Enterprises will be able to connect machines and equipment securely to the cloud worldwide and accelerate IoT deployment via a platform being developed as part of the AT&T Microsoft IoT partnership announced last year.

The integrated IoT solution features an “AT&T powered guardian device” that leverages Azure Sphere, an IoT architecture that includes hardware, operating system and cloud services. The offering will be augmented with Azure IoT services and will access the carrier’s core network, which connects to more than 200 countries and 500 carriers. This, AT&T says, will enable “massive IoT deployments at scale.”

The offering is an end-to-end solution that connects to the cloud and bypasses the public internet. AT&T says that it provides fast and secure activation out of the box, with existing equipment connected to the cloud and to Azure IoT Central. The bottom line is that this platform, according to AT&T, enables machines as basic as those driving elevators and used in restaurants to be retrofit and made “smart.”

“AT&T and Microsoft share the belief that technology should serve people,” Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product and Platform Officer, said in a press release.  “Working with Microsoft we can offer a truly global solution with strong security and data insights that can help a broad array of industries simplify operations, manage costs, and become more agile in any market.”

The AT&T Microsoft IoT partnership was announced in July 2019. The companies said that they would work on cloud, AI, 5G and edge computing initiatives. It was a major move: Much of AT&T’s non-network infrastructure applications would move to the Microsoft Azure cloud, while Microsoft would use AT&T technologies to build edge computing capabilities and applications.

In November, 2019, AT&T said that “select” customers in Dallas were to get access to the network edge compute capabilities coming out of the partnership with Microsoft. Companies in Los Angeles and Atlanta were slated to get access this year.

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