Telco Cloud May Update: Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft (+ Open RAN)

With the “current situation” testing the resilience of networks the world over, the future of telecoms is front-of-mind for many. Are we moving to a new world of fixed network dominance? What will this mean for 5G investments? And what role will telco cloud play in enabling it?

These questions are top of our agenda at the moment. We’ve also put out some brand-new research on the role of open RAN. And our telco cloud hub has a bunch of new articles and content. Take a look

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Telco cloud in the news: recent highlights

Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft

Practically every conversation I’ve had this month has been about Microsoft’s big bet on telecoms.

First, they dive into the world of 5G cores with the acquisition of Affirmed, and soon after they strike a deal to buy UK cloud comms software provider Metaswitch.

While the intention is clearly (at least in part) to bolster the appeal of Azure as a telco cloud platform, MS has been keen to emphasise “support for multi-cloud models”. YMMV, of course. But many are asking us: is there a good case for running telco infrastructure in the public cloud? Let me know what you think!

Rakuten Mobile: always bullish

Rakuten’s 5G launch is delayed, with COVID-19 as the excuse. But that hasn’t stopped it from taking steps to sell the underlying “cloud-native platform” to other telcos. It has acquired solutions engineers Innoeye to bolster its offer.



Next stop on the hype train: “open” radio access networks. Just as we busy ourselves with deciphering the mess of technologies and initiatives in the space, another joins the fray. This one is looking to government policy to support RAN evolution.

As always, this is just a subset of what’s going on right now – read more on our hub!


Telco cloud research: latest from STL Partners

Open RAN: What should telcos do?

Alongside the roll-out of 5G cores and radios, the Radio Access Network (RAN) is evolving to a more open, virtualised and distributed architecture. Our latest report asks: what are the opportunities and risks for telcos in the next 5 years?

(Spoiler alert: it’s not just about 5G!)

Read more


Our telco cloud hub: recent content

Will open RAN help telcos reduce their physical infrastructure footprint?

Open RAN will have serious consequences for the physical distribution of the mobile network. What strategies are operators adopting and how will this affect operations?

Read more


Who cares about Telco Cloud?

Telco cloud, NFV, SDN… Many dismiss it as over-technical, over-hyped, or just plain boring. Deployments to date haven’t delivered much. Yet it is a fundamental enabler for 5G growth opportunities, so now is the time to get it right.

Read more


Latest NFV News & Announcements

A selection of what we consider to be some of the most exciting recent developments in NFV & SDN, all of which have real potential to transform the current landscape.

Read more


Insights on Virtualisation, NFV & SDN: The current state of telco cloud in the industry

This 24-page document will provide you with a summary of our insights from our virtualisation research and consulting work:

  • Overview of NFV/SDN deployments worldwide
  • Benefits of telco cloud: state of the industry
  • Deployment approaches: implications and challenges
  • How STL Partners can support you

Request the Telco Cloud insights pack