Who Owns US Cellular?
Updated: June 10, 2023
US Cellular, one of the leading wireless telecommunications providers in the United States, is owned by Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS). TDS, a diversified telecommunications company, operates through its subsidiary, U.S. Cellular Corporation, commonly known as US Cellular. With a rich history and a strong presence in the industry, US Cellular has become a prominent player in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape.
Established in 1983, US Cellular has grown steadily over the years, expanding its network coverage and customer base across various regions in the United States. Currently headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company operates as a full-service wireless carrier, offering a wide range of services, including voice, messaging, data, and mobile internet to both individual and business customers.
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., the parent company of US Cellular, is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TDS. TDS, founded in 1969, has its headquarters in Chicago as well. As a diversified telecommunications company, TDS provides a comprehensive suite of communications services, including wireless, wireline, cable, broadband, and hosted and managed services, catering to both residential and commercial customers.
TDS acquired a controlling interest in US Cellular in 1988 and has since been the majority owner of the company. Under TDS’s ownership, US Cellular has flourished and continued to expand its network coverage and service offerings. With the support and resources of its parent company, US Cellular has been able to invest in the latest technologies, enhance its network infrastructure, and provide innovative solutions to meet the growing demands of its customers.
As the telecommunications industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer needs, US Cellular, under the ownership of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., remains committed to delivering reliable and advanced wireless services. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and technological advancements, US Cellular strives to provide seamless connectivity and exceptional experiences for its subscribers across the United States.
What Is US Cellular?
US Cellular is one of the prominent wireless telecommunications providers in the United States. Established in 1983, it operates as a full-service wireless carrier, offering a comprehensive range of services to both individual and business customers. With its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, US Cellular has built a strong presence in the industry through its network coverage, technological advancements, and commitment to customer satisfaction.
As a wireless carrier, US Cellular provides a wide array of services, including voice calling, messaging, data plans, mobile internet, and other value-added features. It caters to various customer segments, offering plans suitable for individuals, families, and businesses of all sizes. The company focuses on delivering reliable and high-quality wireless connectivity, ensuring that customers stay connected wherever they go.
US Cellular has invested significantly in building and expanding its network infrastructure, covering both urban areas and rural regions. The company aims to provide extensive coverage and reliable service to its customers, enabling them to access communication and data services seamlessly. With its network, customers can make voice calls, send text messages, browse the internet, stream videos, and utilize various mobile applications.
In addition to its core services, US Cellular also offers additional features such as device financing, device protection plans, and various entertainment options. Customers can choose from a range of smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices, enjoying the benefits of the latest technology. The company frequently collaborates with device manufacturers to offer a diverse selection of devices that meet the evolving needs of its customer base.
US Cellular’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through its focus on delivering excellent customer service. The company strives to provide responsive support, convenient retail experiences, and user-friendly digital platforms for managing accounts and services. With a strong emphasis on customer loyalty, US Cellular offers rewards programs and incentives to enhance the overall customer experience.
As a trusted wireless carrier, US Cellular continues to adapt and innovate in response to the evolving telecommunications landscape. The company’s goal is to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity, advanced technology, and exceptional customer experiences, positioning itself as a leading player in the wireless industry.
History of U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is a wireless telecommunications provider in the United States. Here’s a brief history of U.S. Cellular:
Origins and Early Years (1983-1987): U.S. Cellular traces its roots back to 1983 when it was originally known as “Telephone and Data Systems Cellular.” The company began providing cellular service in the Chicago area and quickly expanded to other regions. In 1987, the company changed its name to U.S. Cellular Corporation.
Expansion and Growth (Late 1980s-1990s): Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, U.S. Cellular expanded its coverage footprint by acquiring several regional cellular companies and licenses. The company entered into various markets across the United States, including the Midwest, New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeast.
Public Offering and Evolution (2000s-2010s): In 2000, U.S. Cellular became a publicly traded company and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “USM.” During this period, the company focused on upgrading its network infrastructure, enhancing customer services, and expanding its range of wireless offerings.
