Increasing competition and the ever-growing demand for mobile, always-on services are prompting operators to find new strategies to increase their profits and gain a competitive advantage. To be successful, operators must also consider three critical trends:
- Change the profitability of your service model.
- Find new income and shareholder value with 5G.
- Driving digital transformation, consolidation and automation.
To counter these trends, operators are actively looking for ways to transform their infrastructure, use 5G, and develop their business.
To help operators take advantage of this opportunity, we have the Azure for Operators initiative in September 2020As a trusted partner for the provision of cloud and edge computing technologies and solutions. We are building a platform based on a carrier-grade cloud and an improved network to bring the power of Microsoft technology to the edge of the operator. When these features are combined with our broad developer ecosystem and comprehensive business-to-business partnership programs, a unique environment is created that helps operators accelerate their ability to monetize their network functions.
The advent of 5G technology offers network operators unprecedented opportunities to expand their scope and range of services, especially for corporate customers. In addition to faster data services for smartphones and 5G networks, other new technologies offer functions that support critical business processes while enabling fast, low-latency communication and connectivity for smart devices. In order to be able to use this opportunity successfully, the operators have to supplement their networks with cloud and edge computing.
Microsoft is uniquely able to provide technology and cloud solutions to operators in order to take advantage of the possibilities of a new service model, the introduction of 5G and digital transformation.
Our guiding principles
Azure for Operators is based on six basic principles:
- We bring the performance of the cloud to the future of your network, reduce costs and open up new sources of income.
- We will be partners – you own your customers, your brand, your ideas and your experiences.
- We remain a platform business – our focus is on shifting workloads to a carrier-grade cloud.
- We meet you where you are – on site, on the edge or in the cloud.
- Ecosystem Support – We will work closely with Radio Access Network (RAN), Core, Cloud Native (CNF) and Operations Support Systems (OSS) or Business Support Systems (BSS) providers to integrate and innovate.
- It’s a journey – we will act as a trusted partner to help you transform at a pace that makes sense for your business.
We accompany the operators on a journey together and meet them wherever they are on their way to digital transformation. Together we can harness the potential of 5G and enable operators to offer a range of new services such as: B. Highly reliable, low-latency connectivity, network slicing, and scalable applications to transform industries and communities. Indeed, our partnership with operators is key to connecting the smart edge to the smart cloud, creating new transformative experiences for people and organizations in all industries.
How 5G will transform experiences and services
We see a convergence of the virtual and physical world as modern network functions are combined with cloud technologies. We will help operators provide comprehensive calculations, real-time actions and endless customer experiences.
There are endless opportunities for innovation across industries, particularly in manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, workplace productivity, and retail. The scenarios for 5G include:
- Maximize the value of the edge.
- Deploy and optimize next generation networks.
- Monetizing the features of 5G.
- Maximizing existing investments while minimizing operating costs.
- Optimization of business support systems.
- Change customer experiences.
To bring these scenarios to life, Microsoft has an established and experienced developer community who are familiar with building solutions in the Azure environment and have experience of processing more than five billion transactions with cognitive services per month and six Supports billions of IoT devices and supports more than a million machine learning experiments per month. Microsoft is actively working with the application community to ensure a thriving ecosystem for edge applications and network application programming interfaces (APIs).
New technological possibilities
The industry standardization of the service-based architecture is an example of how 5G is more “cloudified” than any previous generation of mobile technologies. Beyond running 5G network functions in the cloud, greater opportunities arise when networks are integrated with upscaled cloud services such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, security, analytics and IoT processing. Combined with ubiquitous computing and open to a large community of application developers, it creates new capabilities for businesses and end-user experiences. Azure for Operators makes the promise to analyze and act in near real time – a real amalgamation of the physical and virtual world.
Low latency computation across Azure Edge zones
We have set up on-premises extensions to Azure to bring computers, containers and services closer to the customer. Azure fringes Enable local access to Azure services with low latency for instant data ingestion and high processing power. Operators can connect to a fast, global backbone because all data transit between the Edge Zones and Azure regions remains within the Microsoft global network. In addition, operators can provision and manage these edge services and workloads through the Azure portal.
Direct application access to the programmable network
With Azure for Operators, Microsoft works with operators worldwide to create an ecosystem of application-conscious edge solutions. Developers can improve application performance and provide the best, most secure user experience when accessing critical data from the network. In addition, fast and scalable applications for cellular subscriber services and connected devices can run on Azure and carrier networks. We put a single pane of glass for provisioning and managing Azure services on the fringes to further improve management and scalability for application access.
Private cellular networks with the power of the cloud
By amalgamating cloud computing with multi-access edge computing (MEC), Arc-enabled Azure Edge Zones are our architecture to improve latency, speed and security. By using a private cellular network, industrially oriented solutions such as robotics and IoT can enjoy the best of the cloud with the necessary network protection. Customers can deploy virtualized network functions such as routers, firewalls and software-defined SD-WAN (Wide Area Network) gateways in Azure Edge Zones and Regions. This architecture is supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of implementation and integrated technology partners already available for collaboration.
Meeting the needs of the operator
Microsoft recognizes that operators have unique requirements for reliability, resilience, security, observability, and performance in order to provide real-time communications services. Operators need control over critical network functions and want to be able to make programmable interfaces available to application developers. With the introduction of Azure for Operators, they can create new revenue generating services and move existing services to the cloud to reduce costs and extend lifespan with a trusted cloud partner.
Azure for Operators service stack
Azure for Operators is available as a service stack, including global transport, edge platforms, networking, business intelligence and cloud solutions. Items can also be selected individually and include products and solutions from Microsoft and our ecosystem partners. We are committed to supporting the ecosystem by working closely with RAN, Core, CNF, and OSS or BSS providers to integrate and innovate.
Moving forward on our journey together
Ultimately, Azure for Operators is about your customer, your service based on our technology. We combine our understanding of networking and computing with our partner ecosystem to enable endless possibilities. With Microsoft, you can achieve scalability, work seamlessly hybrid, make money with new business models and do all of this with a trusted partner.
With our hybrid cloud platform, a wide range of cloud services and an ecosystem of partners and application developers, we support operators in generating new sources of income from their significant investments in 5G networks while at the same time extending the useful life of existing services. Working together, Microsoft and operators can combine the best of the cloud and telecommunications worlds to take advantage of the 5G opportunity and meet the many challenges of today’s operator business. We will act as a trusted partner to help you transform at a pace that makes sense for your business.
Are you ready to learn more and work with others in your organization to take the next step with us? Download and share our Azure for Operators Strategy eBook and contact us.