Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

AT&T will Operate its Mobility Network on Microsoft's Azure for Operators cloud, Enabling it to Offer Cost-Effective 5G Services at Scale

AT&T plans to move its 5G mobile network to the Microsoft cloud. This strategic partnership paves the way for all of AT&T's mobile network traffic to be handled using Microsoft Azure technologies. AT&T's 5G core, the software at the heart of the 5G network that links mobile users and IoT devices to the internet and other services, will be the first to be used. By moving existing and future network workloads to Azure for Operators, AT&T will be able to improve productivity and cost efficiency while concentrating on delivering large-scale network services that meet the changing requirements of its customers.

In exchange, Microsoft will get access to AT&T's intellectual property and technical expertise to expand its flagship telecom product, Azure for Operators. Microsoft is acquiring AT&T's carrier-grade Network Cloud platform technology, which is the foundation of AT&T's 5G core network. Since the company's 5G debut in 2018, AT&T's Network Cloud platform has been operating AT&T's 5G core at scale. This move delivers real-world production 5G workloads for operators to Azure. In addition, Microsoft will make job offers to the Network Cloud platform engineering team. The decision is consistent with Microsoft's commitment to ongoing, customer-driven innovation. Azure for Operators will assist operators worldwide in providing highly dependable, cost-effective, and secure 5G services to consumer and enterprise customers.

AT&T will keep operating its network and preserving its customer relationships. AT&T may significantly decrease engineering and development expenses by using Microsoft's hybrid and hyperscale infrastructure. Early access to Microsoft's cloud, AI, and edge technology will provide AT&T the freedom it needs to develop and deploy new 5G-enabled services and customer experiences quickly.

As AT&T design, development, and engineering professionals join its ranks, Microsoft will be able to use its experience to extend the technical skills acquired through the 2020 purchases of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch Networks, allowing operators to operate a secure telecom network in the cloud. Furthermore, Microsoft will purchase AT&T engineering and lifecycle management software, which will be used to build and deploy a carrier-grade cloud that will operate containerized or virtualized network services. Microsoft will make the platform available to other carriers through Azure for Operators. It will invest in an ecosystem to facilitate a simpler and quicker transfer of network workloads to the cloud.

Microsoft will take over responsibility for AT&T's Network Cloud's software development and deployment immediately and will migrate AT&T's current network cloud to Azure over the next three years. The companies do not disclose financial terms.

The increasing demand for highly dependable mobile services at competitive prices necessitates operators rethinking their service models, established name, and unlocking industry-specific 5G opportunities ranging from connected factories and digital retail to autonomous transportation and entertainment-from-anywhere.

According to the GSMA, operators are projected to spend $900 billion on mobile capital expenditures (CapEx) between 2021 and 2025. Approximately 80% of it goes toward 5G, most of which may be operated on cloud infrastructure. Moving to the cloud allows operators to save money on hardware and development, access cloud-enabled automation and data analytics, and manage real-time responses and peak traffic on demand. In addition, cloud-based AI and IoT can help to accelerate the delivery of new services.

About AT&T Communications

Every day, we assist family, friends, and neighbors connect in important ways. We at ATT innovate to enhance lives, from the first phone call 140 years ago to mobile video streaming today.

About Microsoft

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge era. Its goal is to enable every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more.

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