U.S. Cellular today announced the debut of its first Windows Phone 8 device, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey. Though the ATIV Odyssey debuted on Verizon Wireless in January, the release of the smartphone at U.S. Cellular marks the first time that a Windows Phone 8 handset has launched on the regional carrier.

The Samsung ATIV Odyssey features a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and 4G LTE compatibility. LTE connectivity will vary by location, but the phone will be a new 4G option outside the confines of Android for U.S. Cellular customers. I wasn’t very enthusiastic in my Samsung ATIV Odyssey review, but more options is better than no options. It’s also a sign that Microsoft is making headway in its plans to increase Windows Phone availability to more than just the four major U.S. carriers, as Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan told MobileBurn in May.

U.S. Cellular will sell the Samsung ATIV Odyssey for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. The ATIV Odyssey will appear on the U.S. Cellular’s website later today and will be available in stores beginning July 11.

By Andrew Kameka