Apple practices usual scaled US rollout
Two American regional carriers, US Cellular and C Spire, have announced plans to sell the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on September 19 -- the same day as national carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Other regionals will only begin offering the device on September 26, including Alaska Communications, Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Silver State Communications, Strata, and Syringa Wireless. Some will reveal their plans soon, including GCI, nTelos, Carolina West Wireless, Chariton, Consumer Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, and Thumb Cellular.
Pre-orders for Galaxy S5 start tomorrow on both carriers
(Updated with T-Mobile launch details) AT&T and US Cellular will be putting up Samsung's flagship smartphone for pre-order tomorrow, with AT&T also preparing to sell the manufacturer's new wearable devices. The Samsung Galaxy S5 on both, as well as the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches and the Gear Fit on AT&T, will be available to order through the carrier's stores and websites, with devices set to ship in early April.
More data offered to US Cellular customers, promotional plan touted
US Cellular could be preparing to update its Shared Data plans, according to an allegedly-leaked memo. Dated to be announced tomorrow, the carrier is planning to add more data to existing plans as well as adding another lower tier of service, and introducing a promotional single-line price plan that will be available for a number of weeks before other subscription changes.
T-Mobile expands reach of Early Termination payment scheme to more carriers
T-Mobile is expanding the reach of its Early Termination Fee (ETF) payment offer to cover more carriers, after seeing high transfers and more than 80,000 "breakup letters" published to social media. The carrier told Re/code that the plan, launched last week and pays up to $350 per line transferred to it, will now be extended to customers of US Cellular and 12 other smaller carriers. T-Mobile will also be expanding the number of handsets that can be traded in, and will also accept damaged phones, though at a lower level of credit.
Smaller GS4 variant to hit Sprint, AT&T, Verizon
Samsung fans that are looking for a smaller smartphone experience will be able to purchase the Galaxy S4 mini on one of four major American carriers beginning in November. The 4.3-inch handset will be available on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and USCellular. Samsung has not announced specific launch dates for the device on each carrier.
First time ever carrying iPhone on America's fifth-largest network
The fifth-largest cell carrier in the United States, US Cellular, will begin selling the iPhone for the first starting on Friday, November 8, according to an ad on its webpage. Oddly, smaller carriers than US Cellular were able to debut the smartphones ahead of it, and there are no carrier-specific plans, pricing or other details yet available. Obtaining the iPhone at long last should help US Cellular increase its subscriber base as well as help retain customers that would otherwise be lost to competitors.
Shared Data scheme from US Cellular similar to AT&T, Verizon offerings
US Cellular has decided to offer shared data plans to its customers, bringing it in line with AT&T and Verizon. At the same time as allowing customers and small businesses to buy allowances of data that can be used on multiple devices, the carrier is also bringing to an end the availability of its unlimited data plans.
Large Samsung smartphone appearing on three US carriers later this month
Following a leak on the weekend, Samsung has confirmed that the 6.3-inch model of the Galaxy Mega with LTE connectivity will be going on sale in the United States later this month. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 will be available on AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular, with the former also stating it will be on sale through the carrier on August 23rd.
Allegedly leaked US Cellular documents reveal potential launch date
The Moto X from Motorola could be coming out on August 26th, according to leaked documents. Paperwork allegedly sourced from within US Cellular provides the date, and appears at the same time as the Google-owned manufacturer teases the US-based manufacturing of the smartphone in a Twitter posting.
Carrier to reintroduce extensions to commitments for new devices
US Cellular is updating its terms of service to make its customers sign up for another two-year contract when upgrading their phone, rather than upgrading without a new commitment period. Customers under the carrier's Belief Plan will be forced to enter the new agreement if they want another subsidized smartphone, with the change coming into force from July 27th.
Carrier to offer home base station with two-hour talk time on battery
US Cellular is planning to provide a home phone service, using a base station that connects to the carrier's wireless network. The system, similar to the Home Phone Connect service provided by Verizon, will allow calls to be placed through a normal corded or cordless home phone attached to one of its two telephone ports, as an alternative to having a home phone line installed.
Could be among launch carriers for iPhone 5S
US Cellular will start carrying Apple products sometime later this year, the company revealed today during a quarterly earnings report. It hasn't identified which hardware it will be offering, or any special subscription plans. Devices will presumably include the iPhone and/or cellular-equipped iPad models. The carrier could, in theory, be in a position to help launch the so-called iPhone 5S this fall, as well as a fifth-generation iPad, second-generation iPad mini, and possibly even an Apple smartwatch, if it comes with any cellular functions.
