Inland Cellular to switch to improved system in mid-August

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Inland Cellular customers are in for faster data speed, better rural coverage and more functionality thanks to a multi-million dollar upgrade in the communication provider's network.

The regionally owned wireless communications company is in the midst of a major upgrade to its wireless voice and data network, according to an announcement from the firm.

A switchover to the new system is expected to take place mid-August, said Michael Mettler, the company's marketing consultant. At that point Inland Cellular will begin installing higher speed antennas and adding more cell sites and services to enhance its 3G offerings.

Inland Cellular Technical Network crews and a team from telecommunications equipment and service provider Ericsson have been working to "complete cutover to the new 'switch,' which is the heart of the wireless network," Mettler said.

Customers may experience some technical difficulties during the installation process. This is expected to be temporary. But those with questions can call 208-798-0425 or 1-800-248-8822.

The new switch is expected to allow for huge growth potential and expand the network's capacity. This is just one of a couple of major projects for the company.

This week, Inland Celluar also announced it has signed leases to become the anchor tenant of new retail developments under construction in Lewiston and Moscow.

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Two employees of Baker Boyer Bank are moving up in the ranks.

Shona Deckert has been appointed vice president and main office branch manager, while Judy Hicks has been named vice president and consumer loan manager, the Walla Walla-based bank announced.

Deckert, a licensed securities agent who has served more than eight years at Baker Boyer, will work with individual and small-business clients to meet their financial goals in her new role.

Hicks, who in more than 30 years of banking experience has become an expert in all areas of personal banking and lending, will lead the bank's consumer lending team and manage its loan programs. She holds numerous certifications in mortgage banking and leadership.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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