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Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 08:24 am PT (11:24 am ET)

5 new regional US carriers will offer Apple's iPhone starting April 20 [u]

A total of five regional U.S. carrier announced on Wednesday that they will begin selling Apple's iPhone on April 20, as Alaska Communications, GCI, Appalachian Wireless and Cellcom join an earlier announcement from nTelos [updated].

The iPhone 4S will become available to customers of five regional U.S. on April 20. It will be sold for $50 cheaper than its traditional subsidized price at other carriers, starting at $150 for the 16-gigabyte model, $250 for 32 gigabytes, and $350 for 64 gigabytes. The 8-gigabyte iPhone 4 will also be available for $50.

And one of the carriers announced Wednesday, GCI, has a GSM network, which means it will also be able to offer Apple's iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year contract.

Two of the carriers announced on Wednesday are based out of Alaska: Alaska Communications and GCI. The iPhone 4S will be available through Alaska Communications from its 14 retail stores, as well as the company's website.

The carrier offers nationwide unlimited talk plans for $90 with 2 gigabytes of data, while adding unlimited texting brings the monthly cost to $101 and bumps the data cap up to 5 gigabytes. The subsidized iPhone pricing requires a two-year service contract.

"We are delighted to offer Alaskans the best iPhone yet on Alaska’s smartest network," said Anand Vadapalli, Alaska Communications president and CEO. "As the Smartphone experts, Alaska Communications has a range of plans to meet the needs of all Alaskans, at home and at work."

Cellcom offers wireless service in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, while Appalachian Wireless is based in Kentucky.

Alaska Communications


The announcement of four more wireless partners as an official carrier partner of Apple came on the same day that nTelos Wireless was also revealed. nTelos will also begin selling the iPhone 4S on April 20 to its more than 400,000 subscribers.

Apple began expanding availability of the iPhone to smaller, regional carriers last October when a deal with C Spire Wireless was announced. That carrier has about 900,000 customers.