(Bloomberg) – AT&T Inc. engages Microsoft Corp. with the operation of its next-generation cellular network, an important win in the cloud companies’ race to foreclose large customers.

Microsoft is acquiring AT & T’s network cloud technology and staff under an agreement to eventually handle all of the wireless operator’s 5G traffic, starting with the core software that connects customers to the Internet, the companies said on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal builds on a 5G partnership Founded by the two companies in 2019 and is a huge win for Microsoft’s Azure division trying to sell more cloud services around the world. For AT&T, based in Dallas, the third largest wireless operator, the move helps reduce operating costs. The network operator will continue to operate its network with Microsoft for 5G cloud operation.

Dish Network Corp. did a similar thing deal Amazon.com Inc. is scheduled to operate its 5G core network in April.

“This deal is not …

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