US Cellular detailed plans to expand its footprint in Iowa and Wisconsin, as a switch to VoLTE allows it to use spectrum licences previously incompatible with its CDMA service.
Speaking on a call with analysts, CEO Kenneth Meyers explained the operator had long owned licences for frequencies that were not compatible with CDMA equipment, preventing it from offering voice services in certain areas. But the company’s migration to VoLTE, which began with a commercial rollout in Iowa in 2017, is changing the game, he said, allowing it to enter new markets with voice and data products.
“What we’re doing today is we’re building out those areas,” he said, adding the operator expects to deploy “meaningful coverage” by the end of the year.
To support the move, Meyers said the US Cellular is also beefing up its distribution capabilities in the new regions so it can “competitively enter those markets” toward the end of 2019 and into 2020.
CTO Mike Irizarry noted the operator plans to complete its launch of VoLTE across its existing footprint by early 2021.
The operator also sees the technology as an opportunity to boost roaming revenue.
CFO Steven Campbell said US Cellular already has commercial agreements in place with all four national operators for VoLTE roaming, and is in various stages of testing and implementation with them.
He concluded there is “definitely some potential upside revenue to come”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back