Microsoft and AT&T partner up on cloud, AI, and 5G efforts

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • AT&T is Microsoft's latest partner on AI and cloud tech.
  • Microsoft 365 and Azure tools will be rolled out to a portion of AT&T's workforce as part of the deal.
  • The two companies will also collaborate on bringing 5G connectivity to edge-computing devices.

Microsoft announced today that has partnered with AT&T on a deal that will expand Azure and Microsoft 365 to AT&T's infrastructure and workforce. As part of the partnership, the two companies will also work on bringing 5G connectivity to edge-computing devices.

"Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities," Microsoft said in a post announcing the deal. "With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T's geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made."

AT&T says that it plans to have its 5G network rolled out nationwide by the "first half of 2020."

In addition, the partnership will see portions of AT&T's workforce gain access to productivity tools from Microsoft 365. AT&T will also migrate its non-network infrastructure to the Azure cloud. This is part of an initiative by AT&T to become a "public cloud first company" by 2024.

"AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in announcing the partnership. "The world's leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T's workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere."

This is the latest major partnership for Microsoft and its Azure platform. Recently, Walgreens announced that it is moving to Azure. Likewise, Azure was tapped to help map the UK's network of heart defibrillators. In April, Dell and Microsoft announced plans to bring new Azure integrations to VMWare.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl