Microsoft has launched Azure Edge Zones. This enables Azure customers, especially in this case telecom operators, to more easily bring their applications to their various edge environments.

In concrete terms, the tech giant’s aim is to enable its telecom customers to deliver real-time low-latency 5G applications to the edge of the telecom networks in question. This should enable mobile operators to easily integrate cloud services and applications with mobile network technology 5G. Especially when it comes to applications such as AI, computing power combined with very low latency and high bandwidth.

Different versions

Microsoft Azure Edge Zones has different versions, but in general the services now focus primarily on services such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and the provision of AI workloads.

The Azure Edge Zones for Carriers service also focuses on issues such as online gaming, remote meetings and events and the provision of a ‘smart’ infrastructure. Azure Private Edge Zones focuses more on companies with their own private 5G/LTE telecom networks. For example, the service combines private networks with Azure Stack Edge service.

Directly in data centers of telecom operators

Another service within Azure Edge Zones connects these ‘zones’ directly to the 5 core networks in the data centers of mobile operators. Initial implementations of this service can be found at major operators such as AT&T, Rogers, SK Telecom, Telstra and Vodafone.

The tech giant will also be rolling out Azure Edge Zones stand alone in ten cities in the United States in the course of this year, according to Microsoft. The exact benefits of these independent implementations have not been disclosed.

Telecom market

The launch of Azure Edge Zones fits in with Microsoft’s larger plan to acquire a larger piece of the (5G) telecom market. Last week the tech giant already took over Affirmed Networks for this. Competitors such as Google Cloud, AWS and other parties are also increasingly manifesting themselves in this market segment.