TDS is U.S. Cellular's humble sibling

Who: TDS Telecom, wireline unit of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. and corporate sibling of U.S. Cellular.

Vitals: Based in Chicago, TDS Telecom operates as an ILEC in many rural and suburban communities, primarily in the upper Midwest, but also has a CLEC unit, TDS Metrocom. Combined, the companies have about 1.1 million access lines in 29 states.

Why you should care: TDS just reported third-quarter earnings that got an expected big boost from U.S Cellular's ongoing growth, but also noted an increase in DSL penetration. Wireline access lines are declining, as they are everywhere else, but many of them are being converted to DSL, fueling TDS 44% third-quarter growth in DSL lines.

What's next: TDS Telecom has a "Why use a landline?" page on its website to show customers why they shouldn't cut the cord, but it will be interesting to see how the TDS family of companies addresses fixed-mobile convergence as its rural and suburban markets begin to demand it.

For more:
- Here's a transcript of the earnings call at Seeking Alpha
- TDS provides reasons to keep landline service

Related articles:
- TDS reported earnings yesterday