Microsoft sets sights on 5G with Affirmed Networks acquisition

The Redmond company hopes 5G will help bolster its cloud and telecoms sector reach

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Affirmed Networks in a bid to broaden its reach within the telecommunications sector ahead of the 5G roll-out.

Corporate Vice President of Azure Networking, Yousef Khalidi, explained how the Affirmed Networks will help Microsoft work with telecommunication companies but did not disclose the amount that the company paid for the acquisition.

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According to Khalidi, the acquisition will allow Microsoft to advance its service in the telecommunications sector and contribute to extending its operator-targetted products, such as its cloud platform and network workload management.

"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," said Khalidi. 

“We look forward to building on the great work by Affirmed Networks with its leadership in virtualized mobile networks. 

“Bringing this technology and team of experts into Microsoft allows us to extend our cloud offering to operators everywhere as they increasingly look to run their networks in a hybrid environment. We’re excited about our future together where carriers will be able to better leverage Microsoft’s cloud to improve overall profitability and create new revenue streams.”

Affirmed Network’s list of clients includes AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, Telus, Turkcell and STC, providing Microsoft with a strategic point of entry into the telecom world.

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The news of the acquisition comes only days after Microsoft announced that it would no longer release non-essential updates to its line of Windows operating systems due to disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The company will focus on essential security updates for all Windows iterations from May onwards. Nevertheless, the company also emphasised that it would prioritise their 'key customers', such as emergency services and critical infrastructure, in case of any possible Microsoft Azure capacity constraints caused by the sharp rise in remote working

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