Visegrad 4 Tech Group Visits DC

The below blog post is by AT&T’s Filip Svab and Jason Olson.

Earlier this month, we hosted a delegation from the countries that comprise the Visegrad 4 – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – at our AT&T Washington, DC office. It was part of a visit organized by the Czech Embassy to discuss issues facing the global technology and communications industry.

At AT&T, our customers do business in virtually every country and territory including the V4. In fact, we employ a workforce of nearly 4,000 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that help deliver high-quality communication services and solutions. Technology trends in the US will often make their way to the EU – and vice versa. Both regions are watching each other’s markets and decisions on public policies closely and they can also influence policies in other markets. So, it’s important we work together and look at best practices across the Atlantic.

AT&T's Jason Olson welcomes the group to the Innovation Center.
AT&T’s Jason Olson welcomes the group to the Innovation Center.

During our roundtable conversation, we highlighted three areas that we’re focused on at AT&T – building the network of the future, combatting cybersecurity attacks and delivering the Internet of Things. Today, our global customers are looking to mobilize their people, processes and assets to make them more productive. Here’s how we’re making this happen:

  • Building the Network of the Future. AT&T is building a smart, cloud-like, next-generation network to address rapidly changing customer needs so we can deliver new and unique services quicker. It’s being built to encompass four key attributes: open, simple, scalable and highly secure. Our goal is to virtualize and control 75 percent of our network using this new architecture by 2020.
  • Combatting Cybersecurity Attacks. We took a virtual tour of our Global Network Operations Center. AT&T has unparalleled visibility into new and evolving security threats. Our team monitors for threats 24/7/365 to help detect and minimize attacks before they affect our customers. Due to emerging technology trends and the surge of connected devices, hackers are always finding new ways to attack. Our security professionals are experts in security design and incident response.
  • Delivering the Internet of Things. We toured our Innovation Center, which displays products and services from connected cars and homes to connected wearables and workspaces. We have about 25 million devices connected to our network and we expect that number to continue to grow. We’re also moving quickly to trial the connected devices that will enhance our customers life from morning to night.

A common theme throughout these discussions was the need for public policies that look forward, not back. Flexible policies that let companies innovate and develop a software-centric network. Regulatory frameworks that allow for sophisticated network management practices that can prevent cyber-attacks. Or, policies that allow the Internet of Things to operate seamlessly across borders – from enabling a Global SIM to having harmonized spectrum across borders.

Communications technology makes commerce possible. The digital economy is driving growth on both sides of the Atlantic so it’s important we all work together to ensure a connected world. It was an honor to host the V4 at our DC office and we look forward to further conversations on trans-Atlantic cooperation in 2016.