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Microsoft acquires Metaswitch Networks to build on 5G strategy

In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.

Microsoft is moving to expand its cloud communications portfolio. The tech giant announced a few days back that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire cloud communications specialist Metaswitch for an undisclosed amount. Metaswitch provides cloud-based voice, data, and communication software solutions for telecommunication providers. Its portfolio includes products that address the 5G market, which confirms Microsoft’s commitment to that mobile technology.

The acquisition builds on Microsoft’s existing cloud-related work to help telecom companies with their 5G deployments. Microsoft inked a 5G partnership with AT&T last year and made a similar acquisition earlier this year, acquiring Affirmed Networks, a Boston-area startup that sells virtualized network software to mobile operators.

Last month, Microsoft announced its plan to acquire mobile telecommunications specialist Affirmed Networks for its cloud-based 4G and 5G software solutions.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president of Azure networking, today confirmed the company’s focus on 5G, saying “As the industry moves to 5G, operators will have opportunities to advance the virtualization of their core networks and move forward on a path to an increasingly cloud-native future. Microsoft will continue to meet customers where they are, working together with the industry as operators and network equipment providers evolve their own operations.”

Microsoft will leverage its cloud platform, Azure, to scale and deliver Metaswitch’s and Affirmed Networks’ software solutions. But Microsoft also said it would continue to support its hybrid and multi cloud model, which suggests the acquired technologies will remain available on competitors’ clouds, such as Amazon‘s Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition, cross-selling opportunities between both acquired companies will materialise as they propose complementary solutions for telecommunication providers.

Metaswitch Networks has more than 1,000 customers including British Telecom, Vodafone, and others. It has offices in Los Altos, Calif., and London.

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