When people in the United States chat about postpaid countrywide cell phone networks, they usually mean AT&T, New T-Mobile, and Verizon. However, a fourth firm, US Cellular, offers full-service countrywide contract options that are on par with or better than the more giant corporations. With that said, you might wonder what network does us cellular use to provide its services. This article seeks to provide you with detailed information.
U.S. Cellular is an American mobile network operator with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. It is the fourth-largest wireless provider in the U.S., with over 4.9 million users in 426 cities in 23 states in the second quarter of 2020. It was founded in 1983 as a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems Inc. (which has 84 percent ownership).
Despite being a smaller firm, US Cellular collaborates with other providers to provide excellent coverage across the country. If you’re looking for a different carrier than the others or want to try something new, US Cellular is good. We’ll explore the coverage maps for US Cellular in this article to see what kind of coverage you may expect. We’ll look at the carrier’s 4G and 5G coverage. In the event, you will know what towers does US Cellular uses. Let’s have a look at what you need to know.
What network does US Cellular Use to offer its services?
U.S. Cellular is the fourth-largest network operator in the United States, after only T-Mobile. The corporation owns and manages its own national network but focuses on providing coverage in the Midwest and portions of the country’s northern regions. U.S. Cellular is known for providing dependable coverage in scenic places across the country.
Google’s Project Fi has partnered with U.S. Cellular. In addition, roaming arrangements with several major partner networks provide nationwide service. That said, AT&T Mobility and Verizon have roaming agreements with U.S. Cellular. Customers can now roam on these networks at LTE or 5G speeds without additional charges.
U.S. Cellular uses “4G LTE Data Partner Coverage for a large portion of its service area.” This means it has an agreement with the companies listed above to use its networks in regions where they are needed. Your US Cellular phone will function normally in these locations, and you won’t even notice the difference. Consequently, most users won’t have to hunt for ways how to get better signals with US Cellular in these areas. When that does, it also doesn’t cost you anything extra.
In addition to its partnerships with AT&T and Verizon, US Cellular has a 700MHz LTE spectrum rollout deal with King Street Wireless in 27 states. U.S. Cellular offers the same excellent rural coverage as AT&T and Verizon. You can seek an interactive map that indicates the locations of partner coverage.
Is US Cellular network good?
It all depends on your situation, as it does with most things. For most Americans, U.S. Cellular’s coverage is objectively inferior to that of the other leading carriers and their MVNOs. However, if you reside in a rural area of the Midwest, US Cellular is your best option for service. In other words, while US Cellular doesn’t cover much of the country, it does it very well in the regions it does.
If you live in one of these areas of the country where the main networks’ service is spotty, U.S. Cellular might be the best option for you. You may also improve your cell phone reception by using the best cell phone booster for rural areas.
What areas does the US Cellular network cover?
Through roaming agreements, the provider provides nationwide 3G connectivity. The Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and East and New England areas have the most native coverage. Despite its Chicago headquarters, US Cellular did not offer service in the Chicago metropolitan region until 2002 and 2003, when it acquired the territory from PrimeCo Communications following the establishment of Verizon Wireless.
In the first quarter of 2012, U.S. Cellular began offering 4G coverage to its subscribers. For its 4G coverage, the corporation chose LTE, just like the other larger telecom competitors. Certain cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma were chosen for the rollout. As of November 14, 2012, the carrier has expanded its 4G LTE network to include Southern Oregon. (Areas of Roseburg, Grants Pass, and Medford)
The 3G and 4G LTE networks on which US Cellular operates provide the company’s most extensive wireless coverage. The carrier’s coverage is limited to just a few areas, with only about 10% of the country covered. This means that coverage is patchy in most places, such as dense forests, mountains, and sparsely populated areas.
If you’re going hiking in those areas, a portable cell phone signal booster for hiking is recommended for a better cellular experience. It’s a little more challenging to find 5G coverage on the U.S. Cellular network than getting 4G LTE. When you look at the carrier’s 5G coverage above, you’ll find that it’s notably less extensive than its 4G LTE coverage.
In essence, residents of Iowa and Wisconsin have a good chance of obtaining U.S. Cellular 5G service in their neighborhood. Meanwhile, Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri residents can only cross their fingers and hope that they live in a 5G-enabled area. However, US Cellular has minuscule, dot-sized pockets of 5G coverage in the other states. In places where 5G service is patchy, a 5G US Cellular signal booster is recommended.
How does US Cellular network coverage compare with other networks?
Let’s compare U.S. Cellular’s coverage to Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Here’s a breakdown of how much of the country each network covers in percentages.
- Verizon boasts a 70% 4G LTE coverage.
- AT&T has a 68% 4G LTE coverage.
- T-Mobile has a 62% 4G LTE coverage.
- U.S. Cellular has a 10.27% 4G LTE coverage.
It’s a significant drop-off compared to the other major networks. Although Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all have better nationwide coverage, that doesn’t mean U.S. Cellular won’t work for you. Whereas the other major networks attempt to please everyone, US Cellular focuses on providing extremely reliable coverage in specific areas.
If you live in one of the states listed below, U.S. Cellular might be your best coverage option. You should also not be concerned about how to improve cell signals at home, at work, on the road, or anywhere else.
If you don’t live in one of these states, you should probably look for a new cell phone plan because you won’t be able to get dependable coverage. As a result, you’ll need to start exploring ways to boost cell signals at home for free. However, if you live in one of the great states listed above, U.S. Cellular may be a good option.
What kind of network technology does US Cellular use? GSM or CDMA?
CDMA and GSM are two cell phone technologies that help bridge the gap when 4G is unavailable. If your phone is newer than a few years, it will likely be compatible with both technologies, making switching providers simple.
U.S. Cellular uses both network technologies. As a result, all phones are compatible with US Cellular. You can still save money on your cell phone plan even if your phone does not use the same technology. It is critical to check the phone’s compatibility with the network before switching.
Does US Cellular use the network of other providers?
If you look at the coverage map on US Cellular’s website, you’ll see that it looks nothing like the areas mentioned above. US Cellular’s marketed coverage includes coverage from other partner networks. While you can use your US Cellular cell phone plan to access other networks like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, you risk getting considerably inferior service.
For example, if you’re in Southern California and US Cellular doesn’t have coverage, your phone will need to enter roaming mode on a partner network to get wireless service. Roaming frequently results in a signal that is significantly less reliable. The good news is that roaming will not affect your monthly bill. The most significant disadvantage is that your service will be slower outside your US Cellular network.
US Cellular is a great network provider that offers dependable services through its own network and cell towers. It makes an excellent first impression right away when you visit their website. This perception has prompted many customers to trust their network, mainly where it performs exceptionally well.
If you live in an area where US Cellular does not provide coverage, your phone will need to enter roaming mode on a partner network to receive wireless service. However, users with spotty network coverage should consider purchasing signal boosters to improve their signals.