Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Why US Cellular growth is stalled

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    5,030
    Device(s)
    S9
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile
    Feedback Score
    0

    Why US Cellular growth is stalled


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    244
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
    I think he's completely missed the mark here. The Top 10 reasons USCC growth has stalled:

    1. Missed the LTE boat. Slow to roll out and then slow to support their B12 and B5 deployment (meaning no iPhone).
    2. Missed the iPhone boat. That cost them ~2 million customers.
    3. Missed the memo on upgrading the billing system without messing up the bills of over 10% of their customers.
    4. Missing the boat on LTE roaming coverage. Customers expect nation wide LTE. When LTE is current available outside the USCC network on only a handful of devices and doesn't "just work", that is a major problem for customers. If the device says 1x or 3G these days, people switch carriers.
    5. Missing the memo on competing on price and value. You can't charge the same as VZ, especially if VZ is in all your markets.
    6. Missing the rollout of the new and-now-expected features like WiFi calling, VoLTE, HD Voice, etc.
    7. Missing the boat on using all their spectrum. If you have it, use it. A 100+Mb/s download speed will attract and keep customers.
    8. Missed the boat on VoLTE rollout in combination of missing the boat on knowing their existing network density wouldn't cut it to roll it out.
    9. Management focused on here-and-now for profits and not long term strategy (witness LTE rollout, iPhone, VoLTE, not owning network towards (like the big 4 don't), etc.)
    10. Their marketing is stale and the brand has little value. All really summed up with the fact that they are headquartered in Chicago, a market they got of and don't have service in now. They would be better off moving headquarters to Milwaukee or a market they have strength in. . .

    In short, they will need to compete with Sprint and Tmobile on value, Spring on roaming limits (basically none), the big 3 on WiFi calling (Sprints is bad so not counting them); the big 3 on LTE speeds.

    At this point, I'd go out on a limb and say if they don't start thinking outside the box here, the death spiral is started again (as it was doing when they botched the iPhone and LTE rollout). Their hope would lie in roaming revenue but that will do little to spur growth. It would only slightly offset losses elsewhere.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,288
    Device(s)
    Essential, StarTAC, Lots of mobile broadband
    Carrier(s)
    VZW, AT&T, Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    Idiotic rateplans. Who in their right mind would select US Cellular when you can get a better deal with Postpaid Verizon and get access to US Cellular's 1x/EVDO roaming network? The fact they left Chicago was baffling. Even if they were spectrum starved, you just do not do that. Verizon didn't leave Texas because of their poor spectrum position.

    I only know of a handful of cases where US Cellular was the strongest choice based on coverage. Postpaid Verizon and Selectel with their US cellular roaming are better options in those markets.

    File under G. Unless they drastically rethink their rateplans and marketing, US Cellular is done.

    Here is another option. Cellular One Texoma has basically let their network rot at GSM/GPRS levels. They've changed their marketing and pricing to reflect that: http://www.choicewireless.biz/ US cellular cannot command a premium anymore, time to change their strategy.
    Last edited by E_tron; 05-17-2016 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,288
    Device(s)
    Essential, StarTAC, Lots of mobile broadband
    Carrier(s)
    VZW, AT&T, Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    EPIC PCS and Westlink consolidated their networks in Kansas and radically rethought their strategy: http://unitedwireless.com/plans They are now on a growth path. NEX-Tech might join them to make a respectable network. US Cellular really looks flatfooted in Kansas.

