STEUBENVILLE - Jack Cera still remembers the black, rotary telephone in his home and his first car phone.
"Now we wonder how we coped with life without our cell phones and all of the latest technology," the Democratic state representative from Bellaire said Friday morning during a press conference at the AT&T store at the Fort Steuben Mall.
Cera was joined by state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci as AT&T officials announced 4G LTE is now available in the Steubenville and Weirton area.
4G NOW AVAILABLE IN AREA — AT&T officials were joined by local public officials Friday morning to announce 4G LTE is now available in the Steubenville and Weirton area. Taking part in a press conference were, from left, Steubenville Assistant Store Manager Josh Buffo; State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire; AT&T Spokeswoman B.J. Smith; State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville; and Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci. - Dave Gossett
"This new service is 10 times faster than 3G. Getting information and surfing the web will be much faster for AT&T customers. We have come a long way from the rotary dial phones. AT&T has invested $1.8 billion in our wireless network in Ohio. That is important because technology is changing so rapidly," said B.J. Smith of AT&T.
The announcement also was important to Gentile who said a major challenge in Eastern Ohio has been the need for updated wireless technology.
"We have an emerging industry coming on line with the oil and gas industry. This investment by AT&T will help inspire our economic development efforts. Partnerships such at this one are crucial to our state. It is a good day to see this investment in Steubenville and Appalachia. This will help improve our economic climate," added Gentile.
"Today's announcement really has a positive effect on our local educational centers. This will also help us keep important jobs and promote businesses for our area. Improved wireless is important to small communities like Steubenville," said Mucci.
"It is necessary for businesses to have access to the latest Internet to succeed. That's why today's announcement is so important," Mucci said.
"As our area economy has moved from the steel, coal and pottery industries to health care and education, the need for the latest technology is more important than ever," he remarked.
According to AT&T spokesperson B.J. Smith, the 4G LTE will mean faster speeds, reliability, new devices, faster response time and more efficient use of the wireless spectrum.
"The wireless spectrum is a finite resource and LTE uses the spectrum more efficiently than other technologies, creating more space to carry data traffic and services and to deliver a better network experience. We continue to see demands for mobile Internet rocket and our 4G LTE network in Steubenville responds to what customers want from their mobile experience. We will continue to invest and transform our infrastructure in response to the demands of the Ohio marketplace," stated Smith.
According to Josh Buffo, assistant store manager, "LTE stands for long-term evolution. I have been here for five years and I can remember when I started we were just a cell phone store. Now we offer so much more.
"Think how you use your devices on a daily basis. Our job is to provide our customers with the best experience possible. Our customers will have access to the biggest network available," noted Buffo.