Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Networking, Content, Telecom cloud, Virtualization

Microsoft Acquiring Metaswitch, Preps Azure Cloud 5G Wireless Partner Push

Martin Lund, CEO, MetaSwitch Networks
Martin Lund, CEO, Metaswitch Networks

Microsoft is acquiring Metaswitch Networks to boost Azure Cloud's support for virtualized networks along with voice, data and communications solutions for service providers. Ultimately, the deal will accelerate 5G wireless and Internet of Things (IoT) service provider and partner opportunities, Microsoft asserts. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal number 209 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here. Moreover, this is Microsoft's second recent M&A deal focused on virtualization for Azure and 5G network operators. The other acquisition involved Affirmed Networks.

MetaSwitch's customer base spans more than 1,000 communications service providers and network equipment providers. Metaswitch had 25 million business subscribers as of March 2019. The company's MaX software solutions are designed to help service providers build and operate communication services.

In a blog about the deal, MetaSwitch CEO Martin Lund noted that the company is profitable -- though he didn't share specific revenue, profit or deal valuation figures.

Microsoft Azure Cloud and 5G Networks

Yousef Khalidi

Yousef Khalidi, corporate VP of Azure Networking at Microsoft, says the Metaswitch and Affirmed Networks acquisitions offer a:

"complementary portfolio of ultra-high-performance, cloud-native communications software will expand our range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry. Microsoft intends to leverage the talent and technology of these two organizations, extending the Azure platform to both deploy and grow these capabilities at scale in a way that is secure, efficient and creates a sustainable ecosystem.

As the industry moves to 5G, operators will have opportunities to advance the virtualization of their core networks and move forward on a path to an increasingly cloud-native future. Microsoft will continue to meet customers where they are, working together with the industry as operators and network equipment providers evolve their own operations."

Network Virtualization: Microsoft vs VMware, Cisco

The deals potentially intensify Microsoft's competition against VMware and Cisco Systems in the telecom and wireless software market. Public cloud rival Amazon Web Services has also been working on various 5G partnerships and initiatives.

Meanwhile, Microsoft appears to be scouring the market for additional acquisitions. One recently rumored deal involves potentially buying Softomotive, which specializes in robotic process automation.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.