Today, Microsoft announced on its official blog that they are acquiring Affirmed Networks, the industry leader in cloud-based virtualized mobile networks. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the announcement indicates that Microsoft is positioning the acquisition as a way to bring telecommunications operators into the cloud to support their existing workloads, especially 5G.
Affirmed Networks is a fully virtualized mobile network solutions provider that enables operators to simplify their network operations, reduce costs and create new and revenue-generating services. Today, they work with more than 100 operators in over 80 countries around the world. As a company, they believe the next generation of the 5G networks will see significant growth in mobile devices and applications, mobile connectivity and virtualized cloud-based infrastructure.
According to Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Network, "with Affirmed Networks, we will be able to offer new and innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of operators, including managing their network workloads in the cloud...and as we continue to extend cloud-based software-defined networking into the world of 5G connectivity, we recognize the importance of strong partnerships and interoperability."
Microsoft is already supporting telcos like AT&T with Azure cloud services, and with the acquisition of Affirmed Networks, they will closely align Affirmed's NFV solutions for services like IoT, autonomous vehicles and Wifi with Azure. Previously, Affirmed Networks had shown demonstrations of its 5G Core Solutions running on AWS, and no information was given on whether these customers will be impacted by the acquisition. Microsoft has previously demonstrated the power of Azure to support 5G networks including live demonstrations of Azure powering connected cars.