AT&T combines 5G with Microsoft cloud to set up next-gen edge solutions

AT&T combines 5G with Microsoft cloud to set up next-gen edge solutions

Following their strategic partnership signed in July, Microsoft and AT&T are now working on integrating 5G technology with Microsoft cloud services to deliver enterprise-grade edge computing solutions, Microsoft announced.

Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology incorporates Microsoft Azure cloud services into AT&T network edge locations, and is available for preview to a limited number of enterprises in Dallas. Future plans for 2020 include NEC availability for customers in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

AT&T has a number of 5G accomplishments such as developing the first 5G millimeter wave service to deliver a browsing session to a commercial 5G device. The company has also provided 5G services to various systems in healthcare, manufacturing and entertainment, and a recent 400-gigabit connection between Dallas and Atlanta is supporting 5G functions such as video and gaming. AT&T’s 5G network currently operates in 21 cities and uses millimeter wave spectrum (5G+); the company aims to deliver 5G technology nationwide throughout the first six months of 2020.

“With our 5G and edge computing, AT&T is collaborating uniquely with Microsoft to marry their cloud capabilities with our network to create lower latency between the device and the cloud that will unlock new, future scenarios for consumers and businesses.” said Mo Katibeh, EVP and chief marketing officer, AT&T Business said in a prepared statement. “We’ve said all year developers and businesses will be the early 5G adopters, and this puts both at the forefront of this revolution.”

“We are helping AT&T light up a wide range of unique solutions powered by Microsoft’s cloud, both for its business and our mutual customers in a secure and trusted way,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president, Microsoft Solutions. “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.”

There are many activities and devices that can leverage the opportunities 5G and edge can deliver. In mobile gaming, for example, AT&T customer and Game Cloud Network has developed a 5G game hosted on the network edge with Microsoft Azure. The gaming company is one of the first to use games for brand engagement, and it is now demonstrating its most recent game called “Tap & Field” that leverages Microsoft’s Azure PlayFab services and the speed of 5G-connected devices.

“5G gaming provides consumers with the best of both worlds: highly-immersive experiences on lightweight mobile devices,” said Aaron Baker, chief executive officer, Game Cloud Network in a statement. “5G and edge computing have the potential to radically change how we play together and launch new business opportunities for brands and game publishers.”

In partnership with AT&T Foundry, AT&T and Microsoft are developing proofs-of-concept such as augmented reality and VR scenarios and drones. The two are working with Vorpal, a startup based in Israel, on a product called VigilAir that monitors drones in commercial areas and airports.

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