The telco announced Tuesday that it’s testing how to give network edge computing capabilities to its mobile 5G network through Microsoft Azure. The details are scarce, but AT&T said it hopes to fully deploy “advanced cloud services” at strategic sites in order to lower latency and optimize network routing without requiring on-premises hardware.
“We’re creating new ways for our customers to directly access a multitude of cloud options closer to where they do business,” said Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business’ chief marketing officer. “Using the blazing speeds of our fiber, LTE and 5G mobile connections, we’re paving the way for how low-latency pathways to cloud services like Microsoft Azure can accelerate business transformation — for both enterprise and small business applications.”
AT&T listed retail, health care, public safety, manufacturing and entertainment as five industries whose cloud and IoT solutions will improve as a result of the Azure collaboration. Yousef Khalidi, Microsoft corporate vice president of Azure networking, predicted the AT&T partnership will grow.
“Our collaboration will pave the way to enable Microsoft Azure cloud services to connect to more customers and devices across the U.S. through AT&T’s nationwide wireless network,” Khalidi said. “Our two companies are working together to achieve the low-latency connectivity needed for the explosion of devices and immense amount of data being created by computing at the edge.”
AT&T last Friday announced its 5G Innovation Program, whose members include Microsoft, Cisco, Ericsson and Samsung. Those companies will “test use cases” on AT&T’s 5G network with their devices and services.
“Whether it’s the Innovation Program, AT&T Labs, AT&T Foundry, or our various initiatives across our business, mobility, internet of things and video teams, what’s vital here is to create the right conditions for 5G innovation to flourish,” said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and chief technology officer.
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There’s no shortage of 5G announcements for AT&T lately. The company also recently announced plans to make the network a possible traffic path for its SD-WAN platform.
.@ATT has launched a #5G #innovation program to jumpstart work with #developers, content creators and device makers to push 5G forward with members including @Samsung, WarnerMedia, Microsoft https://t.co/sS8tY1YI3T #MWC19 @ATTBusiness #ATTInfluencer @KADGLOBAL pic.twitter.com/XEadyJjM4k
— Evan Kirstel at #MWC19 (@evankirstel) February 26, 2019
Meantime, rival carrier Sprint has partnered with public cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) to improve Sprint’s Curiosity IoT platform. Sprint said enterprise customers will be able to better handle IoT data and applications and forward data to the cloud for analytics and insights.
“AWS IoT Core Services coupled with Sprint Curiosity IoT platform can drive actionable intelligence and business outcomes for customer IoT device data on Sprint’s next generation wireless network,” said Jean-Philippe Poirault, AWS’ head of AWS Telecom. “In addition, providing customers with the ability to purchase Sprint’s cellular connectivity rate plans on AWS Marketplace enables businesses of all sizes to securely connect their IoT devices to AWS.”
Sprint also expanded its partnership with Google to give the search giant’s mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service 5G capabilities.
The flurry of mobility announcements stems from Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. Jeffrey Schwartz gave a detailed report of Microsoft’s other MWC announcements on Channel Futures.