Microsoft to acquire Affirmed Networks

Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Affirmed Networks, which sells virtualized, cloud-native mobile network solutions to operators. Terms were not revealed.

The move makes a lot of sense given Microsoft’s desire to help the telecom industry maintain 5G networks from the cloud. Upon the close of the transaction, Affirmed Networks will become part of Microsoft, but the companies didn’t talk about specifics in terms of management roles.

Just yesterday, Affirmed Networks announced a new president and CEO, with Anand Krishnamurthy replacing Hassan Ahmed, who is retiring.

“We founded Affirmed with a vision to help mobile operators fundamentally transform how they build and operate their networks and to create and deliver innovative new services at significantly lower cost than what was considered possible,” Krishnamurthy said in his message today. “We delivered on that vision by bringing market-leading innovation in virtual evolved packet core; a cloud-native platform for 5G; and a range of capabilities in automation and orchestration that made us a leader with over 100 customers across the globe.”

Krishnamurthy is a co-founder of the company, and previously served as president and COO.

Microsoft said the acquisition will allow it to evolve its work with the telecom industry, building on a secure and trusted cloud platform for operators. “With Affirmed Networks, we will be able to offer new and innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of operators, including managing their network workloads in the cloud,” wrote Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president of Azure Networking, in a blog post.

“Previous generations of wireless networks have been based on purpose-built hardware. We believe that with innovation in software and by making use of broadly available cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure, operators can deploy and maintain 5G networks and services more efficiently, more cost effectively, more rapidly and more securely,” he added.

RELATED: Affirmed Networks launches ‘Mobile Network as Service’ offering on Amazon Web Services

Affirmed Networks, which was named one of FierceTelecom’s top disruptors of 2018, has been one of the leading vendors for NFV, and got into the game before NFV was an industry buzzword. Its customers include AT&T, Vodafone and SoftBank.

RELATED: Turkcell reaps benefits of virtualized network thanks to Affirmed Networks, Red Hat

Last year, Affirmed Networks and Turkcell announced they had deployed one of the largest virtualized mobile networks in the EMEA region, supporting more than 35 million mobile broadband subscribers and carrying over a terabit per second of customer traffic across the region.