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Why Microsoft Bought Metaswitch

Azure Private Edge zones

By: R. Scott Raynovich

It's been a very interesting month for the 5G edge cloud story, as Microsoft has been on a buying spree that has caught the telecommunications industry by surprise. Just a month after Microsoft announced it was buying mobile infrastructure company Affirmed Networks for a price Bloomberg reported as more than $1 billion, last week it announced that it's buying Metaswitch to add to its expanding portfolio of edge cloud technology.

These deals come as Microsoft has been flexing its muscle as one of the fastest-growing cloud infrastructure players. The stock price is sitting just off all-time highs in the midst of an economic crisis. Its public cloud revenue has exploded, growing at nearly a 50% annual rate.

In our 5G Catalysts report, we explain why the edge is so important: It represents a battleground for the next large expansion in cloud connectivity, infrastructure, and services. The emergence of 5G is driving the development of an entirely new technology stack at the edge.

Why Metaswitch?

Metaswitch, which provides a wide variety of communications technology targeting global service providers, was already a partner in Microsoft's Azure Edge Stack project, which provides technology to extend cloud out to the edge of the network and connect with 5G infrastructure. The Azure Edge Stack is core to Microsoft's Azure Edge Zones, which are an extension of Azure public cloud. The Edge Zones allow customers to more easily connect to Microsoft’s global network, public 5G networks, and customer data centers. Microsoft has had many partners in addition to Metaswitch in building this technology.

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