Microsoft answers Amazon’s Verizon cloud partnership with new 5G-enabled Azure Edge Zones, starting with AT&T
A new service from Microsoft will connect its Azure cloud services to 5G wireless networks inside data centers operated by wireless carriers, aiming to boost the performance of devices and mobile applications such as online gaming, remote virtual meeting and urban infrastructure.
The first of the “Azure Edge Zones with carriers” will be launched in partnership with AT&T in Los Angeles late spring, Microsoft announced this morning. The project builds on work that Microsoft and AT&T started in Dallas last November. Microsoft is leaving open the possibility of working with other wireless carriers, as well.
Amazon Web Services and Verizon announced a similar partnership in December, connecting Amazon’s cloud services to Verizon’s 5G network through the AWS Wavelength service, with initial customers including Bethesda Softworks and the NFL.
Microsoft says it will also support connections to private 5G and LTE networks through what it’s calling Azure Private Edge Zones. This is an offshoot of Microsoft’s Azure Stack technology, which puts cloud technologies into private, on-premises data centers and servers.
The Redmond company acquired mobile network solutions company Affirmed Networks on March 26 as part of this broader 5G push for the Azure cloud platform.