U.S. Cellular: Cell Phones Become 21st Century Jukeboxes


Advances in technology mean cell phones can play audio clips from real songs

MILWAUKEE, Wis., March 7, 2005 – When the first telephones rang, they simply rang. A century later, with the advent of cell phones, came the invention of the ringtone. Over the years, the simple tones were eclipsed by ringtones that sound like listeners’ favorite songs. And for a rapidly growing number of consumers worldwide, it’s music to their ears.

Today, wireless phones vibrate, flash photos, and play real music when a call comes in. Thanks to advances in audio technology, cell phones can project radio-quality sounds through speakers. The days of the simple monophonic (the most basic sounds that are usually on your cell phone when you purchase it) and polyphonic (sounds like music that is trying too hard to be music) ringtones are numbered. These days, real audio clips from real songs are what a phone “plays” when a call comes in.

“Music tones are all the rage with our younger customers,” said Lou Brazzoni, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Wisconsin. “They will actually call each other just to hear their friends’ ringtones. It is yet another way people are personalizing their phones.”

Worldwide, ringtone sales were nearly $3 billion in 2004. In the United States alone, ringtone sales were approximately $300 million last year. And analysts predict that number will continue to grow rapidly.

Through enhanced wireless data services, such as U.S. Cellular’s easyedgeSM, wireless phone customers can download a music tone and save it to their phone for as little as a few dollars a month. EasyedgeSM is U.S. Cellular’s enhanced wireless services that offer customers a variety of applications, such as games, sports, information, stock quotes, in addition to ringtones.

Music tone providers such as ModTones DJTM and Realtone JukeboxTM offer customers music clips from a diverse selection of songs representing a variety of musical genres. From country, to rock, to classical, there is a tone for just about anyone.

Brazzoni demonstrated the quality of music tones when he played Grammy Award Winner John Mayer’s “Daughters” on a Motorola 710. “The quality of music tones is tremendous,” he said.

Chicago-based U.S. Cellular Corporation (AMEX: USM) is a super-regional wireless company, serving more than 4.9 million customers in 148 markets in 25 states. With 2004 service revenues of $2.64 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.

Susie Falk


[email protected]

Matthew Tiefenbrun, U.S. Cellular
Office: 773-399-8873