On Friday, the fifth largest wireless carrier in the US, the United States Cellular Corporation, commonly referred to as U.S. Cellular, announced that it has finally started offering nationwide LTE roaming on its network, although, it steadfastly refused to give any further details on the service, including revealing which carrier it has signed the agreement with, to roll out the new feature. US Cellular has been talking about introducing nationwide LTE roaming on its network for a while now, and it was at an earnings call back in July that the company’s CEO, Mr. Ken Myers, first announced the signing of the agreement with a major carrier, but he did not divulge the name of the partner carrier at that particular event.
Back then, Mr. Myers had expressed hope that the company will be able to start offering its LTE roaming service within two to three months, but the carrier was only able to start offering the service from the first of this month – a fact that was confirmed by its spokesperson, who also chose to maintain the secrecy surrounding the name of the partner carrier. Meaning, the media is currently no closer to knowing on whose network US Cellular is offering its nationwide LTE roaming service. However, that fact can be fairly easily ascertained by determining the operational frequencies of a carrier in particular geo-locations. That’s because spectrum is licensed by the FCC to be used exclusively by one carrier or another in a given market, and that particular info, about which carrier owns and operates which bands in which markets, is public knowledge for the most part.
Talking about spectrum, Mr. Myers has already revealed that US Cellular wants to take part in the upcoming 600 MHz broadcast spectrum auctions, in an effort to expand its reach beyond the confines of its current market, but it’s not just expansion that the carrier is looking at. US Cellular also feels that it needs additional capacity in the regions that it operates in, seeing as its subscriber numbers have risen to as much as 4.72 million, as of Q3, 2015. Naturally, getting some prime, low-band spectrum will be of paramount importance for the carrier, going forward.