Ahead of next week’s iPad Air launch, dozens of countries across the world, regional carriers within the United States have begun announcing their plans for carrying the LTE-capable version of the tablet. While major carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint will begin selling the iPad Air on Friday, November 1st, these smaller, region-specific networks say that they will start selling the device in the “coming weeks.”
So far, Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire are the two regional carriers to announce iPad Air plans, and other carriers will likely share their own announcements in the coming days and weeks. Bluegrass Cellular operates in Kentucky while C Spire is based in Mississippi. Both of these carriers began carrying the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c earlier this month alongside several other regional providers…
Both carriers support the iPad Air’s 4G LTE connectivity. C Spire says that it “will offer iPad Air with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast 4G LTE mobile broadband network with speeds up to 10 times faster than previously available.” Bluegrass Cellular offers a similarly structured announcement: “will offer iPad Air with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast nationwide 4G LTE network with speeds up to 12 megabits per second (Mbps).”
The specifics of these “attractive plans” are yet to be shared, but Apple has not shunned carriers from becoming creative with their iPad Air data plans. For example, T-Mobile in the U.S. will offer a free 200MB/month data plan for the new iPads, and the carrier will also allow the devices to be purchased with no money down.
The new iPad mini with Retina display is launching in late-November, according to Apple, and these regional carriers have not indicated their plans for that device.
Update: Alaska’s GCI has announced similar launch plans for the iPad Air:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GCI today announced that iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be available in Alaska in the coming weeks. 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.