West Texas State Bank of Odessa is planning to use a data network operated by ERF Wireless Inc. of League City to connect its six branches.

ERF Wireless said Thursday that initially it will set up a 150-mile network with data rates of 30 megabits per second for West Texas and will provide maintenance services.

The vendor is building several wireless data networks in the South. It plans to connect them to create a national network aimed at financial companies.

ERF Wireless has said that wireless networks are less expensive than wired ones and can play a role in a bank's disaster recovery plan.

West Texas, a $245 million-asset unit of West Texas Bancshares Inc., said that the network will offer data rates as much as 40 times faster than its current connections between branches, and that the additional capacity will allow it to introduce services such as document imaging, remote deposit, check imaging, and branch capture.

The bank also said it is considering using other digital communications tools, such as videoconferencing and voice over Internet protocol phone services to improve efficiencies.

Mark W. Sparks, West Texas State Bank's chief executive, said in a press release that having "more bandwidth at a lower cost will also enable the bank to increase the efficiencies of the bank's voice, data, and video communications."