Microsoft has bought Affirmed Networks, a company that provides networking solutions for telecom operators, with a ficus in 5G and edge computing.
The move marks another step for Micorosft’s move into the telecoms sector. Affirmed has more than 100 enterprise customers include the likes of AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, Telus, Turkcell and STC.
Previous generations of wireless networks have been based on purpose-built hardware and data centres. With this acquisition, Microsoft is helping deploy and maintain 5G networks with cloud-based data centres at a much more rapid rate.
“As we’ve seen with other technology transformations, 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,” writes Yousef Khalidi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Azure Networking. “There is a significant opportunity for both incumbents and new players across the industry to innovate, collaborate and create new markets, serving the networking and edge computing needs of our mutual customers.”
“A hyperscaler into 5G”
Nick McQuire, Vice President, Enterprise Research, CCS Insight below regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Affirmed Networks, said: “The acquisition of Affirmed Networks is the biggest statement yet by a hyperscaler into 5G and telco transformation opportunities. Both areas are heavily being shaped by cloud computing and the acquisition gives Microsoft some much needed telco DNA to help telcos build cloud capabilities. This is especially important as well as the markets for low latency edge computing driven by 5G unfold over the next few years.”
“With the move, Microsoft is ensuring not only that Azure is the best cloud to help telcos transform, but that it is also a front runner against AWS and Google Cloud in the race to the edge as well.”
“The move follows some important moves made by AWS and Google Cloud into the telco space over the past 12 months. What we are seeing now is the convergence of the cloud, the network edge and 5G all happening in real time and the hyperscalers are jockeying for position in this next shift in the cloud market.”
“It is a major marker down against the other cloud providers as well who will no doubt be feeling the pressure to generate similar capabilities around their own clouds in the future.”