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AT&T announced an agreement with Nokia to give its business customers around the world access to the Finnish telecom equipment giant's global Internet of Things network.

The companies will also partner to develop next-generation IoT services and pave the way to global 5G networks, officials said in a statement.

"This collaboration proves our commitment to the global IoT market, providing seamless connectivity across geographical borders and technologies," said Nokia President of Global Services Sanjay Goel.

AT&T said its cloud-based Multi-Network Connect platform would simplify the use of Nokia's Worldwide IoT Network Grid, whose features include the core network as well as dedicated IoT operations, billing, security and data analytics.

In addition to performance, latency and flexibility benefits, officials said the collaboration could also offer businesses 5G network slicing and meet local regulations for IoT devices.

The companies' commercial deployment is expected to begin later this year; Nokia anticipates its WING core network will be available in more than 20 countries by the first quarter of 2020.

"Boosted by Nokia’s globally deployed 'one-stop shop' network technology, we can be more nimble and responsive to our customers' needs," said AT&T IoT Solutions President Chris Penrose.

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