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O2 UK and Microsoft team up over private 5G networks

The world’s second largest public cloud provider has shown it doesn’t think ‘private’ is a dirty word in its MEC collaboration with O2 UK.

Microsoft and O2 are working on a proof-of-concept designed to explore the benefits of on-premise Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) within a Private 5G Network, focusing on security and low latency. A signature benefit of MEC is low-latency as it reduces the physical distance the signal has to travel. The security angle is simply a product of ensuring confidential information never leaves the premises – surely an argument in favour of the private cloud in general.

“Through our collaboration with O2, we will enable enterprises to leverage 5G to unlock new scenarios that accelerate digital transformation within their own private, on-premises environments,” said Yousef Khalidi, VP of Azure for Operators at Microsoft. “Combining Azure technology with O2 services is critical to bringing MEC to the enterprise edge, and we look forward to seeing customers leverage this platform to drive innovation across a broad range of information and operational technology applications.”

“We’re incredibly proud of our track record of supporting business partners with innovative network solutions,” said Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2. “This particular trial with the Microsoft Azure platform will provide secure and superfast capabilities that will maximise productivity and efficiency, as well as peace of mind. We pride ourselves on having a secure 5G network and being champions of coverage and reliability, as recognised in industry awards.”

Bertram’s comment is a classic illustration of what happens when you let the marketing department write your canned quote for you. The news coincides Canalys publishing its latest data on the US cloud services market., which reached a total value of $18.6 billion in Q1 2021, continuing the long term trend of around 30% annual growth, with the US accounting for 44% of the total global spend. As you can see, the big two account for 60% of that market.

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