Microsoft and AT&T team up on Cloud, 5G and AI deal

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AT&T and Microsoft have entered into a major multiyear cloud/5G deal where Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications, as part of AT&T’s broader public cloud first strategy, and will support AT&T as it consolidates its data centre infrastructure and operations.

AT&T is becoming a “public cloud first” company by migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024. That initiative will allow AT&T to focus on core network capabilities, accelerate innovation for its customers, and empower its workforce while optimising costs.

As part of the agreement, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with robust cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

AT&T and Microsoft will together help enable a future of ubiquitous computing through edge technologies and 5G. AT&T expects to have nationwide 5G by the first half of 2020. Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities.

With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T’s geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made.

Recently, Microsoft and AT&T worked together to test an edge computing-based tracking and detection system for drones. With more connected devices and the growing demand for streaming content from movies to games, businesses and consumers require ever-increasing network capabilities.

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO, AT&T Communications.

“By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

The global scale of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AT&T’s domestic 5G capabilities will enable unique solutions for the companies’ mutual customers. The companies will bring to market integrated industry solutions including in the areas of voice, collaboration and conferencing, intelligent edge and networking, IoT, public safety, and cyber security.

The companies already have joint enterprise solutions for networking, IoT, and blockchain in market, and expect to announce additional services later in 2019. The two companies envision scenarios with 5G enabling near-instantaneous communications for a first responder who is using AI-powered live voice translation to quickly communicate with someone in need who speaks a different language.

“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

“The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”

In addition to their technology collaboration, AT&T and Microsoft will work together on technology-enabled approaches and solutions aimed at social good.

Both companies have been focused on addressing sustainability, accessibility, and community challenges such as homelessness and see an opportunity to support each other’s work to address urgent social needs, including Microsoft’s affordable housing initiative and the AT&T Believes campaign.

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