U.S. Cellular Holding Out for Apple's LTE iPhone
U.S. Cellular isn't ready to take the iPhone in its present form. What AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint currently offer in the U.S. simply isn't cutting edge enough for U.S. Cellular (the 6th largest mobile carrier in the country), which is holding out for something more from the otherwise hugely popular Apple smartphone.
This week, Ted Carlson, CEO of U.S. Cellular's parent company TDS, said the carrier won't even begin to weigh the prospect of carrying the iPhone until Apple takes the next step in mobile evolution and releases an LTE iPhone.
"We're never going to say never about the iPhone," Carlson said. "The iPhone for us would need to be at the cutting edge of where we're going, and then there might be an opportunity to consider it." The carrier said it was previously given an opportunity to carry the device, but declined, saying only that U.S. Cellular is currently focused on taking its LTE efforts to the next level - a goal the iPhone can't contribute to in its current form.
For the time being, U.S. Cellular operates in 26 states and anticipates covering one-quarter of its total coverage footprint with LTE by the end of this year, Fierce Wireless reports. The carrier is planning to launch at least one LTE smartphone and tablet in the first quarter of 2012.
Source: Fierce Wireless