iPad Air coming to regional telcos GCI, Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire Wireless

two iPad Air app store

As Apple is prepping to unleash its newly-announced iPad Air in a massive 42 markets come next Friday, some regional United States wireless carriers are now modestly confirming their vague plans for Apple’s new device. GCI, Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire Wireless – which already carry the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in their stable – confirmed Friday that the 9.7-inch iPad Air is coming to their respective networks when it debuts “in the coming weeks”.

Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire Wireless combined cover much of the southern United States, including Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky areas…

Alaska-based GCI announced telegraphed Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air availability:

GCI will offer iPad Air with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast 4G LTE network with average download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps.

“C Spire today announced that iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be available on its 4G LTE network in the coming weeks,” reads another short press release put out Friday. The Mississipp -based telco, the nation’s eighth largest, will offer Apple’s fifth-generation tablet with a range of “attractive data plans” on its speedy 4G LTE network.


C Spire Wireless – formerly Cellular South – launched its 4G LTE a year ago in partnership with Verizon Wireless.  Since then, its LTE has rolled out in 43 Mississippi markets as the company aims to flip the switch on LTE in 71 cities and 51 counties before 2013 wraps up, covering a population of 496,000 across the state.

When the latest phase is completed in November, 4G LTE service will be available to six out of every ten consumers and businesses in Mississippi, claims the carrier.

As for the Kentucky-based Bluegrass Cellular, they are teasing both the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display on their website, listing them as “coming soon”.

The iPad Air is scheduled to launch on November 1 at 8am local time.

The device will be sold through Apple and carrier-owned online and retail stores (and authorized resellers) in the United States and an additional 41 markets globally.

And for the first time, cellular iPads will be offered by T-Mobile in the United States. As a bonus, the Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier will sell entry-level Wi-Fi models with sixteen gigabytes of storage with no downpayment.

iPad Air smart cover

Walmart confirmed it will offer the iPad Air with a $20 discount beginning November 1.

In the meantime, Apple’s original iPad mini – now in Space Grey finish – has seen a price cut bringing its price from the previous $329 down to $299.

Against all odds, Apple is continuing to sell the two-year old iPad 2, the 16GB Wi-Fi model model which has proven quite popular with businesses and education. Also available since Tuesday: the entry-level iPad mini with sixteen gigabytes of storage, now slashed from $329 down to $299 (its cellular counterpart is now $429).

We’ve detailed iPad Air pricing and availability here.