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Sprint bumps early termination fee to $350, wants to play with the big boys

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Never count the little guy out. It seems Sprint's ramping up its game in preparation for the possible three-way carrier brawl lurking just out of view. The Hesse-led company revealed a coming change to its ETF for customers with smartphones, tabs, laptops and netbooks. Beginning September 9th, Sprint will charge a $350 termination fee -- the same as Verizon and AT&T -- that will be pro-rated depended on the number of months left on a subscriber's contract. The charge is a hefty step-up from its prior fee of $200, clearly signaling to the marketplace that it demands to be seen as a contender.

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