AT&T hiring 120 people, including 70 new jobs

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - AT&T is hiring 120 people across South Carolina as it expands its wired and wireless network nationwide.

      The telecommunications giant announced Monday it's filling 50 vacancies and hiring for 70 new positions. More than 30 of the jobs are in the Charleston area, officials said Monday.

      The jobs are part of AT&T's plans announced last fall. Project Velocity IP, or VIP, involves expanding high-speed 4G mobile Internet service, expanding and enhancing wired IP broadband network, and running fiber to more businesses.

      The company says it received no state incentives for the jobs.

      "Investments in new, advanced technologies bring waves of new jobs and opportunities," said Gov. Nikki Haley. "The jobs we celebrate today are just the first wave, to be followed by others from new businesses or existing businesses which will use the new technology in innovative ways. All that works together to create opportunities for our citizens and help move South Carolina forward."

      AT&T says it invested more than $800 million in its networks in South Carolina from 2010 through 2012. Nearly 1,250 upgrades were completed statewide last year.

      "Governor Haley and South Carolina's legislative leaders have created a climate for investment," said AT&T South Carolina President Pamela Lackey. "The investment we're making in our wireless and wireline networks is essential to spurring South Carolina's economy and creating jobs. In our wireless world, mobile and broadband networks create economic opportunities for health care, manufacturing, education, transportation and public safety, and virtually every other economic section."

      Last year, AT&T launched 4G services in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville. It has expanded to Orangeburg and Florence so far this year.

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