AT&T to upgrade DoT networks

US DoT taps AT&T for upgraded connectivity

11 MAY 2021

AT&T won a contract to modernise and maintain voice and data networks for the US Department of Transportation (DoT) over the next 12 years, a deal the operator stated taps a growing trend of government bodies accessing cloud services.

Chris Smith, VP for civilian and shared services in the public sector, said the $175 million contract will include cloud technologies, 5G and security systems.

He predicted a trend of government departments migrating workloads to the public cloud will continue, noting each agency “constantly works through the balance of what’s in their colocation private facilities and what’s in public cloud and finding the right balance” for their needs.

Personal communications will form a key part of AT&T’s work with the DoT, which employs 55,000 people nationwide: the operator will provide virtual private networking, IP-based voice services and secure cloud access.

Smith said wireless networks will be important for connecting vehicles as well as people, noting 5G and LTE have “great applicability” to “the management and control of drones, as well as autonomous vehicles”.

The executive highlighted AT&T’s long experience in providing security services, with the operator set to enable the DoT to detect, monitor and respond to internal and external threats.

AT&T sees “literally hundreds of millions” of network events each day, Smith explained.

The DoT contract could give AT&T an advantage with state and local governments if Congress passes an infrastructure spending bill.

Smith noted DoT unit the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to have a “large grant-making role” if the bill is approved, alongside the department’s broader role in public transportation projects which may include network elements.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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