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|Traded as||NYSE: USM|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Products||CDMA2000 1x, EV-DO and LTE (wireless voice and data services), SMS (text messaging), MMS (picture messaging), Mobile TV (EasyEdge Mobile TV), location-based services, BREW (EasyEdge)]|
|Revenue||$3.93 billion USD (2009)|
|Net income||$216 million USD (2009)|
|Parent||Telephone and Data Systems (84%)|
United States Cellular Corporation, d.b.a. U.S. Cellular, owns and operates the fifth-largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Corporation and T-Mobile US. As of 2013[update], they serve about 10.6 million customers in 426 markets in 49 U.S. states. The company has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. On November 7, 2012, U.S. Cellular announced $480-million deal to sell spectrum and 585,000 customers (10 percent of U.S. Cellular’s total customer base) in Chicago, St. Louis, central Illinois and three other Midwest markets to Sprint Nextel, now Sprint Corporation.
U.S. Cellular was created in 1983 as a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems (TDS), Inc., which still owns an 84 percent stake.
U.S Cellular features free unlimited incoming calls, allowing users to receive calls without charge. In addition, they offer unlimited incoming text, picture, and video messages.
In compliance with federal law, U.S. Cellular works with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to provide free AMBER Alerts via text messaging.
U.S. Cellular touts its service, having one of the highest customer retention rates among its competitors, as reported by some market research firms.
J. D. Power and Associates continually rates U.S. Cellular as having "Highest in Wireless Call Quality Performance" for several of its coverage regions. The North Central Region (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) has received the award from 2006-2011.
Originally, U.S. Cellular used Digital AMPS "TDMA" cell phones in most markets, but the company has completed shifting over to 1xRTT CDMA technology. After the switch, U.S. Cellular has discontinued all analog and TDMA services. In 2009, U.S. Cellular started converting its network to EVDO which offers 3G speeds. U.S. Cellular plans to eventually use LTE for its future 4G network.
The company offers national 3G coverage through roaming agreements. Native coverage is mainly in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, parts of the East and New England. Although headquartered in Chicago, U.S. Cellular did not offer service in the Chicago metropolitan area until it acquired territories from PrimeCo Communications between 2002 and 2003, after the formation of Verizon Wireless.
U.S. Cellular announced that it will start offering 4G coverage to customers beginning in the first quarter of 2012. Just like the other larger wireless competitors, company decided to go with LTE for its 4G coverage. The rollout is planned for selected cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. These include some of U.S. Cellular's leading markets such as Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wis.; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland, Bangor and Houlton, Maine; and Greenville, N.C. As of November 14, 2012, U.S. Cellular has added additional 4G LTE markets, including Southern Oregon (Roseburg, Grants Pass, and Medford areas).
The company offers phones manufactured by Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, RIM, Huawei, Alcatel and Pantech.
On December 5, 2011 U.S. Cellular stated it is waiting for an LTE version of Apple's iPhone before selling the phone. It was announced on May 3, 2013 that US Cellular would offer the iPhone sometime during the year.
On July 12, 2012, U.S. Cellular began shipping preorders of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
On October 23, 2013, U.S. Cellular's web site began advertising that the iPhone 5s will be "Available November 8th", 2013.
On November 8, 2013, U.S. Cellular began offering Apple iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4s.
U.S. Cellular launched the Samsung Galaxy i800 Tablet PC in November, 2010.
U.S. Cellular launched the Motorola Xoom Tablet PC in June, 2011.
U.S. Cellular will launch the Apple iPad Air and iPad mini on November 8, 2013.
On October 1, 2010 U.S. Cellular unveiled its customer reward program as "The Belief Project".
All Belief plans are nationwide with no additional roaming charges in the United States. These plans all include at no additional charge: incoming calls, nights & weekends starting at 7pm, and mobile-to-mobile calls between U.S. Cellular customers. Customers are only required to fulfill one twenty-four month agreement per line ("One-and-Done Contracts"). After the first initial contract, customers no longer have to sign contracts and can continue to buy new phones at promotional prices when eligible. Customers on Belief plans earn points each month as part of the Belief Rewards program and can also be earned by referring customers or participating in other promotional activities. These points can be redeemed for early upgrades, free accessories, phones, and ringtones and ringbacks.
As of May 1, 2012, U.S. Cellular rolled out a new set of Belief Plans. The new plans retain all of the same free calling features as the previous Belief Plans and also applies to 'connected devices' (tablets, hotspots, and data cards) offering tiered data packages. Like many carriers, U.S. Cellular charges a fee ($10 per GB) for overage on data.
On October 13, 2013, U.S. Cellular unveiled its take on Shared Data plans. The plans are comparable to other carriers Shared Data options, but still include all of the same free calling features, and the inclusion of reward points to be used for different features or new phones.
The company has its headquarters in almost 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) in the U.S. Cellular Plaza complex in O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois, near O'Hare International Airport. US Cellular's lease will expire in September 2011. The company stated in 2008 that it hired CB Richard Ellis to help determine whether the company should stay in its current headquarters facility, move to central Chicago, or move to the Chicago suburbs.
U.S. Cellular owns the naming rights to:
U.S. Cellular serves as the title sponsor of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the U.S. Cellular 250, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. It has also served as the presenting sponsor of the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, since its inception in 2008.