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U.S. Cellular expands wireless service area in NW Iowa

Friday, July 20, 2007

U.S. Cellular, which has served customers in Iowa for more than 20 years, recently expanded its services to northwestern Iowa communities with the purchase of the Cellular One operations from Long Lines Wireless, LLC. U.S. Cellular began providing wireless service this week to the following Iowa counties: Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Palo Alto and Pocahontas.

With this acquisition, U.S. Cellular added four retail stores located in Storm Lake at 1221 Lake Ave., Emmetsburg, Spencer and Spirit Lake. To better meet customer needs, U.S. Cellular added 21 associates to bring the total number of area associates to 33. Across Iowa, U.S. Cellular employs more than 860 associates. The company was voted the best medium-sized business in Central Iowa's Best Places to Work competition by the Des Moines Business Record.

Through the acquisition, U.S. Cellular added 24 cell sites and plans to add more sites. The company is investing $5.6 million in building, enhancing and expanding its network in Northwest Iowa. U.S. Cellular has a statewide network of more than 610 cell sites. In 2006, the company invested $47 million to enhance and expand its network to deliver high-quality call service to its customers.

"We are delighted to bring U.S. Cellular's outstanding customer service, products and high-quality network to Northwest Iowa," said John E. Rooney, U.S. Cellular's president and chief executive officer. "Our new customers in the area will be pleased with our level of service and commitment to customer satisfaction. We have been proud to serve customers in Iowa for more than 20 years."

"Through this acquisition, U.S. Cellular now provides complete coverage across the state of Iowa," said Eric Conlon, U.S. Cellular's director of sales for Iowa. "Our associates are looking forward to continuing to provide the same great service and products that set us apart. We are committed to providing the ideal customer experience to our new customers and to those who travel to and vacation in the Northwest Iowa region."

U.S. Cellular has a strong history of giving back to the communities it serves, and the company looks forward to serving as a responsible corporate citizen to the communities of northwestern Iowa. Last year alone, U.S. Cellular provided more than $200,000 in funds to Iowa programs that serve disadvantaged youth, families and seniors through charitable giving and the company's United Way campaign.

U.S. Cellular is the nation's sixth-largest wireless service carrier, providing wireless service to 6 million customers in 26 states. The Chicago-based company employs 8,000 associates and operates on a customer satisfaction strategy, meeting customer needs.