    Viaero Wireless is similar http://www.viaero.com/shop/plans/unlimited-data Great coverage and more for your money. 200GB for $50/month? US cellular and Verizon will only give you 4GB. That's nearly 2 orders of magnitude difference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    232
    Device(s)
    iPhone 8
    Carrier(s)
    Mint Mobile, Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by thxdude21 View Post
    I think he's completely missed the mark here. The Top 10 reasons USCC growth has stalled:

    1. Missed the LTE boat. Slow to roll out and then slow to support their B12 and B5 deployment (meaning no iPhone).
    2. Missed the iPhone boat. That cost them ~2 million customers.
    3. Missed the memo on upgrading the billing system without messing up the bills of over 10% of their customers.
    4. Missing the boat on LTE roaming coverage. Customers expect nation wide LTE. When LTE is current available outside the USCC network on only a handful of devices and doesn't "just work", that is a major problem for customers. If the device says 1x or 3G these days, people switch carriers.
    5. Missing the memo on competing on price and value. You can't charge the same as VZ, especially if VZ is in all your markets.
    6. Missing the rollout of the new and-now-expected features like WiFi calling, VoLTE, HD Voice, etc.
    7. Missing the boat on using all their spectrum. If you have it, use it. A 100+Mb/s download speed will attract and keep customers.
    8. Missed the boat on VoLTE rollout in combination of missing the boat on knowing their existing network density wouldn't cut it to roll it out.
    9. Management focused on here-and-now for profits and not long term strategy (witness LTE rollout, iPhone, VoLTE, not owning network towards (like the big 4 don't), etc.)
    10. Their marketing is stale and the brand has little value. All really summed up with the fact that they are headquartered in Chicago, a market they got of and don't have service in now. They would be better off moving headquarters to Milwaukee or a market they have strength in. . .

    In short, they will need to compete with Sprint and Tmobile on value, Spring on roaming limits (basically none), the big 3 on WiFi calling (Sprints is bad so not counting them); the big 3 on LTE speeds.

    At this point, I'd go out on a limb and say if they don't start thinking outside the box here, the death spiral is started again (as it was doing when they botched the iPhone and LTE rollout). Their hope would lie in roaming revenue but that will do little to spur growth. It would only slightly offset losses elsewhere.
    I love all of this...

    Most importantly, number 5. US Cellular is SO EXPENSIVE, in fact, it is more expensive than most over-priced Verizon. There is very financial little incentive to switch to USC. BUT, there are several rural locations in Southern Wisconsin (and other Midwestern areas) where USC is the only native service provider. So, I can see how some people in-fact need to pay that premium. However, I can't imagine that number is large enough to keep the company afloat.

    The disconnect from Chicago is also a HUGE problem. A large portion of the Chicago Metropolitan area resides in SE-Wisconsin, and many individuals work/live or live/visit in both markets daily. You cannot just cut service like that and expect people to stay. The majority of people that do travel between both markets, unhappily, switched to a different service provider.

    As an aside, USC could move their corporate offices to Milwaukee. I'm sure they would, at very least, save a little money on rent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    20
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by ajholik View Post
    As an aside, USC could move their corporate offices to Milwaukee. I'm sure they would, at very least, save a little money on rent.
    Well that's not happening... http://www.rejournals.com/2016/05/18/u-s-cellulars-new-331797-square-foot-hq-expansion-marks-largest-lease-in-suburban-chicago-in-two-years/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    244
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by GoPackGo View Post
    Never under estimate the incompetence of USM management. . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    2,974
    Device(s)
    HTC One M8
    Carrier(s)
    Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    Biggest issue is the non-native service while roaming. They could TOTALLY fix this immediately using Sprint right now if they wanted to since both carriers are doing the CCA thing... Only issue is that USCC opted out of reciprocal 'Roam Like Home' with Sprint for CDMA and LTE unlike some other carriers - - although they have LTE roaming now, it's still not native and caps apply.

    If the USCC phone showed native service while roaming, including LTE, this would go a long way to retaining customers... Think the old deal that Sprint and Alltel had -- as far as the customers on either carrier was concerned, it was native service. This was a big deal when Alltel got sold for Sprint subscribers since a good 65% of their native coverage in the Midwest and Rockies went from native service to 1x roaming - - acquired Alltel subs just got a PRL update that changed the native preference in those areas from Sprint to Verizon then in the AT&T areas eventually got moved to AT&T phones and the network.

