Microsoft today announced that AT&T will move its 5G mobile network to the Microsoft cloud. AT&T’s 5G core, the software at the heart of the 5G network that connects mobile users and IoT devices with internet and other services, will be the first service that will be moved to Azure. AT&T will further bring its existing and future network workloads to Azure for Operators.
Microsoft announced that it will acquire AT&T’s carrier-grade Network Cloud platform technology (the platform that powers the AT&T’s 5G core network) and talent to further strengthen its 5G cloud technologies. Also, Microsoft will acquire AT&T engineering and lifecycle management software used to develop and deploy a carrier-grade cloud that runs containerized or virtualized network services. Microsoft will make this platform available to other network operators through Azure for Operators.
Microsoft will assume responsibility for both software development and deployment of AT&T’s Network Cloud immediately and bring AT&T’s existing network cloud to Azure over the next three years.
“AT&T has one of the world’s most powerful global backbone networks serving hundreds of millions of subscribers. Our Network Cloud team has proved that running a network in the cloud drives speed, security, cost improvements and innovation. Microsoft’s decision to acquire these assets is a testament to AT&T’s leadership in network virtualization, culture of innovation, and realization of a telco-grade cloud stack,” said Andre Fuetsch, executive vice president and chief technology officer, AT&T. “The next step is making this capability accessible to operators around the world and ensuring it has the resources behind it to continue to evolve and improve. And do it securely. Microsoft’s cloud expertise and global reach make them the perfect fit for this next phase.”
“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,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president Azure, Microsoft. “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.”