Microsoft takes on RAN vendors with 5G cloud platform

(Reuters) – Microsoft unveiled a new cloud platform on Monday aimed at enabling telecom operators to build 5G networks faster, reduce costs and sell customised services to business clients. The new platform will be on Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing business, and the company says it will reduce infrastructure costs, give flexibility to add services on demand and use artificial intelligence to automate operations. Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president for Azure Networking, told Reuters that it could cut costs by 30%-40% in some cases. The developer of Windows and Office software entered the 5G arena after its acquisition of cloud networking companies Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch earlier this year. Microsoft’s move will increase competition for existing 5G service vendors like Nokia and Ericsson, said CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire.

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