AT&T's announcement also beats T-Mobile on timing. Although rumors about T-Mobile's potential switch plan leaked as early as Dec. 20, the nation's fourth-largest carrier hasn't publicly confirmed the plan. Experts expect it to be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
This gives AT&T a few days' head start on outmaneuvering the company it so recently sought to buy. The renewed competition ultimately serves the rest of us. T-Mobile floated a new idea — paying for your early termination fees — and AT&T responded. This is how business is supposed to work. A spokesperson for T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.