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AT&T to add Wichita jobs, expand network coverage in Kansas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at 11:16 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at 9:33 a.m.

Officials from AT&T said Tuesday the company is looking to hire about 70 people in Wichita for positions in its customer care, U-verse service and retail stores.

Officials said they also are wrapping up an expansion of the AT&T mobile Internet network that will cover 98 percent of the state.

The announcements were made at a news conference Tuesday morning on the eighth floor of AT&T’s building at 154 N. Broadway.

Steve Hahn, AT&T Kansas president, said the need for additional jobs is driven by demand for mobile technology, which is transforming his company’s business from that of what used to be a land-line-based telephone company.

“It’s moving to a very mobile communications industry,” he said.

AT&T spent $110 million in capital investment in Kansas in the first half of 2013, and $725 million between 2009 and 2012, Hahn said.

“Jobs are a product of private sector investment,” he said at the conference, which included about 40 AT&T employees as well as state Senate president Susan Wagle and officials from the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. “It’s that capital investment that creates jobs.”

He said about half of the new positions are for a customer call center at 154 N. Broadway. The company currently employs 300 in Wichita, he said.

More information on the jobs can be found at connect.att.jobs/kansas-jobs.

The capital investment AT&T has made includes expansion of mobile Internet services in Kansas, said Nancy Garvey, vice president and general manager for the company’s greater Midwest region.

Garvey said at the conference that AT&T has constructed more than 30 new cell towers and upgraded the transmission equipment on about 60 towers in eastern Kansas in recent months.

In the next few weeks, Garvey said, AT&T should complete the construction of 10 new towers and the upgrade of equipment on an additional 20 existing towers.

Those improvements as well as those made in 2011 will expand the company’s mobile broadband coverage to 98 percent of the state by the end of this year, she said.

“We’re going to be able to serve the customers in Kansas better than before,” Garvey said.

Officials also said Tuesday that the company had launched its U-verse television, Internet and phone service in parts of Hutchinson.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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