“The companies are opening select preview availability for Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which weaves Microsoft Azure cloud services into AT&T network edge locations closer to customers. This means AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core – what the company calls the Network Cloud – is now capable of delivering Azure services. NEC will initially be available for a limited set of select customers in Dallas. Next year, Los Angeles and Atlanta are targeted for select customer availability.”
Edge computing is a process whereby data is processed onsite or near the point of collection, rather than routed to a data center for processing. It is becoming far more important in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) where a myriad of connected devices collect data. The partnership between AT&T and Microsoft will help take that a step further, using 5G and edge computing to deliver much smaller devices that offload their data processing.
“This innovation points to a future where high-end augmented reality glasses are as thin and stylish as a standard pair of eyeglasses, lightweight drones can track themselves and thousands of nearby companions in near-real time, and autonomous cars have access to nearly-instant data processing capabilities without having to install a mini data center in the trunk.”
The companies promise this is just the beginning, with much more to come.
“AT&T and Microsoft will have more to share over the coming months and years as this unique alliance continues to evolve and expand. The two companies will both create and adopt new technologies to develop tools, commercial services and consumer applications that benefit everyone.”