The nation's second largest wireless provider just went on the offensive in the battle against underdog wireless carrier T-Mobile by offering its customers up to $450 per line to switch to AT&T. The plan builds on the company's existing smartphone trade-in program that offers up to $250 for a used handset by adding an extra $200 transfer credit on top of that.

What's ironic here is that T-Mobile is expected to launch a similar program to pay for early termination fees during their press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 9. It would seem that AT&T may have beat T-Mobile to the punch this time around.

T-Mobile's offering may ultimately prove to be the better option, however, as AT&T's program is only valid for a limited time and only for those switching from T-Mobile. If Uncarrier 4.0 is indeed a plan to assist customers in paying for expensive early termination fees, they could come out ahead in the long run by making it a permanent promotion that's available to anyone, not just those transferring from a specific carrier.

With less than a week before T-Mobile's big press conference, they still have time to make adjustments to counter AT&T's announcement and knowing how much CEO John Legere likes to shake things up, I wouldn't be surprised if they did just that.

Even with T-Mobile's success in 2013, however, the future of the wireless carrier remains largely unknown. Recent rumors suggest Sprint is interested in purchasing the carrier which could help them better compete against top-tier Verizon and AT&T.