XTRM to have rugged construction, Elite has 4G LTE connectivity
Kyocera is looking to release two new phones in the United States, according to a leaked image. The Kyocera Elite is reportedly said to be heading to Verizon, while the Kyocera XTRM will appear on US Cellular in the near future, though details relating to specifications, release dates and prices remain unknown.
Carrier hopes to cover 87-percent of customer base with LTE
US Cellular has revealed the next markets that will receive its 4G LTE service. The introduction of 4G LTE service and the expansion of existing high-speed connections will see the carrier expand it's 4G LTE coverage of its customers from the current 61-percent to around 87-percent by the end of this year.
Ongoing Verizon sale part of April 2012 spectrum deal
Chicago, IL based US Cellular has agreed to purchase Verizon Wireless' 700MHz A-block license blanketing Oklahoma City and 31 adjacent counties. The sale continues Verizon's process announced last spring to divest itself of its lower 700Mhz spectrum licenses. The transaction shifts providers for approximately 1.9 million people.
Similar handset to Galaxy S III Mini revealed with improved processor
Samsung has quietly launched a new Ice Cream Sandwich-based smartphone in the US. The Galaxy Axiom, a four-inch Android 4.0 handset with 4G LTE connectivity has appeared on the US Cellular website with little fanfare, and seems to share a similar style and specifications list to the previously-announced Galaxy S III Mini.
Deal still waiting for FCC, Department of Justice approval
Sprint has announced plans to pay $480 million for customers and PCS spectrum from regional carrier US Cellular. Should the deal be approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, by sometime in 2013, Sprint will take over customers and spectrum in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, including the major markets of Chicago and St. Louis. The carrier should add about 585,000 more subscribers.
November 5th upgrade followed by further expansion
US Cellular will be increasing its LTE network coverage in the US on Monday. The upgrade on November 5th will see the carrier expand 4G LTE signal to a further 30 new markets across 11 states, while further expansion plans to a number of other markets have also been announced, though without a firm schedule.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, US Cellular all to get new Note
Samsung announced today that the Galaxy Note successor it revealed in August would be hitting US carriers in time for the holidays this year. The Galaxy Note II will be coming to the US, with pricing and retail availability to be announced by each individual carrier. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular will all be getting the new Note by mid-November. The news confirms previous reports that had the phablet coming to AT&T, as well as leaked images that showed a Galaxy Note with Verizon branding.
US Cellular now offering HTC One V on contract or as a prepaid phone
The entry-level model from HTC's One range is now available from US Cellular. Like the One S and One X, the phone runs on Android 4.0 and has Beats Audio-certified speakers. Unlike them, it doesn't have a 4G radio onboard.
Quad-core Exynos omitted in favor of S4
Samsung held a flashy event in New York City to reintroduce its Galaxy S III handset ahead of its North American arrival. We already checked out the international model when it was unveiled early last month in London, however we took another look at the US editions to experience the carrier-specific modifications. Variants headed to Verizon, AT&T, US Cellular, Sprint and T-Mobile are powered by a different chipset, lacking a quad-core processor, and each offers slightly different connectivity options.
AT&T fires back
Several regional carriers, including US Cellular and MetroPCS, have filed a report with the Federal Communications Commission that calls into question AT&T's justification for avoiding interoperability between LTE networks that operate on 700 MHz spectrum bands. AT&T established a separate band class that supports its own LTE devices, citing potential interference issues with adjacent broadcast television channels, however the regional carriers claim such interference is not a threat and AT&T's move serves instead to exclude the smaller players from the market.
UK games now being regulated by Video Standards Council
The Video Standards Council has become the UK's sole statutory video-games regulator, administering the PEGI rating system. The changes now mean age checking for the sale of any game rated PEGI 12, 16 or 18 would become enforceable under UK law. Previously, the system was in an advisory capacity and not legally enforceable, with PEGI games rated 15 or higher also being rated by the BBFC for content.
Walmart to carry four U Prepaid phones
Regional wireless providers US Cellular and Alltel have teamed up with Walmart on an upcoming launch of a new no-contract service. Called U Prepaid, it will be available in nearly 500 Walmart stores in 18 states. The service will focus on offering simple and easy-to-understand service plans.
