Carrier is also working with Vodafone to drive IoT connectivity in the car industry.
AT&T announced this week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona that it’s working with Microsoft to integrate network edge compute capabilities with its 5G network and Azure cloud services, reports ZDNet.
“We’re testing our ability to substantially reduce latency and improve user experience by deploying advanced cloud services in specific geographic locations closer to business sites,” AT&T said at the conference.
The venture would be a significant development for numerous industries and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases that include healthcare, public safety, entertainment, manufacturing and retail, according to the carrier. The solution would bring businesses lower latency, give them access to high compute power and provide them with network routing without having to have hardware onsite.
“Our collaboration will pave the way to enable Microsoft Azure cloud services to connect to more customers and devices across the US through AT&T’s nationwide wireless network,” Microsoft corporate VP of Azure Networking Yousef Khalidi told MWC attendees. “Our two companies are working together to achieve the low-latency connectivity needed for the explosion of devices and immense amount of data being created by computing at the edge.”
AT&T is using drones to test the network edge compute capabilities with Azure, according to ZDNet. The carrier is working with startup company Vorpal in Plano, TX. Vorpal’s VirgilAir product can detect and geo-locate drones in real time—technology that could be useful to law enforcement agencies and airports.
“By running their VigilAir application using Azure cloud services delivered through the Plano AT&T test environment, and connecting their drone-tracking sensors using AT&T LTE and 5G networks, Vorpal could achieve the low latency and compute scalability required,” the carrier said in statement.
AT&T is keeping busy at MWC 2019 as the carrier announced it is also working with Vodafone Business to accelerate IoT connectivity and innovation in the automotive industry. The companies are looking to combine their respective expertise to develop superior and consistent connected car solutions and experiences for customers across their combined footprints in North America, Europe and Africa.
Both AT&T and Vodafone want to help automotive companies that are facing numerous challenges when they attempt to deploy connected car solutions across countries, as every market has unique requirements and regulations. This has made it difficult for automakers to work across multiple operators and vendors. The companies’ goal is to simplify the deployment process, deliver innovative solutions and make the network certification process easier.
“This alliance with Vodafone Business is a natural extension of our existing relationship,” Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T said in a statement. “We each have rich experience in connected vehicle technology. By working together, we can innovate faster and help our global customers bring connectivity, entertainment and telematics to more vehicles across our respective footprints.”
“Our work with AT&T will benefit automotive manufacturers and their customers around the world as we simplify processes and provide a consistent experience to accelerate IoT adoption in this fast-moving market,” Stefano Gastaut, IoT Director, Vodafone Business said in a statement. “As technology complexity increases, this is the right time to make technology adoption easier for the automotive industry to help them achieve their business outcomes. This is the goal of this alliance.”
The companies’ key areas of focus will include 5G and autonomous vehicle technology, in-vehicle entertainment, connected car applications and services and connected car/smart cities intersection.