Even though the Nexus 6 is more expensive than any of its predecessors, Google is betting on a different strategy to sell more Nexus smartphones this year, and that’s partnering up with various mobile operators around the world, including many U.S. carriers that can sell the handset for a subsidized price. Joining AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile is U.S. Cellular, which is currently taking orders for both the 32GB and 64GB versions of the handset, with both of them being priced cheaper than elsewhere. More →
U.S. Cellular (USM), the eighth largest wireless provider in the U.S., on Thursday announced additional markets to its 4G LTE portfolio. The company plans expands its LTE coverage to more than 3,800 new cities and towns in 2013. U.S. Cellular currently covers 61% of its user base with its high-speed network and hopes to increase that number to 87% by the end of the year. More →
At a time when wireless carriers are doing away with unlimited data and moving towards shared data plans, U.S. Cellular has announced it is running a special promotion that allow customers to sign up for unlimited 4G LTE data on smartphones for $40 a month with a two-year contract from now until January 31st, 2013. Once the two years are up, customers will then be forced off the LTE all-you-can-eat plan. For an additional $20, U.S. Cellular customers can also add on unlimited 4G LTE tethering. U.S. Cellular recently added 30 new LTE markets to its growing network earlier this month to round out a total of 58 markets with high-speed mobile data. If your area supports U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network, the deal is a steal.
U.S. Cellular will be looking to better compete with Sprint (S), MetroPCS (PCS) and others when it expands its 4G LTE network on November 5th. The nation’s eighth-largest carrier announced on Wednesday that its high speed network will expand to 30 new markets next week. The rollout will also expand the company’s 4G LTE footprint in select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Oklahoma. New markets covered include locations in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, and will followed shortly after by locations in Oregon, Washington and Tennessee. U.S. Cellular offers its customers a variety of 4G LTE compatible handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. More →
U.S. Cellular on Monday announced that it will join the four major U.S. carriers in offering Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone. The nation’s sixth largest carrier will launch the handset sometime in July with preorders beginning June 12th, however pricing information was not disclosed. “We’re eager to get this iconic smartphone into the hands of our customers so they can experience the 4G LTE network on a powerful device with lots of new, unique and cool features,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “Whether you are a first-time smartphone buyer or a seasoned user, the Galaxy S III makes it easy to stay connected to the people and information that are important to you.” The Samsung Galaxy S III features a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, S Voice, AllShare Play, 4G LTE connectivity, 2GB of RAM and a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. U.S. Cellular’s press release follows below. More →
U.S. Cellular on Wednesday unveiled the company’s first two 4G LTE devices, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy S Aviator 4G smartphone. The carrier plans to launch its 4G LTE network next month, and it will cover 25% of the company’s current subscriber base. “With 4G LTE speeds, you can quickly get what you want when you need it,” said president and CEO of U.S. Cellular Mary N. Dillon. “This 4G LTE network builds upon our industry-leading network satisfaction and is the only one that comes with a valuable rewards program and other unique benefits like Overage Protection and Battery Swap that make our customers the happiest in wireless.” The Galaxy S Aviator smartphone features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with an 8-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing camera and an HDMI port. The handset runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread and will be available in April. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is slated to be released in March and will feature the same specs as previous models. Read on for U.S. Cellular’s press release. More →
MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular and several other regional carriers have requested that the Federal Communications Commission initiate a “shot clock” for roaming agreements with larger wireless carriers. “Supporters stressed that imposing a shot clock on negotiations is necessary to provide the proper incentive for potential roaming partners to timely respond to inquiries,” a lawyer representing the regional carriers said in a letter to FCC Secretary Marlene H. Dortch. “Although data roaming negotiations may involve complex issues, the Joint Supporters emphasized that other situations that incorporate shot clocks, such as interconnection and siting negotiations, also have the potential to involve complex issues, and yet, a shot clock still has been successfully implemented in those negotiations.” In other words, the smaller wireless carriers want larger carriers to stop stalling when it comes to negotiating roaming deals in areas where regional carriers provide connectivity and to instead “engage in good faith negotiations.”