LTE Deployment and Wireless Innovation: U.S. Cellular continued to invest in its network infrastructure and technology. The company deployed 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology across its coverage areas, providing faster data speeds and improved connectivity to its customers. U.S. Cellular also introduced innovative wireless services, such as shared data plans and device installment options.
Recent Developments: In recent years, U.S. Cellular has continued to expand its network coverage and services. The company has invested in the deployment of 5G technology to provide even faster and more reliable wireless connectivity. U.S. Cellular has also focused on customer satisfaction and has received accolades for its customer service and network performance.
Throughout its history, U.S. Cellular has positioned itself as a regional wireless carrier, serving primarily rural and suburban markets in the United States. While the company’s coverage footprint may not be as extensive as national carriers, U.S. Cellular has built a reputation for reliable service and a commitment to the communities it serves.
Ownership and Corporate Structure
U.S. Cellular is a publicly traded company and operates as a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), a diversified telecommunications company based in the United States. TDS is the majority owner of U.S. Cellular, holding approximately 84% of the company’s common stock.
TDS is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and it operates through its various subsidiaries, including U.S. Cellular. TDS provides a range of telecommunications services, including wireless, wireline, cable, and broadband offerings. It has a presence in both urban and rural markets across the United States.
As a publicly traded company, U.S. Cellular has its stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “USM.” The remaining shares of U.S. Cellular are held by public shareholders.
U.S. Cellular operates independently within the TDS corporate structure, with its own management team and operations. The company focuses on providing wireless communication services to its customers and maintaining its network infrastructure. While U.S. Cellular primarily serves rural and suburban markets, it collaborates with national carriers and participates in roaming agreements to extend coverage to its customers when they travel outside its service areas.
Key Players in U.S. Cellular
The key players in U.S. Cellular include the following individuals:
Kenneth R. Meyers (President and CEO): Kenneth R. Meyers is the President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Cellular. He has been with the company since 1987 and has held various leadership positions before assuming the role of CEO in 2013. Meyers has played a crucial role in driving the company’s growth and overseeing its operations.
Laurent C. Therivel (Executive Vice President and CEO-Designate): Laurent C. Therivel is the Executive Vice President of U.S. Cellular and is set to assume the role of CEO in July 2023. He joined U.S. Cellular in 2021 and brings extensive experience in the telecommunications industry.
Steven T. Campbell (Executive Vice President, CFO, and Treasurer): Steven T. Campbell serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of U.S. Cellular. He joined the company in 2005 and has been instrumental in managing the financial aspects of the business.
Jay M. Ellison (Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer): Jay M. Ellison is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Cellular. He has been with the company since 1989 and has held various leadership roles. Ellison oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, focusing on customer experience, network performance, and strategic initiatives.
These key players, along with other executives and senior leaders within U.S. Cellular, play critical roles in shaping the company’s strategies, managing its operations, and driving its success in the wireless telecommunications industry.
U.S. Cellular’s Network Coverage
U.S. Cellular’s network coverage primarily focuses on rural and suburban areas across the United States. While it may not have the same nationwide coverage as larger carriers, U.S. Cellular strives to provide reliable wireless services in its targeted markets. Here are some key points about U.S. Cellular’s network coverage:
Geographic Coverage: U.S. Cellular has a presence in 23 states, primarily in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, New England, and Southeast regions. Its coverage footprint includes parts of Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.
Roaming Agreements: U.S. Cellular collaborates with national carriers and participates in roaming agreements to extend coverage beyond its network footprint. This allows U.S. Cellular customers to access voice, data, and messaging services when traveling outside their local coverage areas.
Network Technologies: U.S. Cellular has deployed 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology across its coverage areas, providing fast data speeds and improved connectivity. The company has also been investing in the deployment of 5G technology to enhance its network capabilities and offer faster speeds and low latency in select areas.
Network Performance: U.S. Cellular has received recognition for its network performance and customer satisfaction. The company has consistently aimed to provide reliable service and good call quality to its customers, particularly in its focus areas.
It’s important to note that U.S. Cellular’s coverage may vary by location, and customers should verify the availability and quality of service in their specific area. The company’s website and customer service representatives can provide detailed information about coverage maps, available plans, and services in specific regions.
