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AT&T is joining T-Mobile in reducing monthly fees for people who pay for their own devices.
It’s the latest break from a longstanding practice of offering subsidies on devices to lock customers into two-year service agreements. Many customers have been forgoing those subsidies anyway as they opt for plans that allow frequent phone upgrades. But until now, AT&T’s and Verizon’s service fees have still factored in the costs of those subsidies, whether the customer uses them or not.
Beginning Sunday, customers will be able to switch to the cheaper plans if they buy or bring their own phone. That includes paying for the device in installments through the frequent-upgrade Next plan. Those whose contracts have run out also qualify.