Business

AT&T formally marks arrival of 4G LTE network in Wichita

AT&T formally marked the recent launch of its 4G LTE wireless network in Wichita with a ceremony Thursday at a local business.

Gov. Sam Brownback and other government and business leaders gathered at local concrete contractor Major Inc. for the event.

AT&T officials said Wichita and the Kansas City area have the 4G LTE, the company’s fastest technology for mobile phones, but the company continues to upgrade other parts of Kansas. And the company plans to continue to upgrade other areas.

AT&T Kansas CEO Steve Hahn said at the ceremony that the company has spent $775 million statewide, including $140 million in the Wichita area, since 2008 to upgrade its technology.

Hahn called the new network “best-in-class” and “far faster” than the previous 3G network.

A test by AT&T staff on Thursday showed the new network had a download speed above 10 megabits per second.

He also thanked Kansas government leaders for easing regulations on AT&T. In 2011, the Legislature and Brownback relaxed a cap on the price AT&T could charge for stand-alone, local landline services.

Brownback, in turn, thanked Hahn for spending money in Kansas, rather than other states. Such a network is a crucial tool for modern business, he said.

“It’s part of the overall business atmosphere,” Brownback said. “And we want to have the best business atmosphere in the country.”

Major president Kyle Dickehut gave an example of a benefit to his company.

His company recently got rid of its weather forecasting service, at a savings of about $2,000 a year, and now relies on weather forecasts/radar available on smartphones.

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