Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 15.04.06

T-Mobile’s upcoming Uncarrier 4.0 initiative must have instilled the fear of God into AT&T because the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier just announced it will offer up to $450 worth of credit to T-Mobile customers who jump ship.

The limited-time offer is in direct response to T-Mobile’s upcoming Uncarrier 4.0 moves, set to be revealed at next week’s CES in Las Vegas.

The carrier is hoping to poach T-Mobile customers by partly offering a gift card worth up to $250 for trading in their old phone, with the difference made up in the form of a credit rebate. The full reveal is after the break…

AT&T’s media release boldly headlined ‘AT&T Offers T-Mobile Customers Up To $450 Per Line To Switch’ invites T-Mobile customers to “ring in New Year with a superior network experience and a brand new smartphone”.

The bottom line: you’ll get up to $250 worth of a gift card for trading in your current smartphone and an additional $200 in credit when you switch to AT&T, activate an AT&T Next plan, buy a new AT&T device full price or activate your existing device on the AT&T network.

The exact trade-in value is of course dependent on your device model, how old it is, its condition and other factors.

Here’s the key excerpt:

Beginning Jan. 3, under the limited-time offer, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T can trade-in their current smartphone for a promotion card of up to $250, which can be used toward AT&T products and services.

Trade-in values will vary based on make, model and age of the smartphone, but many of the latest and most popular smartphones will qualify for a value of $250.

T-Mobile customers can receive an additional $200 credit per line when they transfer their wireless service to AT&T and choose an AT&T Next plan, buy a device at full retail price or activate a device they currently own.

They also set up a special webpage and a FAQ for switchers.

What AT&T doesn’t mention is that T-Mobile’s bands are not fully compatible with its own ones. Moreover, T-Mobile offers one of the most affordable service plans in the business. And last but not least, critics have panned AT&T’s device upgrade plan called Next as not offering nowhere near in terms of value compared to T-Mobile’s Jump initiative.

The press release also sings praise to AT&T’s “larger and more reliable 4G LTE network” (Verizon and J.D. Power have disputed that claim), its “superior” smartphone line-up and “award-winning customer service”.

Truth be told, a Rootmetrics survey and other independent tests have found AT&T’s LTE to be the fastest among major U.S. carriers.

Would you switch to AT&T based on this promotion?