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Technology juggernaut Microsoft has recently acquired international software network provider Metaswitch with the aim driving more 5G opportunities and supporting operators globally within a more connected and developed ecosystem.

John Byrne, service director of telecom technology and software at GlobalData said, “Microsoft has made it clear, through a host of acquisitions and alliances, that the long term goal is to solidify Azure as the underlying platform for a host of network and IT functions as part of an expansive telco cloud strategy. The Metaswitch purchase is a clear sign that they intend to be a platform for telecoms innovation for network operators.”

He added,“For the past several years, Microsoft has embarked on a campaign of ‘making friends with’ both traditional and disruptive network software vendors through a combination of expanding alliances and acquiring innovators. As we go into an increasingly public cloud-centric world for a multitude of network functions, the longer-term vision is to establish Azure as the network supporting a growing number of those functions.”

“In the medium-term, this will impact traditional telecom vendors as Microsoft continues to solidify its ‘ecosystem’ approach to telco cloud, which is reflected in its recently-expanded focus on Azure Edge Zones to help solve the edge computing dilemma the industry has been in neutral about the past three years. GlobalData believes the next likely focus for Microsoft’s telco focus will be in embracing Open RAN solutions that would significantly fill out Microsoft’s expanding focus on the telco ecosystem.”