U.S. Cellular: Personalized Cell Phones are Popular Holiday Gifts

For more information, contact:

Susie Falk

Public Relations Counsel



[email protected]

Matthew Tiefenbrun

U.S. Cellular
Office: 773-399-8873

Cell: 773-392-7801

Wireless Experts Offer Giving Ideas and Tips

MILWAUKEE, Wis., Dec. 9, 2004 – According to U.S. Cellular, cell phones and cell phone accessories are one of today’s most requested holiday gifts. Today’s variety of handsets and service options let shoppers personalize all phones to such a degree that no two are alike.

“Even people with the same model of cell phone can have different features,” said Lou Brazzoni, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Wisconsin. “One user might have arcade games, e-mail and dozens of ringtones, while another user might have only voicemail and Caller ID. People – especially kids – are being more specific about the phones they want, and the features they’re equipped with.”

Parents are reassured knowing their sons and daughters have a cell phone for safety reasons – but don’t tell that to the kids. Colorful screen wallpaper, funky faceplates and personalized ring tones allow kids to express themselves while keeping in touch with their friends and, of course, their parents.

“Look for a phone that’s reasonably priced, durable and looks cool to win with kids and teens,” Brazzoni said. “Prepaid cell phone plans are a smart way to get the kids involved in the financial responsibility of a phone because there won’t be any surprises when the bill arrives at the end of the month. Parents also can add cell phone data downloads including educational applications for studying and games for long car trips.”

For college students, flexibility in a cell phone plan is important. Between traveling from home to school to spring break destinations throughout the year, college students like having free long-distance service and a number that goes with them wherever they go.

Many college students already have cut the cord on their landline phone to lower expenses. Shoppers should look for plans with lots of minutes, especially on nights and weekends. Today’s newest gadgets and applications such as MP3 player accessories and downloadable ring tones also are gaining popularity with this set.

Working on the go isn’t uncommon anymore, it’s expected, and business professionals are looking for ways to make their day-to-day tasks more manageable. A cell phone with the right tools can help alleviate some of the stress and lighten the load in the briefcase, literally.

“Cell phones that include e-mail and data services are hot items for people who want to simplify their gadgets,” Brazzoni said. “Now that we can download e-mail and check up-to-date stock and business news from our phones, it’s easier to consolidate.”

Parents have plenty to watch when it comes to their kids, and camera phones are a great way to capture memorable moments. The newest camera phones are more affordable and produce surprisingly high quality photos. Shoppers should speak with cell phone sales associates to discuss various camera phone models and get a demo on how they work.

On-the-go parents also can benefit from helpful applications like Accuweather to check weather conditions or get driving directions.

According to the Yankee Group, only 39 percent of people 65 and older use a cell phone, but this number is growing as older Americans recognize the safety benefits of having a cell phone, and as the first of the baby boomers reaches retirement.

A durable phone with large buttons and a clear display can be a helpful tool for seniors who live alone and need a phone at the ready. Ask the sales associate about the best price plans for someone on a fixed income and inquire about other services such as roadside assistance and voice dialing.

“No matter the age or lifestyle, a cell phone can be customized to fit the user’s needs, which make it a smart gift on anyone’s list,” Brazzoni said.

Chicago-based U.S. Cellular Corporation (AMEX: USM) is a super-regional wireless company, serving more than 4.8 million customers in 150 markets in 26 states. With 2003 sales of $2.42 billion, U.S. Cellular maintains one of the industry’s highest levels of customer satisfaction by emphasizing customer support, quality network coverage and comprehensive range of wireless products and services. The company is an active corporate citizen through charitable contributions, award-winning community relations programs and associate volunteer activities. For more information, visit www.uscellular.com.