AT&T Will Soon Run Its Mobility Network on Azure for Operators Cloud

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AT&T is soon going to move its 5G mobile network to Microsoft Azure cloud. This collaboration will offer a way for all of AT&T’s mobile network traffic to be managed using Microsoft Azure technologies.

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The organizations will begin with AT&T’s 5G core which is software at the heart of the 5G network that works as a medium between mobile users and IoT devices with internet and other services. After transferring existing and future network workloads to Azure for operators, AT&T will be able to increase productivity and cost-efficiency while focusing on the delivery of large-scale network services that will fulfil the evolving requirements of the customers.

On the other hand, Microsoft will gain access to AT&T’s intellectual property and technical expertise to boost its telecom flagship offering, Azure for Operators. Microsoft is acquiring AT&T’s carrier-grade Network Cloud platform technology on which AT&T’s 5G core network is based.

Since the launch of the company’s 5G in 2018, AT&T’s Network Cloud platform has been running AT&T’s 5G core. This step by the organization brings real-world production 5G workloads to Azure for Operators. Microsoft has already offered the Network Cloud platform team to join. The move is in consideration of Microsoft’’s commitment to continuous, customer-driven innovation. Azure for Operators would enable operators all over the world to provide highly “reliable, cost-effective, and secure” 5G services to consumer and enterprise customers.

Role of AT&T and Microsoft in The Partnership

Photo Jason Zander, executive vice president Azure, Microsoft
“With Azure, operators can provide a more flexible and scalable service model, save infrastructure cost, and use AI to automate operations and differentiate customer offerings. Through our collaboration with AT&T, Microsoft will expand its telecom portfolio to support operators with a carrier-grade cloud that provides seamless experiences across Microsoft’s cloud and the operator’s network,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president Azure, Microsoft.

AT&T is going to continue its network and retain its customer relationships. In addition to that, AT&T can also reduce the engineering and development costs with Microsoft’s hybrid and hyperscale infrastructure. Early access to Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and edge technology would offer AT&T the flexibility required to innovate and roll out brand new services and customer experience enabled by 5G at a fast pace.

Talking about Microsoft’s role, it is going to take complete responsibility for software development and deployment of AT&T’s Network Cloud immediately and move AT&T’s existing network cloud to Azure over the next three years. Both the organizations are completely silent regarding the details of financial terms.

Microsoft can put in its knowledge to expand technology skills the organization obtained from 2020 acquisitions of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch Networks to allow operators to run a protected telecom network in the cloud with the help of AT&T’s development, design, and engineering experts.

Microsoft AT&T engineering and lifecycle management software is used to develop and deploy a carrier-grade cloud that runs containerized or virtualized network services. Along with that, Microsoft will also make the platforms applicable to various carriers via Azure for Operators. Not only this, but it will also invest in an ecosystem to allow simpler and faster transition of network workloads to the cloud.