:17:14

Sprint has jumped on the bandwagon several other carriers are riding, nearly doubling its Early Termination Fee (ETF) to $350 starting Sept. 9.

An ETF is a fee intended to keep users from jumping from one carrier to another. They slowly decrease over the length of the contract, encouraging customers to wait until the contract is over before leaving for another carrier. Previously, the Sprint ETF was $200, which was lower than most competitors. AT&T and Verizon both charge $350.

It's interesting that Sprint has brought up its ETF to match AT&T and Verizon because there have been previous rumors that Sprint will sell the new iPhone later this year. Just before Verizon started selling the iPhone, it too raised its ETF to $350, raising the possibility that this is further proof the Sprint iPhone rumors are true.

All other Sprint offerings seem to be changed, including the unlimited data plan that is becoming increasingly rare in the mobile carrier market. The ETF still applies to tablets, laptops and netbooks, as well as smartphones.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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