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AT&T Taps Microsoft Azure to Power Its Network Edge Compute

February 27, 2019 / Dan Meyer

AT&T and Microsoft are testing an edge deployment model that splits the difference between network compute elements deployed in a central core and those deployed at the far network edge. The model uses what the companies term “network edge compute (NEC) capabilities” that run network traffic from an edge deployment through Microsoft’s Azure public cloud platform. This results in lower latency than typical core-based services where traffic needs to be transported back and forth to that core. But it’s not as fast as what is available with multi-access edge computing (MEC) deployments where compute resources are deployed at the far edge. The NEC model runs on top of AT&T’s network layer, with traffic transported to the Azure cloud. It’s focused on providing a low latency experience for enterprises without the need for that dedicated on-premises hardware. This results in lower operating costs and can be offered as an as-a-service model.