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AT&T has confirmed that it is increasing the activation fee for customers who sign up for a two-year contract. The move comes as the carrier sees an increasing number of subscribers opting to finance their devices through the AT&T Next program instead of going for a conventional contract. The AT&T activation fee has been increased by $4, its now up to $40 from $36.

Confirming the change to FierceWireless, the carrier revealed that its new activation fee went into effect on June 8th. Customers who have already signed up for a two-year contract will have to pay a $4 upgrade fee increase, this change was also implemented on June 8th.

Reiterating that this applies only to “traditional two-year service agreements,” a spokesman for AT&T told the scribe that this the change in AT&T activation fee became necessary due to “administrative and other costs associated with activating or upgrading a device.”

Subscribers are increasingly opting for AT&T Next which lets them get a new device each year for $0 without having to pay any activation, financing or upgrade fees. The carrier expects to ring in as many as 3.2 million smartphone sales in the second quarter on AT&T Next.

As far as its competitors are concerned, Verizon charges $35 but gives credit to subscribers in two billing cycles if they sign up for the Verizon Edge program. Sprint charges $36 whereas T-Mobile activates subscribers who choose its no-contract Simple Choice plans for free.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about AT&T.

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