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AT&T, Microsoft Expand 5G, Network Edge Alliance

Edge Computing

AT&T’s “Network Cloud” 5G core can now deliver Microsoft Azure services.

AT&T and Microsoft announced that they will roll out Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology at AT&T network edge locations for select customers in Dallas. Customers in Los Angeles and Atlanta will be able to preview NEC technology next year, according to a news release.

Sanders, Corey_Microsoft

Microsoft’s Corey Sanders

“We are helping AT&T light up a wide range of unique solutions powered by Microsoft’s cloud, both for its business and our mutual customers in a secure and trusted way,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president for Microsoft Solutions. “The collaboration reaches across AT&T, bringing the hyperscale of Microsoft Azure together with AT&T’s network to innovate with 5G and edge computing across every industry.”

AT&T this summer announced that Microsoft will function as its preferred cloud provider for non-network applications. The companies on Tuesday announced that they are harnessing the partnership to enable “new 5G, cloud and edge computing solutions to drive enterprise capabilities for companies around the world.”

The two companies said in February that they were testing ways to enhance its 5G network’s edge computing capabilities using Microsoft Azure.

Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said 3G-enabled smartphones helped introduce mobile apps and 4G LTE helped those applications connect to the cloud.

AT&T's Mo Katibeh

AT&T’s Mo Katibeh

“With our 5G and edge computing, AT&T is collaborating uniquely with Microsoft to marry their cloud capabilities with our network to create lower latency between the device and the cloud that will unlock new, future scenarios for consumers and businesses,” Katibeh said. “We’ve said all year developers and businesses will be the early 5G adopters, and this puts both at the forefront of this revolution.”

AT&T and Microsoft are helping the mobile game company Game Cloud Network host an application on the network edge using Azure, and they are also building proofs-of-concept with the drone tracking company Vorpal.

AT&T has a goal of becoming a “public-cloud first” company and is working to move non-network workloads to Microsoft Azure by 2024.

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