An At&T logo is seen atop a store in Beverly Hills, California August 31, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
AT&T

(Reuters) – AT&T Inc customers will be able to upgrade phones once a year instead of waiting two years under a new option that involves monthly device payments as AT&T defends itself against challenges from T-Mobile US.

AT&T’s latest offering, which will not require upfront device fees, comes as the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider strives to regain the market share it has been losing to market leader Verizon Wireless, and to fight back against tougher competition from smaller rivals like fourth-ranked T-Mobile US.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, is also expected to launch a similar offer in August, according to a Droid Life blog report. Verizon Wireless declined to comment.

Shares in T-Mobile US fell 3.8 percent and shares in No. 3 U.S. mobile provider Sprint Corp fell 3.6 percent after the news on Tuesday.

READ MORE

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!