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Microsoft to Build Carrier-Grade Cloud to Roll Out 5G and More

Microsoft partners with the telecommunications industry to roll out 5G and more

The increasing demand for always-on connectivity, immersive experiences, secure collaboration, and remote human relationships is pushing networks to their limits, while the market is driving down price. The network infrastructure must ensure operators are able to optimize costs and gain efficiencies, while enabling the development of personalized and differentiated services. To address the requirements of rolling out 5G, operators will face strong challenges, including high capital expenditure (CapEx) investments, an increased need for scale, automation, and secure management of the massive volume of data it will generate.

Today starts a new chapter in our close collaboration with the telecommunications industry to unlock the power of 5G and bring cloud and edge closer than ever. We're building a carrier-grade cloud and bringing more Microsoft technology to the operator’s edge. This, in combination with our developer ecosystem, will help operators to future proof their networks, drive down costs, and create new services and business models.

In Microsoft, operators get a trusted partner who will empower them to unlock the potential of 5G. Enabling them to offer a range of new services such as ultra-reliable low-latency connectivity, mixed reality communications services, network slicing, and highly scalable IoT applications to transform entire industries and communities.

By harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure, on their edge, or in the cloud, operators can transition to a more flexible and scalable model, drive down infrastructure cost, use AI and machine learning (ML) to automate operations and create service differentiation. Furthermore, a hybrid and hyper-scale infrastructure will provide operators with the agility they need to rapidly innovate and experiment with new 5G services on a programmable network.

More specifically, we will further support operators as they evolve their infrastructure and operations using technologies such as software-defined networking, network function virtualization, and service-based architectures. We are bringing to market a carrier-grade platform for edge and cloud to support the operator’s goals to future proof their infrastructure with disaggregated, and containerized network architectures. Recognizing that not everything will move to the public cloud, we will meet operators where they are—whether at the enterprise edge, the network edge, or in the cloud.

Our approach is built on the acquisitions of industry leaders in cloud-native network functions—Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch and on the development of Azure Edge Zones. By bringing together hundreds of engineers with deep experience in the telecommunications space, we are ensuring that our product development process is catering to the most relevant networking needs of the operators. We will leverage the strengths of Microsoft to extend and enhance the current capabilities of industry-leading products such as Affirmed’s 5G core and Metaswitch’s UC portfolio. These capabilities, combined with Microsoft’s broad developer ecosystem and deep business to business partnership programs, provide Microsoft with a unique ability to support the operators as they seek to monetize the capabilities of their networks.

Source: Microsoft Corp. blog announcement

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