AT&T and Microsoft Announce Strategic Alliance to Deliver Innovation with Cloud, AI and 5G

By Chantal Polsonetti

Category:
Acquisition or Partnership

AT&T Communications and Microsoft Corp. are embarking on an extensive, multiyear alliance where the two companies will apply technologies, including cloud, AI, and 5G, to improve how people live and work today and in the future.  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 center 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 optimizing costs.

As part of the agreement, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with 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.  

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.

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