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Tech tops students’ & parents’ back-to-school lists

August 3, 2016

Survey shows most kids get first phone at age 11; parents cite safety

As kids head back to school, families in Tennessee are looking at mobile phones, tablets and computers for both the learning and safety benefits.

“Tablets and smartphones have become invaluable as students no longer look something up in the dictionary but use their phone to look it up,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. “We see an uptick in inquiries about data usage, family plans and new devices at this time of year as students prepare to enter classes where they can bring their own device or use tablets rather than books as their primary learning tool.”

Waddell also noted that the beginning of a new school year is often when many children get their first mobile phones. A recent U.S. Cellular survey* showed the average age of children getting their own cell phone from a parent was 11, with safety being the primary reason.

“As children start to have practices and activities after school, parents also want them to have a phone on hand such as the Apple iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7 or the LG G5 so they can call or text,” Waddell said. “Giving a child their first cellphone is a big step for any parent, and it’s important to establish guidelines for safe cellphone use so parents can stay connected with their kids but still feel comfortable.”

For those parents, U.S. Cellular suggests its Parent-Child Agreement to ensure everyone is on the same page with mobile phone uses and rules. The Parent-Child Agreement is customizable so families can make it work for their specific needs. It includes suggestions on safety and etiquette and allows parents to create their own guidelines.

“With the growing popularity of e-books, some students’ backpacks are being used less often and instead they are carrying around tablets such as Apple iPads or Samsung Galaxy Tab devices,” Waddell said. “Today’s students really have the world in their hands, with fast, dependable internet access on a 4G LTE network, so students can learn on the bus, between practices, at home or at school, while always staying connected to family in time of need.”

*U.S. Cellular survey conducted Nov. 12-21, 2015 by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX. A total of 735 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample.

4G LTE not available in all areas. See for detailed coverage info. 4G LTE service may be provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About King Street Wireless, L.P.

King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets. King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia where it is recognized for its involvement in the community both through its economic development and philanthropic efforts. To learn more about King Street Wireless, visit

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities, and currently, 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and