Microsoft acquires 5G specialist Affirmed Networks

Microsoft announced that it has acquired Affirmed Networks, a company that specializes in fully virtualized, cloud-native NFV solutions for telecom operators.

With its emphasis on 5G and edge computing, Affirmed seems like the perfect acquisition for a big cloud provider looking to get deeper into the telecom business. According to Crunchbase, Affirmed raised a sum of $155 million prior to this acquisition, and the company has more than 100 enterprise customers that include the likes of AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, Telus, Turkcell, and STC.

“As we’ve seen with other technology transformations, 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,” writes Yousef Khalidi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Azure Networking. “There is a significant opportunity for both incumbents and new players across the industry to innovate, collaborate and create new markets, serving the networking and edge computing needs of our mutual customers.”

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With its huge enterprise customer base, Affirmed gives Microsoft another entry pass into the telecom industry. Previously, the telecom would often build their own data centers and stuff it with expensive proprietary hardware. But thanks to today’s virtualization tech, the large cloud platforms are now able to offer the same capabilities and reliability without any of the cost. And unsurprisingly, new innovations like 5G, with its promise of new and expanded markets, makes for a good moment to push forward with these new technologies.

Google also recently made their moves in this direction with its Anthos for Telecom and Global Mobile Edge Cloud, too. Chances are that we will see all of the large cloud providers continue to go after the telecom market in the coming months.

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In a somewhat odd move, only yesterday Affirmed announced a new CEO and president, Anand Krishnamurthy. It’s not often that we see these kinds of executive moves hours before a company announces its acquisition.

The announcement doesn’t feature a single hint at today’s news and includes all of the usual cliches we’ve come to expect from a press release that announces a new CEO. “We are thankful to Hassan for his vision and commitment in guiding the company through this extraordinary journey and positioning us for tremendous success in the future,” Krishnamurthy wrote at the time. “It is my honor to lead Affirmed as we continue to drive this incredible transformation in our industry.”

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Thomas Burn is a blogger, digital marketing expert and working with Techlofy. Being a social media enthusiast, he believes in the power of writing.

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