Microsoft will acquire Affirmed Networks to further its 5G plans

27 Mar 2020

Image: © dvoevnore/

Microsoft said the acquisition will help it deliver new opportunities for a global 5G ecosystem.

Tech giant Microsoft has agreed to acquire Affirmed Networks as part of the company’s 5G strategy.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Azure Networking, announced the news on the company’s blog, saying that deal will help Microsoft deliver new opportunities for a global 5G ecosystem.

Khalidi wrote: “We believe that software can play an important role in helping advance 5G and deliver new network solutions that offer step-change advancements in speed, cost and security.

“There is a significant opportunity for both incumbents and new players across the industry to innovate, collaborate and create new markets, serving the networking and edge computing needs of our mutual customers.”

The acquisition

Founded in 2010, Affirmed Networks is based in Acton, Massachusetts. The company offers fully virtualised, cloud-native, network function virtualisation solutions that aim to enable operators to handle more traffic and simplify operations.

Affirmed Networks has raised around $155m in funding, and counts Orange, Vodafone and AT&T among its enterprise customers.

Khalidi said that Microsoft wants to “empower the telecommunications industry as it continues to 5G”, supporting network equipment managers and operators.

“This acquisition will allow us to evolve our work with the telecommunications industry, building on our 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.”

By bringing Affirmed Networks’ technology onboard, Microsoft said that it will be able to extend its cloud offering to operators everywhere as they look to run their networks in a hybrid environment.

Microsoft’s goals for 5G

“We’re excited about our future together where carriers will be able to better leverage Microsoft’s cloud to improve overall profitability and create new revenue streams,” Khalidi said.

“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.”

The company said that as it continues to extend cloud-based software-defined networking into the world of 5G connectivity, it recognises the importance of “deep and strong partnerships and interoperability”.

Khalidi added: “To ensure the success of our customers, we will work closely with existing suppliers, emerging innovators and other stakeholders around the world including in Europe, Asia, the US and other markets to help make this vision a reality.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic