Verizon began offering enterprise customers a private edge compute service to complement its OnSite 5G service, building on an existing relationship with Microsoft Azure.

The companies announced a private networks partnership in 2020 and have now made their joint solution commercially available. In a statement, Verizon asserted the combination of its 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge will give organisations access to low latency networks along with edge compute and storage, enabling applications involving computer vision, AR and VR, and machine learning.

A Verizon representative told Mobile World Live the operator’s Private 5G Edge product is part of its larger private mobile network portfolio, which includes LTE and 5G solutions.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate VP of Azure for Operators at Microsoft, stated the joint offering lets enterprise customers take advantage of “the intersection between the network and edge”, which he said is key to business innovation.

Verizon and Microsoft already have one active customer for their joint solution. Logistics provider Ice Mobility uses it for computer vision-assisted product packing.

The company provides supply chain services to Verizon and its retail partners.

For Verizon, the partnership with Microsoft Azure is just one part of a larger multi-access edge compute strategy. The operator is also installing Amazon’s AWS Wavelength servers at service aggregation points around the US to enable 5G use cases for enterprise customers which do not require edge compute capabilities on premise.

Verizon and AWS have also integrated Verizon’s 5G Edge MEC platform with AWS Outposts, modular deployments of its cloud services for rollout at or near enterprises’ location, enabling it to be used for private 5G networks.