Unlimited plans introduction brought both good and bad news to U.S. Cellular

Unlimited plans introduction brought both good and bad news to U.S. Cellular
US Cellular, which is the fifth largest carrier by subscriber numbers, after Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, released very pleasant for investors quarterly results last week, and saw its stock jump significantly. It turns out, unlimited data plans are to "blame" for the carrier's stellar performance. After introducing them back in February, U.S. Cellular saw a 51% data consumption increase on its network, but also a jump in subscriber rates.

Nearly a third of its Total plan users are on the unlimited option now, and the average subscriber goes through 3.1 GB a month. The difference between data consumption of the customers on unlimited plan, and the rest of the U.S. Cellular posse, is huge, though. Those on unlimited use almost three times as much data, indicating that, as their share of the subscriber roster grows, so will the total amount of data that U.S. Cellular has to pipe through its network by a significant margin, which in turn may depress operating profits. Sign of the times.

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9 Comments

1. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

U.S. ...... ..... .... who?

2. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

I don't mind USCC becoming big enough to compete with the top 4. Right now they're a distant 5th with only 1/10th the subscribers as Sprint.

3. fgpalm

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 22, 2017

USCC doesn't have "unlimited" like the big 4. Its basically a scam..."will automatically shift to 2G speeds when each line reaches 22GB". So why not just call it a 22GB plan? Stop lying to your customers who don't know any better USCC.

5. SkOne

Posts: 105; Member since: May 02, 2012

Tmo slows down at 50gb, im good with that!!

9. Nabil111

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

ATT states they can start throttling at 22GB as well. I used to have Sprint/Nextel, then switched to USCC, then they sold the markets back to Sprint, so switched to ATT. The reason they don't call it a "22GB plan" is because you can use an unlimited amount of data without overage charges. The old plans had a "hard limit" of w/e the plan amount was, but they'd gladly take your money by way of overage charge any day. The side effect of the new unlimited plans being that if you use a lot of data, and are in a congested area, you /might/ be subject to throttling after that 22GB, basically, you've gotten your fair share for now, let everyone else download :)

4. franky311

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 14, 2017

The Big 4 all have limits as well. Once reached speed slows or is depriortized. Unlimited data usage just not unlimited speed.

6. Duncdawg26

Posts: 174; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

I was about to switch 4 lines to US Cellular. They have the most flawless coverage in central Wisconsin and $40/line isn't bad. But that unlimited plan just Sucks. I'd almost be more ok with 22gb cap if it wasn't for 1.5 mbps speed limit :/ HORRIBLE.

8. andynaija

Posts: 1259; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

1.5 Mbps is enough to do a lot of things, it's really not "horrible".

7. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1324; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

The takeaway is that "unlimited data" plan meant less per line profit but enough new lines to increase overall profit.

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