AT&T and Microsoft launch Network Edge Compute technology

AT&T and Microsoft launch Network Edge Compute technology

27 November 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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AT&T and Microsoft are launching for select preview availability its Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which combines Microsoft Azure into AT&T network edge locations.

Through this new offering, AT&T’s software-defined and virtualised 5G core, called Network Cloud, is now able to deliver Azure services. The NEC is available to a limited set of customers in Dallas and next year will be rolled out to similarly select customers in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

“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. “We’ve said all year developers and businesses will be the early 5G adopters, and this puts both at the forefront of this revolution.”

The news follows the news of their strategic announcement made in July. At the time the companies confirmed that they would collaborate in the areas of cloud, AI and 5G.

 “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.”

One particular area of application for the new NEC is in mobile gaming. An existing AT&T customer of ATT, gaming company Game Cloud Network has developed a 5G game hosted on the network edge with Microsoft Azure.

“5G gaming provides consumers with the best of both worlds: highly-immersive experiences on lightweight mobile devices,” added Aaron Baker, chief executive officer, Game Cloud Network. “AT&T and Microsoft are building the perfect environment for game developers to create amazing new possibilities for gamers. 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 addition to the above, Microsoft is also helping AT&T become a public-cloud first company by migrating most of its non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.