Everyone loves a good fight, especially in the highly-contentious mobile carrier arena. Not to disappoint, spunky T-Mobile is expected to wallop one-time suitor AT&T in a series of upcoming newspaper ads.

The ads feature the corner of AT&T’s recent ‘Truth about T-Mobile’ advertisements, asking readers whether the rival carrier may be getting nervous. In another, a snarky T-Mobile asks if their network performance is so bad, why did AT&T try to acquire the smaller network in 2011…

Although not yet released (but reported via TMoNews), the three ads apparently are T-Mobile’s response to full-page AT&T spots published earlier this month which question the speed and reliability of T-Mobile’s network.

In one ad, T-Mobile asks whether AT&T is sweating over the carrier considering dropping the standard industry 2-year contract. In another, the carrier suggests AT&T is being kept up at night worried about competing against T-Mobile.

T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert wasn’t impressed and wrote in an email to Bloomberg:

Wow. Looks like we struck a chord. AT&T doth protest too much. Glad they’re spending their money to print our name.

Here’s one of T-Mobile’s response ads.

T-Mobile anti-ATT ad

The copy reads:

If AT&T thought our network wasn’t great, why did they try to buy it?

If you have seen AT&T’s recent advertising campaign, someone is obviously worried. What’s most surprising to us is the disparaging tone of these ads given AT&T’s failed attempt to buy us in 2011. Well don’t take their word for it about network quality.

See the facts for yourself at t-mobile.com/coverage.

New York-based AT&T was looking to acquire the carrier two years ago. True, before US regulators nixed the proposed merger, AT&T was talking up T-Mobile.

T-Mobile coverage web page

But as the Verge notes, AT&T only had eyes for T-Mobile’s infrastructure.

“As in most carrier mergers, T-Mobile’s spectrum was probably it’s biggest attraction,” writes the news outlet.

Here are the remaining two ads T-Mobile put together.

T-Mobile ATT response ad 003

T-Mobile ATT response ad 002

In other words, AT&T likely saw T-Mobile only as a stepping stone to boost LTE coverage and compete with Verizon Wireless. Besides, T-Mobile has also proposed similar strip-mining of spectrum owned by regional carrier MetroPCS.

att truth ad

Despite AT&T’s size advantage (107 million subscribers versus 33 million T-Mobile customers), the carrier led by CEO John Legere has actively distanced itself from competitors. Legere has trash-talked AT&T, calling its rival’s New York network “crap” while also back-handing its other competitor Sprint.

Along with a poison-tongued chief executive, T-Mobile wants to kill carriers’ golden goose: locking customers into two-year contracts with expensive escape clauses.

As T-Mobile will begin selling the iPhone soon – one of the main reasons consumers would jump carriers – little wonder the stage is now set for a good ol’ bare knuckle street fight.

Not the best thing for carriers, but should be entertaining for us consumers, no?