    USCC just needs to bite the bullet with Sprint and realize that they might end up paying a little bit more for roaming on Sprint from their subscribers - - although I'd bet it wouldn't be a ton because Sprint has 10x the subscribers and would be able to do the same in USCC areas so most of it would be reciprocal. In fact with 10x the subscribers, Sprint subs may roam on USCC more than the reverse, even if they do it less on a per-sub basis - - and USCC could possibly end up picking up some roaming revenue... At the very least it would be reciprocal and would solve a major issue for them... It would help Sprint too... And Sprint could agree not to sell lines to subscribers who live in a USCC-only 'Sprint' area etc....

    It just makes sense to me... And seems stupid that USCC hasn't done this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    11
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by thxdude21 View Post
    I think he's completely missed the mark here. The Top 10 reasons USCC growth has stalled:

    1. Missed the LTE boat. Slow to roll out and then slow to support their B12 and B5 deployment (meaning no iPhone).
    2. Missed the iPhone boat. That cost them ~2 million customers.
    3. Missed the memo on upgrading the billing system without messing up the bills of over 10% of their customers.
    4. Missing the boat on LTE roaming coverage. Customers expect nation wide LTE. When LTE is current available outside the USCC network on only a handful of devices and doesn't "just work", that is a major problem for customers. If the device says 1x or 3G these days, people switch carriers.
    5. Missing the memo on competing on price and value. You can't charge the same as VZ, especially if VZ is in all your markets.
    6. Missing the rollout of the new and-now-expected features like WiFi calling, VoLTE, HD Voice, etc.
    7. Missing the boat on using all their spectrum. If you have it, use it. A 100+Mb/s download speed will attract and keep customers.
    8. Missed the boat on VoLTE rollout in combination of missing the boat on knowing their existing network density wouldn't cut it to roll it out.
    9. Management focused on here-and-now for profits and not long term strategy (witness LTE rollout, iPhone, VoLTE, not owning network towards (like the big 4 don't), etc.)
    10. Their marketing is stale and the brand has little value. All really summed up with the fact that they are headquartered in Chicago, a market they got of and don't have service in now. They would be better off moving headquarters to Milwaukee or a market they have strength in. . .

    In short, they will need to compete with Sprint and Tmobile on value, Spring on roaming limits (basically none), the big 3 on WiFi calling (Sprints is bad so not counting them); the big 3 on LTE speeds.

    At this point, I'd go out on a limb and say if they don't start thinking outside the box here, the death spiral is started again (as it was doing when they botched the iPhone and LTE rollout). Their hope would lie in roaming revenue but that will do little to spur growth. It would only slightly offset losses elsewhere.
    I was a loyal US cellular customer for my first smart phone for about a year and a 1/2. it was $25 cheaper/month than Verizon and I would never have to sign another contract again, well 2 years later my contract was up.... they told me I HAD to sign a contract and the rates were going up equal to Verizon. So they lied to me.

    I was also disappointed that LTE coverage was not as the maps said, I was clearly in LTE coverage area but had not LTE coverage while I was in Maine.

    Anyway, I went back to Verizon. I never had a smart phone on Verizon, but I was amazed at how much better the service was. But Verizon coverage in NH is way better and I can use it when I travel to Mass as we have lots of family there. US cellular roaming in MA was horrible.

    ALL FOR THE SAME MONTHLY FEE.

    So I survived the mess up of billing, and boy did they mess mine up. But once they charged the same as Verizon and lied about not signing new contracts I was out.

    I am still stuck with US cellular for my work phone, as I don't make that decision. Kind of a a pain to carry two cell phones, but it lets me compare US cellular and Verizon. And for the same cost I now see my value.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-18-2011, 01:32 PM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-21-2011, 05:37 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-25-2006, 12:23 PM
  4. US Cellular 6100 is HAWT!
    By Tech_Junkie in forum LG
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-14-2005, 11:53 AM
  5. US Cellular PCS is starting to get live in Northern VT!
    By vermontcellboy in forum USCellular
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-05-2004, 06:19 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks