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Wireless Network Expansion Helps Economic Development, Public Safety

West Plains, MO. Sept. 24, 2009 – U.S. Cellular is expanding its presence in the West Plains area to improve call quality for customers. U.S. Cellular announced today that their network performance engineers have completed two new cell site that will increase U.S. Cellular's coverage to west of Caulfield on Highway 160 and east of West Plains on Highway 160 and north on Highway 17. These sites complement U.S. Cellular's statewide network of more than 775 towers.

"This part of Missouri lacked quality wireless service. As a result, we identified the community as a priority," said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri, "People everywhere depend on their cell phones to meet critical safety and business needs."

In Missouri, as in other parts of rural America, first responders such as firefighters and police officers depend on wireless service to respond quickly to emergency situations. Nationwide, nearly 300,000 emergency 911 calls are placed via cell phones every day.

"We need reliable wireless service to protect the health and security of our citizens and public safety officials," said West Plains Mayor Joe Paul Evans. "It's a big help to us when companies expand their networks."

One of the two cell towers in West Plains was built by U.S. Cellular with support from the federal Universal Service Fund, a critical resource for wireless expansion throughout rural America. U.S. Cellular has led the effort to preserve federal support for rural wireless development through Connecting Rural America (, a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens, community leaders and elected officials working for equality in wireless telecommunications. Its goal is to provide rural communities with the same access to technology as their urban counterparts.

In 2008, U.S. Cellular received approximately $8 million in Universal Service Fund (USF) support in Missouri and used this funding to bring wireless service to 20 sites in rural cities and towns across the state.

The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or )