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UScellular advances 5G mid-band spectrum strategy with C-Band purchase

March 11, 2021
Essentially all subscribers are located in markets with mid-band spectrum

CHICAGO, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE: USM) successfully bid for spectrum licenses in the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) C-Band Auction 107 and purchased 254 licenses covering 94 percent of its subscribers for an estimated total cost of $1.46 billion, including gross bids as well as estimated relocation costs and accelerated relocation incentive payments. Combined with prior mid-band purchases of CBRS spectrum in Auction 105, UScellular will have mid-band spectrum in nearly all of its operating footprint.

"All spectrum bands will play an important role in our 5G network strategy," said Laurent Therivel, UScellular president and CEO. "We are currently deploying 5G on 600 MHz spectrum and we have planned all along to augment it with mid and high band spectrum.  We are pleased with our success in the C-Band auction, acquiring 60 MHz  in the majority of our key markets, in places like Wisconsin and Iowa. 

Therivel continued, "We applaud the FCC for conducting this auction.  We are also hopeful that the administration will focus on bridging the digital divide by making more spectrum available for network deployment and ensuring all Americans have access to high-quality and affordable broadband services." 

"Network quality has always been the foundation of our strategy," said Michael S. Irizarry, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer-Engineering and Information Services.  "As we continue our multi-year network modernization and 5G deployment, we are delivering an outstanding customer experience while ramping up business opportunities that utilize 5G and IoT. We are also conducting customer pilots using millimeter wave spectrum for a high-speed internet product to test market demand." 

About UScellular
United States Cellular Corporation provides a comprehensive range of wireless products and services, excellent customer support, and a high-quality network to customers with 5.0 million connections in 21 states. The Chicago-based company had 5,300 full- and part-time associates as of December 31, 2020. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. owned 82 percent of UScellular. For more information about UScellular, visit

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All information set forth in this news release, except historical and factual information, represents forward-looking statements. This includes all statements about the company's plans, beliefs, estimates, and expectations. These statements are based on current estimates, projections, and assumptions, which involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that may affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: intense competition; the ability to obtain or maintain roaming arrangements with other carriers on acceptable terms; the ability to obtain access to adequate radio spectrum to meet current or anticipated future needs, including participation in FCC auctions; the ability to attract people of outstanding talent throughout all levels of the organization; UScellular's smaller scale relative to larger competitors; changes in demand, consumer preferences and perceptions, price competition, or churn rates; advances in technology; impacts of costs, integration problems or other factors associated with acquisitions, divestitures or exchanges of properties or wireless spectrum licenses and/or expansion of UScellular's businesses; the ability of the company to successfully construct and manage its networks; difficulties involving third parties; uncertainties in UScellular's future cash flows and liquidity and access to the capital markets; the ability to make payments on UScellular indebtedness or comply with the terms of debt covenants; conditions in the U.S. telecommunications industry; the value of assets and investments; the state and federal regulatory environment; pending and future litigation; potential conflicts of interests between TDS and UScellular; cyber-attacks or other breaches of network or information technology security; disruption in credit or other financial markets; deterioration of U.S. or global economic conditions; the impact, duration and severity of public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors are encouraged to consider these and other risks and uncertainties that are more fully described under "Risk Factors" in the most recent filing of UScellular's Form 10-K.

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SOURCE United States Cellular Corporation