Network integration company Lumen Technologies sealed a deal to incorporate Microsoft’s Azure platform into its edge sites, an alliance expected to deliver benefits for enterprise private 5G networks.

The companies stated the collaboration would eventually enable mutual customers to access private 5G networks combining Microsoft’s cloud-native software capabilities with Lumen’s fibre network and edge computing resources.

In addition to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-native software includes a 5G virtual core developed by Affirmed Networks, which Microsoft acquired in 2020.

Lumen Technologies explained the partnership would help enterprise customers analyse and use data quickly, delivering “capabilities at the edge that are unique in the industry”.

The companies said the first steps will be integrating Azure capabilities with the Lumen edge platform and deepening their business relationship.

Lumen Technologies will market Microsoft software and services to its customers, and will make Azure its preferred public cloud for enterprise customers’ workloads.

In the future, the companies plan to deploy Azure at Lumen Technologies’ edge computing nodes around the world. It operates data centres in most major North American cities and says its network is designed to enable 95 per cent of US enterprise workloads to connect to one of its edge nodes within 5 milliseconds of latency.