AT&T agreed to create a standalone cybersecurity services business with a capital investment company, as the US-based operator looks to provide embedded protection for SMEs.

The operator teamed up with WillJam Ventures, which AT&T stated has cybersecurity industry and leadership experience.

AT&T stated the JV will comprise “select security software solutions, associated managed security operations and security consulting resources”.

It expects to close the transaction in Q1 2024.

AT&T is in the process of building more security capabilities into its core network and edge locations.

“These security services will be built-in to our connectivity products, which will create a new category of network-embedded security” for SMEs, it stated.

AT&T stated it is “currently undergoing controlled introductions” with the new creations.

Rick Welday, head of AT&T Enterprise Markets, stated its focus was “on unlocking the power of our best-in-class connectivity with embedded security features that will allow our network to intelligently protect customers end-to-end”.

The arrangement appears to be similar to Gigapower, a JV AT&T struck with private equity company BlackRock Alternatives in 2022.