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AT&T Has Inked a Deal With Another Major Cloud Company

October 6, 2016, 2:29 PM UTC
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AT&T said it is partnering with Amazon Web Services to connect its network more closely to the leading cloud provider.

Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

One aspect of the deal will connect customers of AT&T’s high speed private network, called NetBond, directly to Amazon’s cloud, allowing for secure storage and information retrieval along with access to other Amazon cloud services. AT&T has already struck similar arrangements with Microsoft Azure (MSFT), Box (BOX), and IBM (IBM) among others.

A second facet of the deal will focus on connected smart devices, collectively referred to within the tech industry as the Internet of things. Sensors and devices connected to AT&T’s network will be able to send data to Amazon’s cloud. AT&T (T) said there are already 29 million connected devices on its network.

Finally, the two companies will join forces to improve network security. The deal aims to help customers prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats.

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Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud provider by far, and its rapid growth has helped drive the company’s share price to record levels this year. Revenue at the cloud unit hit $5.5 billion in the first half of the year, up 61% from the same period of 2015.

Amazon (AMZN) said the deal would help ease the way for big companies to phase out their own data centers in favor of using its cloud service. “Advanced connectivity and network solutions are critical to enabling our customers to get the most out of our services,” said Terry Wise, vice president of worldwide partner ecosystem at Amazon, in a statement.