Microsoft acquires Metaswitch in telecom push

Key Points
  • The announcement comes less than a month after Microsoft closed the acquisition of another company focused on the telecommunications market, Affirmed Networks.
  • Metaswitch customers include telecommunications companies British Telecom and Sprint.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Microsoft said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a company with software that telecommunications companies can use to deliver voice and data services to their customers. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The move shows Microsoft's efforts to target a single industry through inorganic deals rather than building expertise and technology in house. These efforts could help Microsoft gain further adoption of its Azure public cloud, which challenges market leader Amazon Web Services.

"The convergence of cloud and communication networks presents a unique opportunity for Microsoft to serve operators globally via continued investment in Azure, adding additional depth to our hyperscale cloud infrastructure with the specialized software required to run virtualized communication functions, applications and networks," Yousef Khalidi, a Microsoft corporate vice president, wrote in a blog post.

Metaswitch has a 5G product for handling network traffic that can run on public cloud infrastructure. Customers could rely on the company's software atop cloud infrastructure rather than adding capacity in their own data centers to support additional network use at higher speeds. 

Microsoft announced the deal three weeks after the close of its acquisition of Affirmed Networks, a start-up targeting mobile carriers. Last year Microsoft itself announced a multi-year cloud deal with AT&T.

Customers listed on the Metaswitch website include British Telecom, Sprint (which is now owned by T-Mobile), Swisscom, Telstra and Vodafone.

Metaswitch has nearly 700 employees, according to LinkedIn. The company was founded in 1981 and has headquarters in London and Los Altos, California. Investors include Sequoia Capital

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