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Microsoft further bolsters its 5G expertise with acquisition of Metaswitch Networks

Microsoft is building its warchest ready for the global deployment of 5G, with the firm announcing the acquisition of Metaswitch Networks, a provider of virtualised network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators.

The acquisition of Metaswitch Networks follows on from the news earlier this year that Microsoft was bolstering its expertise in 5G with yet another acquisition, this time of Affirmed Networks

According to Microsoft, the convergence of cloud and communication networks presents a unique opportunity for the company to serve operators globally via continued investment in Azure, adding additional depth to its hyperscale cloud infrastructure with the specialised software required to run virtualised communication functions, applications and networks.

Metaswitch’s portfolio of ultra-high-performance, cloud-native communications software will expand Microsoft’s range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry. Microsoft intends to leverage the talent and technology of both Metaswitch Networks and Affirmed Networks, extending the Azure platform to both deploy and grow these capabilities at scale in a way that is secure, efficient and creates a sustainable ecosystem.

“As the industry moves to 5G, operators will have opportunities to advance the virtualisation of their core networks and move forward on a path to an increasingly cloud-native future. Microsoft will continue to meet customers where they are, working together with the industry as operators and network equipment providers evolve their own operations,” Microsoft noted in a statement. 

“We will continue to support on-premises, hybrid and multi-cloud models to create a more diverse telecom ecosystem and spur faster innovation, an expanded set of unique offerings spanning the complete communications core for voice and data, and greater opportunities for differentiation. We will continue to partner with existing suppliers, emerging innovators and network equipment partners to share roadmaps and explore expanded opportunities to work together, including in the areas of radio access networks (RAN), next-generation core, virtualized services, orchestration and operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) modernization. A future that is interoperable has never been more important to ensure the success of customers and partners.

“By enabling advancements in enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communications and massive machine-type communication to enable IoT at scale, 5G offers significant potential for enterprises and governments and in turn creates new opportunities for operators. 5G will ultimately give operators a path to accelerate service innovation and deliver new transformative experiences that are faster, more resilient and more secure, spurred on by software advances to drive transformation at scale.”

“We have a long history of working with operators as they increasingly embrace software-based solutions and continue to support the advancement of cloud-based networking while helping create new partnership opportunities for existing network equipment providers. Our intention over time is to create modern alternatives to network infrastructure, enabling operators to deliver existing and value-added services – with greater cost efficiency and lower capital investment than they’ve faced in the past.”

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