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Tag - C Spire
Two American regional carriers, US Cellular and C Spire, have announced plans to sell the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on September 19 -- the same day as national carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Other regionals will only begin offering the device on September 26, including Alaska Communications, Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Silver State Communications, Strata, and Syringa Wireless. Some will reveal their plans soon, including GCI, nTelos, Carolina West Wireless, Chariton, Consumer Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, and Thumb Cellular.
Apple's US online storefront has begun selling SIM-free unlocked models of the iPhone 5s. Units are currently shipping in 1 to 2 weeks. T-Mobile models are also unlocked, and shipping in just 3 to 5 days, but going with the SIM-free option may save some hassle for people choosing AT&T or a pre-paid GSM carrier.
Two regional US carriers, C Spire and Bluegrass Cellular, have announced plans to begin selling the iPad Air. C Spire -- based in Mississippi -- says that it will start carrying the Air "in the coming weeks." No other details are available, other than promises to offer a "range of attractive data plans" for connecting to LTE. Kentucky's Bluegrass is likewise only saying it will carry the Air within the next few weeks. The tablet will initially launch in the US on November 1st.
At least nine US regional carriers will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c on October 1, according to announcements. The list so far includes Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, GCI, MTA, Nex-Tech Wireless, Ntelos, and Strata. Some other carriers have stated that the new iPhones are "coming soon," which could imply launches as soon as the 1st. In addition to the US carriers, Canadian regional providers SaskTel and MTS are also part of the October 1 rollout.
Several more US carriers have announced plans to support the iPhone 5. Chief among these is C Spire Wireless, which was the first regional carrier in the US to get the device. The other companies stepping forward are also regionals, namely Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, and GCI. In each case the carriers will only launch the new iPhone on September 28th, a week after AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.
Regional operator C Spire has announced the rollout of its new no-contract mobile data plans. The plans are available for data-only devices like tablets, mobile hotspots, and USB modems. The new no-contract options also give customers the choice to switch between contract and prepaid rates depending on their expected data usage.
(Update 2: Alaska Communications and three others too) In an unexpected move, relatively small US carrier nTelos has unveiled iPhone plans. The Virginia-based, nationally-focused carrier will start carrying Apple's hardware at 7AM on April 20, with pre-registrations starting immediately. It will have a unique advantage in starting with lower prices: the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available for $50 less than usual across every model, starting the 8GB iPhone 4 at $50 on a contract and the 16GB iPhone 4S at $150.
The FCC in an Open Commission Meeting Wednesday morning unanimously voted to pursue possibilities for significantly improving 4G's use in the US. It would verify whether there would be any adverse effect to making the 700MHz A, B, and C blocks of spectrum interoperable, letting one roam on the other. Agency officials would want outside input on what the rules would be if there were little to no interference, as well as whether any interference might be cut back.
C Spire gave out more definitive plans for its delayed LTE rollout on Thursday. The regional carrier will focus on Mississippi and cover both the core of Jackson, the Gulf Coast, and 23 individual towns. Among the examples include Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and West Point.
Sprint on Wednesday revealed a huge upswing in subscriber additions through its inaugural quarter of iPhone sales. It sold 1.8 million iPhones during the fall, 40 percent of which went to people new to the network. Apple's device was almost single-handedly responsible for returning Sprint to performance it hasn't seen in years: at 1.6 million net new subscribers, it saw the most adds since 2005 and had set a new high for its customer base at 55 million.