Services and Offerings
U.S. Cellular offers a range of services and offerings to meet the communication needs of its customers. Here are some of the key services provided by U.S. Cellular:
Wireless Voice and Data Plans: U.S. Cellular offers various wireless voice and data plans, including individual and family plans. These plans provide voice calling, text messaging, and data services, allowing customers to stay connected through their smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
Device Selection: U.S. Cellular offers a wide selection of devices, including the latest smartphones, feature phones, tablets, and wearable devices. Customers can choose from popular brands and models to suit their preferences and needs.
Device Financing and Trade-In Programs: U.S. Cellular provides device financing options, allowing customers to pay for their devices in monthly installments. The company also offers trade-in programs where customers can exchange their old devices for credit towards the purchase of new devices.
Mobile Internet and Mobile Hotspot: U.S. Cellular offers mobile internet plans, enabling customers to connect their devices to the internet while on the go. Additionally, customers can use their smartphones as mobile hotspots to share their data connection with other devices.
Prepaid Plans: U.S. Cellular offers prepaid plans for customers who prefer flexibility and no long-term contracts. These plans typically include a set amount of voice minutes, text messages, and data for a specified duration.
Home Phone and Home Security: U.S. Cellular provides home phone services, allowing customers to have a dedicated phone line in their homes. Additionally, the company offers home security solutions, including security systems and monitoring services, to help protect customers’ homes.
Bundled Services: U.S. Cellular offers bundled service options that combine wireless, internet, and home phone services. These bundles can provide cost savings and convenience for customers who wish to have multiple services from a single provider.
It’s worth noting that specific plans, features, and offerings may vary over time and based on the customer’s location. It’s recommended to visit U.S. Cellular’s website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date information on available services and offerings.
Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Customer satisfaction and reviews for U.S. Cellular can vary based on individual experiences and location-specific factors. While I don’t have access to real-time customer feedback, I can provide you with some general information on customer satisfaction and reviews for U.S. Cellular:
J.D. Power Awards: U.S. Cellular has received recognition from J.D. Power, a well-known consumer insights and market research company, for its customer service and network performance. In past years, U.S. Cellular has received awards for highest wireless network quality performance in specific regions.
Online Reviews: Online review platforms such as Trustpilot, ConsumerAffairs, and Yelp feature reviews from U.S. Cellular customers. These reviews can provide insights into customers’ experiences with the company’s services, network coverage, customer support, and overall satisfaction. It’s important to note that individual experiences can vary widely, and some customers may have more positive or negative feedback.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: The BBB is a nonprofit organization that evaluates businesses based on customer complaints, transparency, and other factors. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, U.S. Cellular had an A+ rating with the BBB, which indicates a good level of customer satisfaction and a positive track record in addressing customer concerns.
When considering customer satisfaction and reviews, it’s important to keep in mind that opinions and experiences can differ. It can be helpful to review a variety of sources and consider multiple factors, such as network coverage in your area, customer service expectations, and specific service requirements when evaluating U.S. Cellular or any other wireless carrier.
Pros And Cons Of US Cellular
Pros of U.S. Cellular:
Regional Coverage: U.S. Cellular specializes in providing coverage in rural and suburban areas, which can be beneficial for customers living in these regions where other carriers may have limited coverage.
Customer Service: U.S. Cellular has received recognition for its customer service, and the company aims to provide a positive customer experience through attentive and responsive support.
Network Performance: U.S. Cellular has invested in its network infrastructure, including the deployment of 4G LTE and 5G technologies. This focus on network performance can result in reliable connectivity and fast data speeds in areas where U.S. Cellular has coverage.
Local Commitment: U.S. Cellular often emphasizes its commitment to local communities by supporting local events and organizations. This community-focused approach can resonate with customers who value businesses that contribute to their local areas.
Cons of U.S. Cellular:
Limited Nationwide Coverage: U.S. Cellular’s coverage footprint is primarily focused on specific regions and may not provide nationwide coverage comparable to larger carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. This limitation can be a drawback for customers who frequently travel or require coverage in areas outside of U.S. Cellular’s network.
Device Selection: While U.S. Cellular offers a range of devices, including popular smartphones, its device selection may not be as extensive as that of larger carriers. Customers looking for a specific device or model may find limited options compared to national carriers.