Galaxy S Aviator now at US Cellular for $200
As promised two months ago, US Cellular has started shipping its first LTE smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator. The handset sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen and is preloaded with Android 2.3.6 onboard. More importantly, however, it can access the carrier's 4G LTE network, offering significantly higher speeds than 3G networks.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE now at US Cellular for $400
As expected, US Cellular on Thursday confirmed it is now selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE tablet from Samsung. It has thus become the first LTE device on the carrier's network, as it ships ahead of the Galaxy S Aviator handset due in April. The tablet will cost $500 after a $100 mail-in rebate, though introductory pricing is $400 after the same rebate.
T-Mobile sends letter to FCC for 4G LTE roaming
T-Mobile USA has sent a letter to the FCC (PDF), asking it that all 700MHz LTE bands are interoperable between carriers. Such a move would motivate roaming and help the public in terms of safety, T-Mobile wrote. A meeting is scheduled for next week, at which the FCC will decide whether the interference between 700MHz B and C block operations could be mitigated if the lower band were to be made interoperable.
C Spire outlines more definitive LTE plans
C Spire gave out more definitive plans for its delayed LTE rollout on Thursday. The regional carrier will focus on Mississippi and cover both the core of Jackson, the Gulf Coast, and 23 individual towns. Among the examples include Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and West Point.
US Cellular bringing Galaxy S II for $230
US Cellular has a teaser page up for its version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, promising to ship it soon. It will run on the carrier's 3G network and thus gets the overall faster 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor instead of the 1.5GHz Snapdragon in the 4G-capable versions. The screen is nonetheless the larger, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, and an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash continues to sit out back.
LTE to arrive in cities across 14 states
US Cellular has announced that it is set to offer a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, while the company's LTE network will be expanded to include a variety of cities spread across 14 states. The additional markets to receive LTE service include cities in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Motorola stalls most Android 4 updates
Motorola gave out a detailed timetable of its promised Android 4.0 upgrades that stalled them for most users. In spite of promising most updates early in the year, the original Atrix, the Atrix 2, the Photon 4G, and all international variants on the Xoom 2/Xyboard tablet wouldn't start seeing updates until the summer. The initial batch doesn't start until the spring, when the international RAZR, the international and Family Edition Xoom Wi-Fi models, and the China-only MT917 and XT928 should get their upgrades.
Adds to capabilities in N. Carolina and Nebraska
US Cellular (USCC) has snapped up additional spectrum as it preps for the launch of its LTE-based services next month. On Friday, the Chicago-based regional services provider applied to the FCC for approval to buy five 700MHz licenses in North Carolina and Nebraska. The acquisitions, if approved, will give the carrier LTE-compatible spectrum in six North Carolina markets and eight areas in Nebraska.
US Cellular to kick off LTE with familiar devices
US Cellular acted on promises and detailed its first LTE devices. Both would be slight tweaks of existing Samsung devices and would include the Galaxy S Aviator, an adaptation of the Droid Charge from Verizon, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE. The two should arrive in April and March respectively.
Regional US carriers talk new LTE plans
Two US regional carriers saw contrasting results for their LTE rolluts on Thursday. C Spire had set a goal of having LTE-based 4G on its network by the end of 2011, but in a response to FierceWireless declined to say what adjusted schedule it might have. The former Cellular South may have been counting on rules requiring LTE interoperability from AT&T devices that weren't granted with the Qualcomm spectrum handover in December.
Galaxy S II, Tab 10.1 coming to US Cullular?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S II may soon be available at US Cellular, according to a screen capture from the carrier's system shared by Android Central. The regional carrier has yet to officially announce either device, however, so ship dates and prices remain unknown. Both would be late entries after most major carriers had one device or both.
Second US cartrier to offer Huawei smartphone
US Cellular will soon be running a new budget Android phone, the Huawei Ascend II. The hardware centers on a 3.5-inch, 480x240 touchscreen and runs Android 2.3. The carrier is the second US-based carrier to carry the phone, following Cricket, which launched it in July.
US Cellular next among carriers open to 4G iPhone
The chief for US Cellular's parent, TDS, hinted in a presentation at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Monday that US Cellular would be open to an LTE iPhone. It was "never going to say never" about Apple's device, but the carrier wanted the device on its newest network before considering. Its LTE network goes live in early 2012 and will already be at half coverage of its regional-sized network by the end of 2012.
