Back in November, Microsoft and AT&T entered into a partnership centered on 5G technology. Specifically, Microsoft Azure became integrated with AT&T's Network Cloud 5G tools. Now, the two tech giants have combined to become developers of the new Network Edge Compute (NEC).
With the platform, Microsoft Azure and Edge computing solutions can now be brought to 5G customers by leveraging AT&T 5G networks.
“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.” Corey Sanders, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Solutions.
In a blog post, Microsoft says NEC will be launched in a testing program for customers in Dallas. The company says the goal is to roll out the platform to Los Angeles and Atlanta during this year.
Microsoft says there are certain benefits for NEC, such as improved connections speeds, lower latency, and access to Microsoft Azure on the edge.
- “Higher connection speeds via the AT&T Network Cloud- a service based on AT&T's software-defined and visualised 5G core.
- Lower latency connections and communications by hosting Microsoft Azure services closer to customers, and devices at AT&T edge locations.
- The ability to utilise Microsoft Azure services in edge locations closer to customers and devices that will enable new innovative solutions that weren't possible before.
5G has been among the leaders in bringing 5G technology to locations. For example, the telecommunications giant was the first to open a 400-gigabit connection between Atlanta and Dallas. At the moment, the company's 5G network stretches across 21 cities.
Importantly, AT&T is working to become a “public-cloud first” company. According to Microsoft's press release, AT&T has already committed to bring non-network workloads under Azure's umbrella by 2024.