U.S. Cellular CEO Mary Dillon recently said on a conference call that her company turned down a chance to sell Apple’s iPhone. Dillon explained that Apple’s “terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint,” FierceWireless noted on Friday. All is not lost if you are a U.S. Cellular customer looking to carry the iPhone, however; Dillon didn’t rule out possibly picking up the device at a later date. As FierceWireless points out, it is a bit strange that U.S. Cellular turned down the device when another regional carrier, C Spire, announced recently that it will begin offering the phone on November 11th with an unlimited data package (sans streaming). Perhaps U.S. Cellular is holding out to see how C Spire fares with the iPhone and Apple’s “unacceptable terms.” Or maybe the carrier is waiting for a 4G LTE iPhone — Dillon explained that U.S. Cellular expects to blanket 25% of its network with 4G LTE by the end of this year, with phones launching in early 2012. More →
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has officially thrown its hat into the 4G ring. “U.S. Cellular, in conjunction with its partnership with King Street Wireless, announced today that it will deliver high-speed 4G LTE services and 4G-enabled devices to more than 25 percent of its customers across two dozen markets in time for the holiday season,” declares the company’s press release. U.S. Cellular plans to have LTE-enabled devices in market “during the first phase of its 4G LTE rollout” with additional devices populating the carrier’s lineup in 2012. Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, North Carolina will be among the first markets to be covered by the new, high-speed network. The full press release is after the break. More →
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has announced that over 1 million of its customers are now enrolled in the company’s Belief Project. The cellular plans allow customers to earns points, similar to credit card points, that they can then use towards their U.S. Cellular bill, services, or early upgrades. The longer customers stay enrolled in the Belief Project, the more Belief Points they can earn. The company also announced it would be giving away over 1 million points to its customers for the holiday season. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Earlier today, U.S. Cellular announced that it would begin carrying LG’s Optimus U smartphone starting on December 13th. The device, which runs Android 2.2, has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera, microSD card slot for up to 32GB of storage, and Wi-Fi with built-in hotspot capabilities. The Optimus U will be U.S. Cellular’s sixth Android handset and will be free of charge after an $80 mail-in rebate. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Among the top carriers in the U.S., AT&T is the worst by a healthy margin. The news comes from this year’s Consumer Reports reader survey, which ranks Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile along with some regional carriers. Verizon Wireless was ranked as the nation’s top major carrier, though its score of 74 positions it in the No. 2 spot overall behind U.S. Cellular. Readers were asked to grade each carrier on several criteria including value, voice service quality, data service quality and customer support. The ratings were on a scale of “Worse” to “Better,” with three increments in between. AT&T received the lowest possible rating of “Worse” in eight out of nine categories, managing too eke out a next-to-lowest rating for SMS service quality. In response to the survey, AT&T had this to say:
We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent – the equivalent of just one call in a thousand – of the industry leader.
Smartphones were also ranked in the same issue of Consumer Reports, and all but one of the top devices in the country are powered by Android. In fact each of the four variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone received top honors, either solely (Sprint’s Epic 4G, T-Mobile’s Vibrant) or as part of a tie — the Fascinate tied the Motorola DROID X for the No. 1 spot on Verizon Wireless, and Captivate tied the Apple iPhone 4 on AT&T.
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has announced three new prepaid calling plans just in time for the holiday buying season. The new plans, which all include unlimited text messaging, will offer 200, 400, or 1000 talk minutes and retail for $29, $39, and $49 respectively; the 400 minute plan will also include 5GB of monthly data usage.
“With balancing the budget on the minds of many, prepaid plans can help customers stay on top of spending and don’t require a contractual agreement,” quips the press release. “U.S. Cellular’s new prepaid plans offer spending flexibility through unlimited messaging choices and graduated levels of included voice minutes.”