Microsoft unveils a new Azure platform to drive the future of 5G and beyond

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Microsoft has announced details of a new Azure platform that it says will see cloud and edge come closer together through the power of 5G.

Speaking at its MWC 2023 launch, Microsoft says it’s time to move away from legacy systems as 5G development continues to accelerate, citing improved bandwidth, reliability, and reduced latency as some of the key benefits of 5G connections.

The latest iteration of Azure for Operators will allow companies to modernize their networks, resulting in improved cost efficiency and the rollout of new services.

Microsoft Azure for Operators

For Azure for Operators, Microsoft has moved the engineering and program organization from AT&T’s Network Cloud 2.7 Software technology (which it acquired in June 2021) into Azure for Operators. 

Microsoft claims that Azure Operator Distributed Services combines the best of AT&T’s and Azure’s offerings, such as security, monitoring, analytics, AI, and machine learning.

"Imagine the benefits to communities and organizations that have access to improved bandwidth, reliability, and reduced latency, while leveraging the rich capabilities of cloud-to-edge technology without compromise to security, critical services, or key workloads," noted Jason Zander, Microsoft EVP, Strategic Missions and Technologies.

"With the most complete offerings for the telecommunications industry, Microsoft is the ideal cloud provider to help operators with their digital transformation journey and enable them to deliver these innovative services to their consumer, enterprise, and public sector customers."

“We are pleased with Microsoft’s plan to evolve Network Cloud and integrate it with Azure technologies to create hybrid telco-grade Azure Operator Distributed Services," noted AT&T Executive VP and CTO of Network Services, Andre Fuetsch.

"This will enable AT&T and other operators to host Network Functions on clouds spanning telco premises and public cloud and will help us realize the many benefits of the cloud-native approach and Azure innovation including additional speed, resiliency, security, cost, and operational improvements.”

At the same time, Microsoft has announced the private preview of the Azure Operator 5G Core and public preview of the Azure Private 5G Core, designed with the secure deployment of private 4G and 5G networks in mind. With Industry 4.0 and IoT at their hearts, use cases could include smart cities and autonomous vehicles. 

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!