Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Metaswitch, building on its existing acquisition of Affirmed Networks. Microsoft now has a powerful set of assets at the core of the mobile network and the move to 5G. Both Metaswitch and Affirmed have been successful in enabling many of the new CSP use cases like IoT and new digital services. With the backing of Microsoft they can now become credible competition to NEP core 5G solutions.

Demonstrating the value of cloud in 5G networking

We should not overlook the obvious ties to Microsoft’s most powerful growing business – its cloud business based on Azure.  Microsoft has been advocating that Azure is a worthy technology to underpin cloud based networks, including NFV.  With Affirmed and Metaswitch, Microsoft has two valuable assets:

  1. real, core network proof points, and
  2. solutions that can power carrier networks, carrier slices, and enterprise private 5G and hybrid networks

Microsoft is clearly demonstrating that it wants to be central to the move to 5G. Appledore do not believe it is Microsoft’s intention to become a NEP. Rather, we believe that Microsoft’s ambition is to truly show the power of 5G in enabling any software application. Furthermore it shows the power of cloud-native technology, and Azure in particular to power 5G.  In the era of software networks the distinctions between network equipment and IT software increasingly blur. We think this is a strong statement of intent from Microsoft.

Interested readers can find our existing analyses of Azure for the telco cloud here