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AT&T-Microsoft Partner to Boost 5G, Edge Computing Solutions

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AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) recently collaborated with one of the world’s largest broad-based technology providers — Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) — to introduce 5G technology and advanced edge computing solutions to select customers in Dallas, TX. The much-awaited digital transformation seems to be the call of the hour to harness edge computing capabilities with increased 5G deployments giving rise to large volume of data.

Dubbed Network Edge Compute (NEC), the trailblazing technology combines AT&T’s network edge capabilities and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to accelerate innovation and apply cutting-edge technologies for enhanced data infrastructure. The alliance will allow AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core technology, Network Cloud, to provide Azure services. NEC is focused on providing a low latency experience for enterprises, bolster core network capabilities, stimulate innovation for its customers and empower workforce while minimizing operating costs.

Revamping the multi-year cloud collaboration deal struck in July with a valuation of more than $2 billion, the tech juggernauts will introduce integrated industry solutions, including intelligent edge and networking along with public safety. NEC will be initially available for a restricted set of customers in Dallas, expanding to Los Angeles and Atlanta by 2020.

From the introduction of world’s first 5G millimeter wave connection to unconventional innovations in healthcare, manufacturing and entertainment, AT&T has proved itself to be the pioneer of 5G infrastructure. Over the past five years, AT&T has invested about $145 billion in wireless and wireline networks including capital investments, and acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations. Its wireless network, which is one of the nation’s largest, covers more than 99% of Americans and is reportedly the fastest in the nation. The company currently delivers 5G network services with its 5G+ millimeter wave spectrum to 21 cities and aims to deploy a standards-based, nationwide mobile 5G network in early 2020 in suburban and rural areas.

AT&T is focused in building networks that will enable fiber-based connectivity and LTE to work efficiently in unison with 5G solutions, making the most of business transformation, alongside opportunities to boost revenues and reduce operating expenses. Its LTE network covers more than 400 million people in North America. At present, the company’s 5G Evolution technology is live in more than 200 markets, and is expected to reach above 400 markets by the end of 2019. Sustainable subscriber growth backed by robust network expansion remains a key driver.

AT&T has long-term earnings growth expectation of 4.5%. Backed by diligent execution of operational strategies, the stock has gained 32% compared with the industry’s rise of 16.6% in the year-to-date period.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) and Gogo Inc. (GOGO - Free Report) . While Qualcomm sports a Zack Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Gogo carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Qualcomm exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 8.7%.

Gogo outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 39.1%.

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