Pricing: U.S. Cellular’s pricing structure may not always be as competitive as that of larger carriers. Depending on the specific plan and service requirements, customers may find that U.S. Cellular’s pricing is relatively higher compared to some of its competitors.
Lack of International Coverage: U.S. Cellular’s focus is primarily on domestic coverage, and its international roaming options may be more limited compared to national carriers. Customers who frequently travel internationally may need to consider other carriers that offer more extensive international roaming services.
It’s important to consider these pros and cons in the context of your specific needs, location, and preferences. Assessing factors such as coverage, customer service, pricing, and device availability will help you make an informed decision about whether U.S. Cellular is the right fit for you.
Competitors and Market Position
U.S. Cellular operates in a highly competitive wireless telecommunications market in the United States. Here are some of its major competitors and an overview of U.S. Cellular’s market position:
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Wireless is one of the largest wireless carriers in the United States, with a substantial nationwide coverage footprint. It competes with U.S. Cellular by offering a wide range of wireless services, including voice, data, and internet plans.
AT&T Mobility: AT&T Mobility is another major wireless carrier in the United States. It provides a comprehensive suite of wireless services, including voice, data, and internet plans. AT&T Mobility competes with U.S. Cellular in terms of coverage, network quality, and service offerings.
T-Mobile US: T-Mobile US is a prominent wireless carrier known for its nationwide network coverage and competitive pricing. T-Mobile has been actively expanding its coverage and capabilities through acquisitions, such as the merger with Sprint. It competes with U.S. Cellular in terms of network coverage, data speeds, and service plans.
Sprint (now part of T-Mobile): Sprint, before its merger with T-Mobile, was a major wireless carrier in the United States. Its network coverage and service offerings were comparable to U.S. Cellular. Following the merger, Sprint’s customer base and network assets were integrated into the new combined T-Mobile US network.
Regional Carriers: U.S. Cellular also competes with various regional wireless carriers that operate in specific geographical areas across the United States. These regional carriers often focus on providing services in rural and suburban markets, similar to U.S. Cellular’s target customer base.
In terms of market position, U.S. Cellular is considered a regional wireless carrier with a focus on rural and suburban markets. While it may not have the same nationwide coverage as larger carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular aims to provide reliable wireless services in its targeted areas. The company differentiates itself by emphasizing customer satisfaction, network quality, and community engagement in the regions it serves.
It’s important to note that market dynamics and competitive landscapes can evolve over time, so it’s recommended to review the latest industry reports and news to gain a comprehensive understanding of U.S. Cellular’s current market position and competitive landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, U.S. Cellular supports bring your own device (BYOD) options. You can check the compatibility of your device on their website or visit a U.S. Cellular store for assistance.
Yes, U.S. Cellular has been investing in the deployment of 5G technology. However, 5G coverage availability may vary by location. You can check U.S. Cellular’s website or contact their customer service to find out if 5G is available in your area.
U.S. Cellular does offer international roaming services, but the options and availability may be more limited compared to national carriers. It’s recommended to review U.S. Cellular’s international roaming options and rates or contact their customer service for specific details.
Yes, U.S. Cellular offers unlimited data plans. They have different options based on your usage needs, including plans for individual lines and family plans. You can find more details about their data plans on their website or by contacting their customer service.
U.S. Cellular primarily provides coverage in 23 states across the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, New England, and Southeast regions of the United States. The exact coverage area can vary, so it’s best to check U.S. Cellular’s website or contact their customer service to verify coverage in your specific location.
In conclusion, U.S. Cellular is a regional wireless carrier that primarily serves rural and suburban areas across the United States. The company focuses on providing reliable wireless services, emphasizing customer satisfaction, and investing in its network infrastructure. U.S. Cellular has built a reputation for its customer service and network performance, receiving accolades in these areas. The company’s regional coverage can be advantageous for customers residing in areas where other carriers may have limited coverage. However, U.S. Cellular’s limited nationwide coverage and device selection, as well as potentially higher pricing compared to national carriers, may be considered drawbacks for some customers. International coverage options may also be more limited.