U.S. Cellular to launch LTE this year

The carrier expects the new network to reach more than 25 percent of its users this year

U.S. Cellular will roll out an LTE (Long-Term Evolution) mobile wireless network, reaching more than 25 percent of its subscribers by the holiday season late this year.

The deployment plan, announced Friday, represents a major acceleration of its plans compared with the timing indicated by an executive's statement last year. Steven Campbell, the company's chief financial officer, said last November that U.S. Cellular would test LTE this year and begin a commercial rollout in 2012, according to news reports. A launch in time for the U.S. holiday season would mean the network would be available by the end of November. U.S. Cellular has about 6.1 million subscribers.

LTE is designed to deliver several megabits per second both upstream and downstream, though the speed that individual subscribers enjoy is based on a variety of factors. Verizon Wireless has said its LTE network delivers between 5M bps (bits per second) and 12M bps, about 10 times the average speed of EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized), the 3G technology that both Verizon and U.S. Cellular use. U.S. Cellular did not estimate how fast its LTE network will be.

As a second-tier mobile operator, U.S. Cellular is focused on some markets that may receive less attention from the four major U.S. carriers. Its first phase of deployment will bring LTE to 24 market areas, including Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, North Carolina. None of these cities was part of Verizon's initial rollout, though that carrier has said it will rapidly expand its LTE coverage this year to include about 140 more cities.

U.S. Cellular said it will introduce a portfolio of LTE devices during the first phase of the network rollout and expand those offerings throughout 2012.

MetroPCS, another second-tier carrier, was the first to launch LTE commercially in the U.S., starting in September 2010. Verizon rival AT&T plans to bring LTE to market later this year.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. CellularCarrierstelecommunicationmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?