Entry-level handset brings basic features
Samsung and US Cellular have introduced the Repp, an entry-level Android handset that will be offered for free with a two-year agreement. The device offers a basic set of features, centering around a single-core 800MHz processor and a 3.2-inch touchscreen with 360x480 resolution, though it does run one of the latest versions of Google's smartphone OS, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, that has yet to arrive on many high-end alternatives.
US Cellular next to jump to LTE
US Cellular has become the next major US carrier to plan out an upgrade to LTE-based 4G. The regional carrier plans to deploy the faster network starting from early 2012 and plans to cover a handful of cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma. Among the highlight will be Des Moines, Greenville, Milauwkee, and Portland, although most will have more than one city covered.
Carrier might still pick up iPhone in future
US Cellular was offered a chance to sell the iPhone, but decided to turn it down, according to CEO Mary Dillon. The executive revealed the information during a third-quarter results call. She elaborated that Apple's terms were "unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint," and claimed that network capacity was not an issue. US Cellular is open to selling the iPhone in the future, Dillon added.
Galaxy Nexus US page hints every US carrier onside
A now active signup page for the Galaxy Nexus has given a chance the Android 4.0 phone might arrive on most US carriers. The carrier preference drop-down gives the option not just for the Verizon LTE model but also AT&T, C Spire (Cellular South), MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Only niche or 'virtual' carriers like TracFone and Virgin Mobile are out of the list.
HTC makes first CDMA-GSM dual mode Evo phone
Sprint Wednesday brought out a new budget Evo that's its first dual-mode model in the line. The HTC Evo Design 4G is a close cousin of the Hero S that can roam on GSM networks along with Sprint's native CDMA. Its version adds WiMAX to get the claimed 4G speeds.
HTC Flyer costs 399 to 599 based on data
US Cellular chose Thursday to committed to the launch for its version of the HTC Flyer, but with a unique price scheme. The seven-inch Android tablet will be rare in the US in having a European-style price based on the data plan. Buyers will pay as much as $600 if they get a lightweight $15, 200MB monthly plan, but stepping up to the $55 5GB plan drops the price down to $400.
US Cellular to bring out HTC Wildfire S, Flyer
In addition to the upcoming HTC Hero S, US Cellular announced on Wednesday that the HTC Wildfire S smartphone and Flyer tablet will be made available at its stores in October. The Wildfire S is an entry-level smartphone and sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen and a five-megapixel camera. It is powered by Android 2.3 and HTC's Sense user interface.
HTC Hero S due in October
HTC and US Cellular confirmed rumors and revived one of Android's earliest, best-known names with the Hero S. The design recalls the squared-off look of the original Hero but with a much more modern design centered on a four-inch, 540x960 LCD. As one of HTC's fastest phones under 4.3 inches, it carries a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon and should be visibly faster than a device like the Droid Incredible 2.
Latest Kingdom variant to he slated for US market
HTC's Hero S handset has surfaced with US Cellular branding, alongside the Motorola Electrify that was confirmed earlier this month. The Hero S appears to represent yet another US-bound CDMA variant of HTC's Kindgom handset, offering many of the same features as the Hero 4G that was recently rumored to be headed to Sprint.
Android 2.3.4 now out for US Cellular Mesmerize
US Cellular's Galaxy S phone, the Mesmerize, has now began receiving the software update to Android 2.3.4. The benefits are outlined online and include better power management, updated menus and settings, new shortcuts and easy-to-read displays. Text input and editing is also faster thanks to the improvements.
JD Power gives Verizon nod in cellular performance
JD Power late this week published an updated study that gave Verizon another win in cellular network quality rankings. Customers gave it the lead in all but the North central US, where US Cellular had the lead. In some cases, the margin was a wide one, with three to five fewer problems per 100 people.
BlackBerry Bold 9900, new Torches priced in Canada
The top three Canadian carriers have not only unveiled their plans to carry the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and new BlackBerry Torches but given the clue as to pricing that will likely translate to the US. Rogers has said that both the 9810 and the 9860 will cost $200 when attached to a three-year contract. The Bold 9900 will carry an unusual premium at $250 on the same terms.
BlackBerry Torch 9850 to hit Sprint, US Cellular
Sprint and US Cellular became two CDMA carriers to sign on to BlackBerry 7 launches on Wednesday. Both of them will carry the Torch 9850 and share its 3.7-inch, 480x800 display, 1.2GHz processor, and fast-responding five-megapixel camera. CDMA puts the two on EVDO-based 3G, but it's unclear what software differences the two will have.