Microsoft right this moment announced it’s acquiring Affirmed Networks, a startup that provides absolutely virtualized, cloud-native cellular community options, for an undisclosed quantity. The firm needs to combine Affirmed Networks’ know-how into Microsoft Azure to let the telecommunications trade deploy and preserve 5G networks by way of the cloud somewhat than simply {hardware} and software program.

Affirmed Networks gives a virtualized cloud-native community known as Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) that lets communication service suppliers scale with the calls for of cellular companies. The startup additionally gives a cloud-native platform for 5G and a spread of capabilities in automation and orchestration. Microsoft describes Affirmed Networks’ options as letting operators “simplify network operations, reduce costs, and rapidly create, and launch new revenue-generating services.” Affirmed Networks CEO Anand Krishnamurthy, who was solely appointed yesterday, says the startup has helped over 100 clients throughout the globe transfer to its mannequin at “70% of the cost of traditional networks.”

We requested Microsoft how these clients (which embrace Vodafone, AT&T, and Softbank) can be affected. “There is no change for Affirmed Networks’ customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson instructed VentureBeat. “The continuity of their business operations is paramount.”

Telecommunication service suppliers are at the moment racing to undertake 5G, the fifth technology of wi-fi communications applied sciences, with guarantees of sooner speeds and decrease latencies. Potential purposes vary from autonomous autos and sensible cities to digital actuality and augmented actuality. As carriers improve their infrastructure, there’s a possibility to handle their 5G community workloads within the cloud whereas serving their clients’ edge computing wants. (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud have been more and more hanging cloud offers with telecom suppliers over the previous few years.)

Microsoft needs to assist speed up the telecommunications trade’s transition to the cloud utilizing Affirmed Networks’ tech. Here is how the corporate is justifying the acquisition:

Microsoft acquires virtualized mobile network startup Affirmed Networks

This acquisition will permit us to evolve our work with the telecommunications trade, constructing on our safe and trusted cloud platform for operators. With Affirmed Networks, we will provide new and modern options tailor-made to the distinctive wants of operators, together with managing their community workloads within the cloud. Previous generations of wi-fi networks have been primarily based on purpose-built {hardware}. We consider that with innovation in software program and by making use of broadly obtainable cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure, operators can deploy and preserve 5G networks and companies extra effectively, extra cheaply, extra quickly, and extra securely.

Affirmed Networks was based in 2010 and has raised $155 million thus far. The startup has 4 cofounders: Hassan Ahmed, Stephan Noll, Terry Durand, and Timothy Mortsolf. In his announcement, Krishnamurthy thanked the corporate’s clients, workers, buyers, and companions.