Earlier today U.S. Cellular talked up the impending launch of its 4G LTE network, saying that it plans to cover around 25 percent of its footprint in the initial rollout. At the time there was no mention of exactly which markets would be a part of U.S. Cellular's first LTE push, but the company just issued a press release detailing a handful of cities that'll take part in the launch:
U.S. Cellular also said that markets in Oklahoma and Texas will be a part of the rollout. As far as LTE-enabled devices go, we've been told that the first batch of products are currently being tested and that they'll be available in the first quarter of 2012, just like we heard earlier this afternoon. Exactly which kinds of LTE devices will be released remains a mystery, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw at least one USB modem and an Android smartphone introduced. As usual, we've got the full press release from U.S. Cellular is ready and waiting for you below.
U.S. CELLULAR ANNOUNCES READINESS OF 4G LTE NETWORK
Enhancement Builds on Carrier's Top Ranking for Call Quality and Network Satisfaction
CHICAGO (Nov. 4, 2011) – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM), in conjunction with the King Street Wireless partnership, has announced the readiness of a 4G LTE network. Testing continues on the first 4G LTE devices to ensure that customers in 4G LTE markets have the best possible experience when the devices are available in the first quarter of 2012. U.S. Cellular has the highest call quality and network satisfaction of any national carrier.
The initial rollout of 4G LTE service is planned for select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma, including some of U.S. Cellular's leading markets such as Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wis.; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, N.C.
"With a 4G LTE network and cutting-edge 4G LTE devices, customers will be able to connect to their friends and family even faster and get more done when they're away from their home or office," said Mary N. Dillon, president and CEO of U.S. Cellular. "We're excited to partner with King Street Wireless to bring 4G LTE speed to more customers next year that will help them be more productive. Our commitment to providing products and services that simplify and enhance customers' lives is one of the reasons we have the happiest customers in wireless."
U.S. Cellular customers also enjoy unique benefits, such as a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty. Customers with Belief Plans earn points for doing simple things like paying their wireless bill on time, adding a line or referring friends and family. Other benefits include new phones faster without continuously signing contracts, free Battery Swap, Overage Protection, and free incoming calls, texts and picture messages.
The 4G LTE network readiness builds on the 3G data services that U.S. Cellular customers already enjoy on the carrier's high-quality nationwide network. Details on future waves of 4G LTE deployment will be announced at a later date when plans are finalized.
About King Street Wireless
A wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Cellular is a limited partner in King Street Wireless, L.P. ("King Street Wireless"). King Street Wireless participated in the auction of wireless spectrum in the 700 megahertz band designated by the FCC as Auction 73 and was the winning bidder with respect to 152 licenses. These 152 license areas cover portions of 27 states and are in markets which are either adjacent to or overlap current U.S. Cellular license areas.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and received PC Magazine's 2011 Readers' Choice Award.To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.