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AT&T officially announced its 4G LTE network has arrived in the Wichita market.
Steve Hahn, AT&T Kansas president, said the wireless technology has been available for a couple months, but the company waited to officially announce the decision until after its engineers had time to test the systems.
"It's all about speed and access - 4G LTE is the latest and greatest, the real cutting edge wireless technology, with speeds that far exceeds the speed of 3G, which was already fast mobile Internet service," Hahn said.
Governor Sam Brownback and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer were among those that attended the announcement.
"I think what it means for the city of Wichita is you're going to have faster access to be able to get more data," Brownback said. "The speed of change continues to increase, and you want to stay up on that.
"What I hope it means for small businesses in this state is they'll be able to more competitive getting information and access and be more efficient, so that this is the best atmosphere in the country for small businesses to locate."
AT&T said it has invested more than $775 million in its Kansas wireless and wireline networks from 2008 to 2011. Hahn credited the Kansas legislature for helping to pass forward-looking policies that encourage investment in the state.
Brownback said the new network is a piece of the bigger picture in making Kansas economically competitive. He compared it to the farmlands in the state. They need good soil, fertilizer and the like, and each piece plays its part.
"it's a small component, and you're saying 'well, that's just a piece of it.' Yes, but without it, you're going to underperform," Brownback said. "This is just a key part of us being able to have a globally competitive economic atmosphere in Kansas."
AT&T's 4G LTE network will provide faster speeds, more devices and a quicker response time.
Hahn said the investment shows AT&T's commitment to Kansas.
"We have a long history in this state. Well over 100 years," he said. "We plan to be here for another 100 years. Our focus is always on trying to meet our consumers demands, and right now, consumers want mobility."