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AT&T opens new R&D center in Tel Aviv, to focus on cloud solutions

American telecommunications giant to launch second development center in Israel, recruit 100 new employees

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

The AT&T office in Israel. (Nadav Karlinsky)
The AT&T office in Israel. (Nadav Karlinsky)

American telecommunications giant announced this week that it would open a new R&D center in Israel and expand its activities to include cloud solutions.

The company said it would recruit 100 new employees for the center in Tel Aviv, to add to an existing team of over 500 at AT&T’s R&D center in Airport City.

AT&T established that center in 2007 after acquiring Israeli video conferencing software company Interwise for $121 million. It is charged with developing software products “in all the company’s strategic areas of activity,” according to the statement, including 5G networks, digital solutions, and advanced products for managing first responder systems worldwide.

Both centers will now also expand their activities to develop cloud technologies, AT&T said.

Cloud computing and related technologies are a booming subsector in the IT industry, driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought entire operations online due to remote work. According to a Fortune Business Insights report, the cloud computing market is projected to reach $791.48 billion by 2028 globally.

AT&T said both the Airport City and the Tel Aviv R&D centers will operate in a hybrid format in which employees work from home some days each week.

The two Israel-based centers are part of AT&T’s global R&D network, which includes about a dozen R&D centers, also known as AT&T Labs, across the United States.

Nataly Kremer, VP software delivery services at AT&T and general manager of AT&T Israel, will oversee around 1,500 AT&T development personnel worldwide.

“The development center in Israel is responsible for driving innovative technologies for hundreds of millions of AT&T users around the globe, and leads strategic initiatives for the entire company,” Kremer said in a statement. “As part of the center’s growth and development process in the country, we are looking for quality team members who are as enthusiastic as we are about working with advanced technologies on a large scale.”

Tech giants are increasingly expanding their cloud-related operations in Israel.

Earlier this month, Oracle inaugurated its new underground data center in Jerusalem, which will function as a regional cloud provider for Israeli clients, and announced plans to launch a second center in the country.

In May, Google and Amazon signed contracts as part of a government tender to launch cloud data centers in Israel in the next two years approximately. The cloud project, called the Nimbus, is one of Israel’s biggest information technology projects and envisions six data centers. It will enable government ministries and other public entities to transfer servers and services into the cloud that will be set up by the winning firms.

Separately, Microsoft recently announced that it will open five new R&D sites across Israel and hire 2,500 more people.

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