AT&T will be following in Verizon’s footsteps by increasing its upgrade eligibility time for subsidized smartphones from 20 to 24 months. AT&T announced the policy change on its official blog and said that it “aligns device upgrade eligibility with our standard two-year wireless agreement and it applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.” Now that the two largest carriers in the United States have moved their upgrade eligibility times up to 24 months it will be interesting to see if Sprint follows suit or if it keeps its current policy to help differentiate itself from its rivals, much as it has done by refusing to implement data caps on its smartphone plans.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.