UScellular advances 5G spectrum strategy

Via UScellular

Feb 2, 2022

CHICAGO /PRNewswire/ -- United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE: USM) successfully executed its strategy to accumulate mid-band spectrum to enable its 5G growth strategy. Combining mid-band purchases of CBRS spectrum in Auction 105 and C-Band in Auction 107 with the spectrum acquired in recently-completed Auction 110, UScellular will have mid-band spectrum in the great majority of its operating footprint and over 80% of subscribers will be covered with mid-band spectrum depths of 100 MHz or more.

UScellular successfully bid for spectrum licenses in the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 110 and purchased 380 licenses covering 97 percent of its subscribers for an estimated total cost of $580 million. The total cost, including gross bids as well as estimated relocation costs, results in an average price of $0.48 / MHz-pop versus the auction overall at $0.72 / MHz-pop.

"We know that to offer an exceptional 5G experience, we need all three layers of the 5G spectrum cake – low, mid and high band. And now with our successful participation in Auctions 105, 107 and 110, UScellular has achieved its mid-band position objectives," said Laurent Therivel, UScellular President and CEO.

Therivel continued, "We applaud the FCC for conducting this auction and making valuable spectrum available. We are also optimistic about working with the states related to the Infrastructure Bill as it offers opportunities for wireless 5G broadband deployment in underserved rural areas." 

"Network quality has always been the foundation of our strategy," said Michael S. Irizarry, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering and Information Technology. "As we continue our multi-year network modernization and 5G deployment, we currently have low-band 5G coverage in portions of all our markets. And now we have ample mid-band spectrum that will provide capacity and coverage to support 5G use cases with competitive speeds for both mobile and fixed wireless users."

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