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Columbia, Mo. (June 14, 2010 ) – U.S. Cellular recently completed construction of a new cell site near Highway 61 to improve call quality for its customers. The new 250-foot site will increase U.S. Cellular's coverage in rural areas south of Hannibal and north of New London. The new site complements U.S. Cellular's statewide network of more than 800 towers.

"These rural parts of Missouri lacked quality wireless service. As a result, we identified these communities as priorities," said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri. "People everywhere depend on their cell phones to meet critical safety and everyday business needs. With a stronger network, areas surrounding Hannibal and New London can also become more competitive in attracting new business."

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.

In 2009, U.S. Cellular received approximately $16 million in Universal Service Fund (USF) support in Missouri and used this funding to bring wireless service to 22 sites in rural cities and towns across the state.

U.S. Cellular has led recent efforts to preserve federal support for rural wireless network development through Connecting Rural America, a coalition of public safety officials, economic development organizations and concerned citizens working for equality in wireless telecommunications. Its goal is to provide rural communities with the same access to wireless technology that urban communities already enjoy.

About U.S. Cellular
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. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Tour and the touch-screen LG Tritan and HTC Touch Pro 2, which offer e-mail and Web access. U.S. Cellular believes in the power of the community and has made a commitment to invest more than $4.5 million in teachers and schools during 2009 and 2010. Based in Chicago, the company is the nation's sixth-largest wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.