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Texters type fast, win big in U.S. Cellular Speed Text Tournament

U.S. Cellular offering great deals on messaging phones for those who love to text

CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2011) – U.S. Cellular, ranked the country's best wireless carrier by customers in a Consumer Reports survey, recently announced the winners of its 2010 Speed Text Tournament, a traveling competition to find the fastest texters in the nation. Michael Zhang from Pasco, Wash., was the grand prize winner and won $10,000, beating out thousands of competitors with his furiously fast texting skills. The second through fifth place winners all received $500 gift cards.

"It was fun for our associates to meet the thousands of people who participated in the $10,000 Speed Text Tournament across the country," said Shelly Pluta, director of customer experience marketing for U.S. Cellular. "The competition was fierce, and we're excited for all of the winners whose love for texting has paid off."

Throughout 2010, residents across the country visited U.S. Cellular retail stores, community festivals and events to enter the popular Speed Text Tournament, which challenged participants to text random phrases as fast as they could.

Other speedy texters across the U.S. who placed in the top five of the Speed Text Tournament include:

  • Sheridan Schuessler, Slater, Iowa
  • Jamie Civitate, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Michaela Smith, Locust Grove, Okla.
  • Gabrielle Knapp, Maryville, Tenn.

Text messaging has become a preferred way to communicate for people of all ages. According to a recent Nielsen survey, text messaging has officially eclipsed voice calls with Americans sending and receiving more text messages than the number of voice minutes they use each month.

For those who already text a lot, from Feb. 18 through April 14, U.S. Cellular customers who buy a Samsung Mesmerize (a Galaxy S device) for just $99.99 can get up to five LG Optimus U smartphones free. Both of these cutting-edge devices feature Swype technology, which allows users to type with one continuous motion across the screen keyboard to text more than 40 words per minute. During the same time, customers can get the Samsung Messager Touch for $29.99 and get up to five Samsung Profiles free. These phones feature a full QWERTY keyboard to help make texting fast and easy. The carrier also dropped prices on its entire lineup of Android-powered phones to under $100, including the popular HTC Desire for just $69.99, the LG Apex for $29.99 and the Samsung Acclaim for free, all after $80 mail-in rebates.

Customers can match any of these message-friendly phones with Belief Plans that complement the way they use their phone the most. The Essential Belief Plan comes with unlimited text, picture and video messaging, free unlimited incoming calls from any phone, nights after 7 p.m. and weekends, mobile-to-mobile calls and 1,000 voice minutes for only $69.99. The Premium Belief Plan has those benefits plus unlimited minutes and the industry-leading Phone Replacement Program for only $89.99. Every handset and wireless plan is backed by the company's high-speed nationwide network and The Belief Project, both of which have received high marks from industry insiders. U.S. Cellular has the highest call quality and network satisfaction of any carrier* and The Belief Project was recently named Frost & Sullivan's Customer Value Enhancement of the Year. The Belief Project recognizes customer loyalty with unmatched benefits and rewards like faster upgrades to the coolest phones at promotional prices every 18 months or sooner without requiring customers to repeatedly sign contracts.

For more information about all of U.S. Cellular's deals, phones and plans, visit any U.S. Cellular store, go to uscellular.com or check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.

* Based on data from the Consumer Experience & Mobile Insights reports from The Nielsen Company.

About The Belief Project
The Belief Project, recently named Frost & Sullivan's Customer Value Enhancement of the Year, recognizes customer loyalty with national bundled plans that offer customers the freedom to enjoy industry-leading benefits without signing continuous contracts.

With "no contract after the first," new customers who complete a two-year contract will never have to sign another one and will continue to get guaranteed upgrades to the newest phones at promotional prices every 18 months. Existing customers who switch to the new Belief Plans can simply finish out their current contract and never sign a contract again.

While some carriers are increasing the time for phone upgrades, U.S. Cellular customers automatically get valuable rewards just for being a customer that can be used for even faster phone upgrades in as little as 10 months. Rewards can also be used to get additional lines, phones, accessories and ringtones. Customers who refer a friend to a Belief Plan get 1,000 reward points, along with the friend who signed up that could be used to get a new phone one month faster.

Customers can save up to 5 percent on their monthly plans for setting up autopay and paperless billing. U.S. Cellular also introduced the industry's only Phone Replacement program for customers on select plans. If a customer's phone accidentally breaks or stops working, U.S. Cellular replaces it with the same or similar model at no additional cost.

These innovative initiatives were developed to elevate the customer experience and create a human relationship with customers, not a contractual one. For more information about The Belief Project, visit uscellular.com.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is committed to fixing wireless one project at a time and recently unveiled The Belief Project, an array of industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier provides the best cell phone service in the country according to survey results released by Consumer Reports, which found that wireless customers are more satisfied with U.S. Cellular than every other major wireless company. U.S. Cellular was also named one of Forbes Magazine's 2010 "Most Trustworthy Companies." The Belief Project complements U.S. Cellular's growing catalog of cutting-edge phones that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.