Microsoft targets 5G with Affirmed Networks buy - Mobile World Live

Microsoft targets 5G with Affirmed Networks buy

26 MAR 2020

Microsoft moved to strenghten its ability to work with operators on 5G deployments, inking a deal to acquire Affirmed Networks, a provider of virtualised mobile networks.

Yousef Khalidi, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Azure Networking, said in a blog the move will allow it to “extend our cloud offering to operators everywhere” and provide “new and innovative solutions,” including the ability to manage network workloads in the cloud.

“We believe that software can play an important role in helping advance 5G and deliver new network solutions that offer step-change advancements in speed, cost and security.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Avi Greengart, lead analyst at Techsponential, told Mobile World Live the move comes as the telecommunications industry begins to shift away from traditional custom hardware in favour of cloud- and software-based infrastructure.

Microsoft scored a major cloud and 5G deal with AT&T in July 2019, and more recently was named as one of several companies reportedly working with US government officials to develop new software-based infrastructure for the next-generation mobile technology.

Greengart explained: “Microsoft obviously sees virtualised networking as a growth opportunity for its Azure cloud services, and by buying Affirmed Networks, it may be able to tie them together tightly and help new market entrants build 5G networks faster.”

Microsoft isn’t the only one making moves to capitalise on the shift to cloud- and software-based architectures: Google earlier this month unveiled a new telecom-specific platform it billed as the cloud equivalent of its Android mobile operating system.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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