AT&T and Microsoft said on Wednesday that the company will use Microsoft’s cloud computing platform to handle essential sections of its 5G wireless network. AT&T’s latest generation of networks, which began rolling out in 2018, are meant to rely more heavily on software and data centers for traffic routing rather than telecommunications-specific equipment.
Microsoft will purchase AT&T’s software and intellectual property in order to expand its carrier offerings.The terms of the agreements were not disclosed, but Microsoft said it will make job offers to several hundred AT&T engineers.
The agreement comes after AT&T said in 2019 that it would begin using Microsoft’s cloud for software development and other duties for $2 billion (approximately Rs. 14,875.27 crores). AT&T indicated at the time that it would keep its key networking activities in its own data centers.
AT&T’s chief technology officer, Andre Fuetsch, said that switching to a public cloud vendor will allow the company to tap into a bigger ecosystem of software developers working on technologies like maximizing the use of expensive 5G spectrum or developing new features for customers.
Microsoft plans to develop a product called Azure for Operators, which it will use to go after core network business from telecommunications firms in the 60 regions where it operates, using the newly acquired technology and the experience gained assisting AT&T run the network.