Microsoft and O2 are working on a proof-of-concept (PoC) designed to explore the benefits of on-premise Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) within a Private 5G Network, focusing on security and low latency – a new innovation in the UK.
The potential benefits of the trial are significant, combining secure, high-bandwidth private network capabilities with on-site low latency data storage, which will provide safer and more efficient data management.
O2 will provide the secure Private 5G Network capabilities and a range of Industry 4.0 applications, and the computing service will be delivered via Microsoft Azure Private Edge Zones, bringing compute, storage and intelligence to the edge where data is created. The partnership will also see O2 collaborating with Microsoft for Startups to support the startup ecosystem in developing new, innovative solutions on 5G.
O2 recently announced it had launched a Private 5G Network initiative with Leonardo, a global high technology company in the Aerospace, Defence & Security sector. This trial with Microsoft will be similar, however will involve MEC to broaden the use cases and benefits.
Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2, said,
“We’re incredibly proud of our track record of supporting business partners with innovative network solutions. 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.”
Built on the Azure Stack Edge platform, Azure Private Edge Zones are small-footprint extensions of Azure that are deployed on a customer premise. This distributed public cloud offering enables low latency access to localized computing and storage. This enables enterprises to deploy industrial IoT applications together with 5G network functions and other networking components as Azure managed services.
Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure for Operators at Microsoft, said:
“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.
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.”