Regional carrier U.S. Cellular runs a CDMA-based network in the states where it operates, and this has so far created difficulties for its customers travelling to other states where GSM-based networks hold the sway. As of now, such customers cannot use voice or data roaming services using GSM networks but that is soon going to change. According to Kenneth Meyers, President and CEO at U.S. Cellular, the carrier has developed a new technology which will allow "data roaming on one network with a fallback to another carrier for voice services." Thanks to this technology, roaming services will soon be available for all customers irrespective of where they travel to.
This new breakthrough technology isn't the only achievement that Meyers spoke about earlier today. He added that the carrier has also formed new deals with three other carriers to offer roaming services to its customers and is set to complete agreements with two more carriers in the near future. The carrier will also commercially deploy Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) services early next year which will hopefully eliminate the incompatibility between CDMA and GSM networks for good. Thanks to the new deals, subscribers of U.S. Cellular's network will soon be able to avail roaming services in areas where other carriers with whom the deals have been struck operate, and vise versa. Not only is this beneficial for customers, but will also bring in additional revenue to the carrier. "Well this would allow us to at least meet the data needs of other carriers before we get all the way to VoLTE. So it’s got some real positives behind it," Meyers said.
The second quarter has also been bright for U.S. Cellular as far as revenues and churn rate are concerned. After reporting lower than expected revenue of $958 million in Q1, the carrier today reported revenues of $980 million in Q2 as well as the lowest-ever churn rate of 1.20% which means that it has been able to retain its post paid customers in the period. The carrier currently boasts 5 million connections in 23 states and Meyers said that it will continue to invest actively to provide the best possible services to customers in the future. U.S. Cellular's capital investments increased from $79 million in Q1 to $93 million in Q2 and it also added eighteen new cell sites in the period. Even though U.S. Cellular didn't talk about any plans of implementing 5G networks in the future, the company still faces rising expenditures in the coming days to install VoLTE services as well as offering 4G connectivity to all of its users across 23 states at a time when it is adjusting its data prices to compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon.