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U.S. Cellular Reports Increases in Service, Data Revenues
    Service and data revenues increase 2 and 36 percent in the quarter

    Note: Comparisons are year over year unless otherwise noted.

    1Q 2009 Highlights

    - 2 percent increase in service revenues, to $981.9 million.

- 36 percent increase in data revenues, to $157.0 million, representing 16 percent of service revenues.

- 1 percent increase in ARPU (average monthly service revenue per unit), to $52.54.

- Postpay churn remained low at 1.5 percent; postpay customers comprised 95 percent of retail customers.

- 8 percent increase in cell sites in service, to 6,942, of which approximately 4,000 are company-owned.

-Repurchased 367,000 common shares for $13.3 million to offset dilution from employee benefit plans.

CHICAGO, May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE: USM) reported service revenues of $981.9 million for the first quarter of 2009, a 2 percent increase from $962.1 million in the comparable period one year ago. The company recorded operating income of $114.8 million, down from $119.0 million in the first quarter of 2008. Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular and related Diluted earnings per share were $84.6 million and $0.97, respectively, for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $70.6 million and $0.80, respectively, in the comparable period one year ago.

"We had solid gains in postpay customers, who are the cornerstone of our strategy," said John E. Rooney, U.S. Cellular president and CEO. "These postpay customers make up 95 percent of U.S. Cellular's retail base, and they are buying more of our smart phones and touchscreen phones, and using more of our data services.

"As a result," added Rooney, "we had strong gains in data revenues and increased service revenues despite a loss in roaming revenues resulting from the acquisition of Alltel Corporation by Verizon Wireless. Also, U.S. Cellular has had 14 consecutive quarters of year-over-year ARPU growth. And, we kept churn low--a sign that our customer satisfaction strategy continues to be effective.

"To keep our product mix optimized, we rolled out new handsets in the quarter, and brought the HTC Touch Pro(TM) to our lineup in April," continued Rooney. "Sales of all smartphones and premium devices, including our BlackBerry(R) and Windows Mobile(R) solutions, have nearly tripled year over year. As we expand our 3G network to more of our cell sites, we expect continued revenue growth in this area.

"We are committed to growing U.S. Cellular for the long term," said Rooney, "and we have the sound strategy and dedicated associates to provide quality services and products and unmatched customer support. We recently received a seventh-consecutive award for call quality from J.D. Power and Associates. We're proud of our network, and we're proud to be a company our customers can believe in."

Guidance

Guidance for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009 is as follows. Guidance is unchanged from Feb. 26, 2009. There can be no assurance that final results will not differ materially from this guidance.

    U.S. Cellular 2009 guidance as of May 6, 2009 is as follows:


    Net Retail Customer Additions                    75,000 - 150,000
    Service Revenues                          $3,900 - $4,000 million
    Operating Income(1)                           $275 - $350 million
    Depreciation, Amortization & Accretion(1)    Approx. $600 million
    Capital Expenditures                         Approx. $575 million

    (1) Includes losses on disposals of assets.

The foregoing guidance represents the views of management as of May 6, 2009 and should not be assumed to be accurate as of any other date. U.S. Cellular undertakes no legal duty to update such information, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Conference call information

U.S. Cellular will hold a conference call on May 6, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Chicago time.

    --  Access the live call online on the Conference Calls page of
        www.uscellular.com or at
        http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=67422&
        eventID=2189425

    --  Access the call by phone at 800/706-9695 (US/Canada) and use
        conference ID #96977513.

Before the call, certain financial and statistical information to be discussed during the call will be posted to the Conference Calls page of www.uscellular.com, together with reconciliations to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of any non-GAAP information to be disclosed. The call will be archived on the Conference Calls page of www.uscellular.com.

About U.S. Cellular(R)

United States Cellular Corporation, the nation's fifth-largest, full-service wireless carrier, provides a comprehensive range of wireless products and services, excellent customer support, and a high-quality network to nearly 6.2 million customers in 26 states. The Chicago-based company employed approximately 8,800 full-time equivalent associates as of March 31, 2009. For more information about U.S. Cellular, visit www.uscellular.com.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All information set forth in this news release, except historical and factual information, represents forward-looking statements. This includes all statements about the company's plans, beliefs, estimates, and expectations. These statements are based on current estimates, projections, and assumptions, which involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that may affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: The ability of the company to successfully manage and grow its markets; the current credit crisis affecting financial markets, and its effects on the overall economy; competition; the state and federal telecommunications regulatory environment; the value of assets and investments; adverse changes in the ratings afforded our debt securities by accredited ratings organizations; industry consolidation; advances in telecommunications technology; uncertainty of access to the capital markets; pending and future litigation; changes in income tax rates, laws, regulations or rulings; acquisitions/divestitures of properties and/or licenses; changes in customer growth rates, average monthly revenue per unit, churn rates, roaming revenue and terms, the availability of handset devices, or the mix of products and services offered by the company; and the ability to obtain or maintain roaming arrangements with other carriers. Investors are encouraged to consider these and other risks and uncertainties that are discussed in the Form 8-K used by U.S. Cellular to furnish this press release to the SEC, which are incorporated by reference herein.

As previously announced, U.S. Cellular(R) will hold a teleconference on May 6, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. Chicago time. Interested parties may listen to the call live via the Internet by accessing the Conference Calls page of www.teldta.com or www.uscc.com.



                            UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION
                                  SUMMARY OPERATING DATA

    Quarter Ended    3/31/2009  12/31/2008   9/30/2008   6/30/2008   3/31/2008
    Total Population:
      Consolidated
       markets(1)   83,726,000  83,014,000  82,875,000  82,875,000  82,846,000
      Consolidated
       operating
       markets(1)   46,306,000  46,009,000  45,493,000  45,493,000  45,262,000
    All customers:
      Total at end
       of period     6,243,000   6,196,000   6,176,000   6,194,000   6,175,000
      Gross
       additions       404,000     395,000     367,000     365,000     408,000
      Net additions
       (losses)         47,000      20,000     (18,000)     16,000      73,000
    Market penetration
     at end of period:
      Consolidated
       markets(2)         7.5%        7.5%        7.5%        7.5%        7.5%
      Consolidated
       operating
       markets(2)        13.5%       13.5%       13.6%       13.6%       13.6%
    Retail customers:
      Total at end
       of period     5,770,000   5,707,000   5,674,000   5,677,000   5,640,000
      Gross
       additions       366,000     352,000     325,000     318,000     360,000
      Net postpay
       additions        60,000      41,000      12,000      33,000      72,000
      Net prepay
       additions
       (losses)          3,000      (8,000)    (15,000)      1,000      13,000

    Cell sites in
     service             6,942       6,877       6,716       6,596       6,452
    Average monthly
     revenue per
     unit(3)            $52.54      $52.71      $54.59      $53.27      $52.24
      Retail service
       revenue per
       unit(3) (5)      $46.78      $46.43      $46.97      $46.53      $46.18
      Inbound roaming
       revenue per
       unit(3) (5)       $3.21       $4.25       $5.03       $4.54       $3.95
      Other revenue per
       unit(3) (5)       $2.55       $2.03       $2.59       $2.20       $2.11
    Postpay churn
     rate(4)              1.5%        1.6%        1.6%        1.4%        1.4%
    Construction
     expenditures
     (000s)           $137,700    $190,000    $146,100    $137,800    $111,700


    (1) "Total population of consolidated markets" and "Total population of
     consolidated operating markets" are used only for the purposes of
     calculating market penetration of consolidated markets and consolidated
     operating markets, respectively, which is calculated by dividing
     customers by the total market population (without duplication of
     population in overlapping markets).
    (2) Calculated by dividing the number of wireless customers at the end of
     the period by the total population of consolidated markets and
     consolidated operating markets, respectively, as estimated by Claritas.
    (3) Per unit revenue measurements are derived from Service Revenues as
     reported in Financial Highlights for each respective quarter as follows:

    Service Revenues
     (000s)           $981,874    $976,952  $1,013,928    $987,352    $962,094
    Components:
    Retail service
     revenue (000s)    874,098     860,503     872,397     862,392     850,470
    Inbound roaming
     revenue (000s)     60,057      78,768      93,472      84,201      72,755
    Other revenue
     (000s)             47,719      37,681      48,059      40,759      38,869

    Divided by average
     customers (000s)    6,229       6,178       6,191       6,178       6,139
    Divided by three
     months in each
     quarter                 3           3           3           3           3

    Average monthly
     revenue per unit   $52.54      $52.71      $54.59      $53.27      $52.24
    Retail service
     Revenue per unit   $46.78      $46.43      $46.97      $46.53      $46.18
    Inbound roaming
     revenue per unit    $3.21       $4.25       $5.03       $4.54       $3.95
    Other revenue per
     unit                $2.55       $2.03       $2.59       $2.20       $2.11


    (4) Postpay churn rate is calculated by dividing the total postpay
     customer disconnects during the quarter by the average postpay customer
     base for the quarter.
    (5) Long-distance revenue was reclassified in the fourth quarter of 2008
     from Long-distance/Other revenue to Retail service revenue and Inbound
     roaming revenue.  Previous quarters have been adjusted to reflect this
     change.


                          United States Cellular Corporation
                    Consolidated Statement of Operations Highlights
                             Three Months Ended March 31,
        (Unaudited, dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                                           Increase (Decrease)
                                    2009       2008       Amount       Percent
     Operating revenues
        Service                  $981,874   $962,094     $19,780          2%
        Equipment sales            70,890     75,762      (4,872)       (6%)

           Total operating
            revenues            1,052,764  1,037,856      14,908          1%

     Operating expenses
        System operations
         (excluding Depreciation,
         amortization and
         accretion reported
         below)                   200,003    191,016       8,987          5%
        Cost of equipment sold    185,701    178,045       7,656          4%
        Selling, general and
         administrative           412,448    403,626       8,822          2%
        Depreciation, amortization
         and accretion            137,651    142,530      (4,879)       (3%)
        Loss on asset disposals,
         net                        2,191      3,673      (1,482)      (40%)
           Total operating
            expenses              937,994    918,890      19,104          2%

     Operating income             114,770    118,966      (4,196)       (4%)

     Investment and other income
      (expense)
        Equity in earnings of
         unconsolidated entities   25,327     21,235       4,092         19%
        Interest and dividend
         income                       477      1,905      (1,428)      (75%)
        Interest expense          (19,022)   (20,115)      1,093          5%
        Other, net                    280        118         162        N/M
           Total investment and
            other income (expense)  7,062      3,143       3,919        N/M

     Income before income taxes   121,832    122,109        (277)       ---
        Income tax expense         31,232     47,540     (16,308)      (34%)

     Net income                    90,600     74,569      16,031         21%
        Less: Net income
         attributable to
         noncontrolling
         interests, net of tax     (6,008)    (4,012)     (1,996)      (50%)
     Net income attributable to
      U.S. Cellular               $84,592    $70,557     $14,035         20%

     Basic weighted average shares
      outstanding                  87,196     87,571        (375)       ---
     Basic earnings per share
      attributable to
      U.S. Cellular shareholders    $0.97      $0.81       $0.16         20%

     Diluted weighted averages
      shares outstanding           87,446     88,064        (618)       (1%)
     Diluted earnings per share
      attributable to
      U.S. Cellular shareholders    $0.97      $0.80       $0.17         21%

     N/M - Percentage change not meaningful


                            United States Cellular Corporation
                          Consolidated Balance Sheet Highlights
                            (Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

                                    ASSETS

                                                    March 31,     December 31,
                                                      2009           2008
     Current assets
        Cash and cash equivalents                   $191,797       $170,996
        Accounts receivable from customers and
         other                                       414,383        419,619
        Inventory                                    108,051        116,564
        Prepaid income taxes                             ---         22,515
        Prepaid expenses                              57,766         51,645
        Net deferred income tax asset                 19,481         19,481
        Other current assets                           8,283         14,227
                                                     799,761        815,047

     Investments
        Licenses                                   1,445,665      1,433,415
        Goodwill                                     494,737        494,279
        Customer lists                                 7,656          8,936
        Investments in unconsolidated entities       175,571        156,637
        Notes and interest receivable - long-term      4,265          4,297
                                                   2,127,894      2,097,564

     Property, plant and equipment
        In service and under construction          5,527,778      5,884,383
        Less: accumulated depreciation             2,904,973      3,264,007
                                                   2,622,805      2,620,376

     Other assets and deferred charges                69,495         33,055

     Total assets                                 $5,619,955     $5,566,042


                            United States Cellular Corporation
                          Consolidated Balance Sheet Highlights
                            (Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

                           LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

                                                    March 31,     December 31,
                                                       2009            2008
     Current liabilities
        Current portion of long-term debt              10,086         $10,258
        Accounts payable
           Affiliated                                   7,255           9,613
           Trade                                      218,031         248,785
        Customer deposits and deferred revenues       149,690         151,082
        Accrued taxes                                  34,729          17,643
        Accrued compensation                           43,202          55,969
        Other current liabilities                     106,858         108,533
                                                      569,851         601,883

     Deferred liabilities and credits
        Net deferred income tax liability             481,196         478,106
        Other deferred liabilities and credits        236,478         233,619
                                                      717,674         711,725

     Long-term debt                                   997,534         996,636

     Commitments and contingencies

     Noncontrolling interests with redemption
      features                                            612             589

     Equity
     U.S. Cellular shareholders' equity
        Common Shares, par value $1 per share          55,068          55,068
        Series A Common Shares, par value $1 per
         share                                         33,006          33,006
        Additional paid-in capital                  1,343,599       1,340,146
        Treasury shares                               (61,835)        (50,258)
        Retained earnings                           1,911,995       1,828,680
           Total U.S. Cellular shareholders'
            equity                                  3,281,833       3,206,642

     Noncontrolling interests                          52,451          48,567

        Total equity                                3,334,284       3,255,209

     Total liabilities and equity                  $5,619,955      $5,566,042


                            United States Cellular Corporation
                           Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
                               Three Months Ended March 31,
                             (Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

                                                             2009      2008
     Cash flows from operating activities
         Net income                                        $90,600   $74,569
         Add (deduct) adjustments to reconcile net income
          to net cash flows from operating activities
               Depreciation, amortization and accretion    137,651   142,530
               Bad debts expense                            18,704    17,962
               Stock-based compensation expense              2,964     1,773
               Deferred income taxes, net                    1,673    15,926
               Equity in earnings of unconsolidated
                entities                                   (25,327)  (21,235)
               Distributions from unconsolidated entities    5,908     6,933
               Loss on asset disposals, net                  2,191     3,673
               Excess tax benefit from stock awards             (3)     (764)
               Other noncash expense                           443       443
         Changes in assets and liabilities from
          operations
               Accounts receivable                         (13,468)   (8,615)
               Inventory                                     7,204   (13,697)
               Accounts payable - trade                    (30,754)   (2,418)
               Accounts payable - affiliate                 (2,358)     (117)
               Customer deposits and deferred revenues      (1,392)    6,515
               Accrued taxes                                39,591    32,949
               Accrued interest                              9,337     9,337
               Other assets and liabilities                (57,402)  (35,967)
                                                           185,562   229,797
     Cash flows from investing activities
         Additions to property, plant and equipment       (137,741) (111,690)
         Cash received from divestitures                       ---     6,838
         Cash paid for acquisitions and licenses           (12,127) (102,000)
         Other investing activities                            240       239
                                                          (149,628) (206,613)
     Cash flows from financing activities
         Common shares reissued for benefit plans, net
          of tax payments                                      356    (2,526)
         Common shares repurchased                         (13,291)   (6,201)
         Excess tax benefit from stock awards                    3       764
         Distributions to noncontrolling interests          (2,101)   (3,231)
         Other financing activities                           (100)      (48)
                                                           (15,133)  (11,242)

     Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash
      equivalents                                           20,801    11,942

     Cash and cash equivalents
         Beginning of period                               170,996   204,533
         End of period                                    $191,797  $216,475

SOURCE  United States Cellular Corporation

    -0-                           05/06/2009
    /CONTACT:  Mark A. Steinkrauss, Vice President, Corporate Relations,
+1-312-592-5384, mark.steinkrauss@teldta.com, or Julie D. Mathews, Manager,
Investor Relations, +1-312-592-5341, julie.mathews@teldta.com, both of United
States Cellular Corporation/
    /Web Site:  http://www.uscc.com /
    (USM)

CO:  United States Cellular Corporation

ST:  Illinois
IN:  CPR TLS TCS
SU:  ERN CCA ERP

PR
-- CG11627 --
4127 05/06/2009 08:17 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Cellular's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.