Today, Microsoft has announced a multi-year collaboration with U.S. telecommunications firm AT&T. This new alliance will be aimed toward applying various technologies including AI, cloud, and 5G to deliver innovation. Furthermore, Microsoft will also become the preferred cloud provider for AT&T as part of this deal.
AT&T's "public cloud first" strategy will be assisted by the tech giant by allowing it to migrate non-network infrastructure to the Azure cloud by 2024. In addition, the mobile service provider will be providing most of its workforce with Microsoft 365 services. These measures will not only help its employees, but also assist in accelerating innovation for its customers at optimized costs.
Both companies will also be collaborating on edge technologies and 5G. More specifically, Microsoft will be helping AT&T include edge-computing capabilities, as well as lower latency communications for its 5G service. Incidentally, AT&T became the first U.S. carrier to introduce its mobile 5G service in the country, nearing the end of last year. Through combining the power of cloud and 5G, the firms believe that unique solutions will emerge in the future for customers, including near-instantaneous communications between people who do not understand each other's languages, using AI-powered live voice translation. A scenario where this may provide a substantial advantage would be a first responder conversing with someone in need who speaks a different language.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented on the partnership in the following way:
"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. 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."
The team-up won't be limited to delivering innovation to the tech community only, but will also be focused toward addressing social needs such as accessibility, sustainability, and more.