U.S. Cellular is trying to grab as many postpaid smartphone customers as it can by offering both new and current customers a $150 credit on future bills when they add a smartphone line.
The promotion, which runs through Nov. 29, applies to the regional carrier's entire lineup of Android phones. The offer is not out of line with what other carriers--including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA--are offering to entice smartphone customers during the holiday shopping season. However, it takes on added significance for U.S. Cellular, which has made its expanded smartphone lineup a key feature.
U.S. Cellular last week added the LG Apex to its smartphone ranks, its fourth phone running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. The company saw a surge in data revenue in the third quarter from higher smartphone sales--data revenue jumped to $228.9 million, up 31 percent from the year-ago quarter--but the carrier still lost 25,000 net retail subscribers.
U.S. Cellular has been trying to re-focus its efforts on customers since Mary Dillon took over as CEO earlier this year. In late September, the company kicked off a new rate plan policy called The Belief Project. The plan offers reduced overage charges, earlier phone upgrades, paperless billing discounts and free accessories. In addition, the company is not requiring customers to sign a new two-year contract after they fulfill their first one. Dillon has said that the company has seen higher-than-expected migration to the new plans.
Additionally, the company recently launched a new $69.99 data plan that includes 5 GB of data along with unlimited messaging and free GPS navigation.
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