Microsoft has signed a deal to acquire Metaswitch, a company that makes software targeted at telecom operators. In a May 14 blog post announcing the acquisition, Microsoft said that the investment would help its Azure cloud service by “adding additional depth” to its software suite. It will also “expand our range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry,” Azure Networking’s Yousef Khalidi said. The companies did not release financial terms of the transaction. Metaswitch has 600 employees, and observers praised the acquisition, noting that on its own Metaswitch grew modestly in spite of its decent reputation among telcos.
The software giant has been wooing the telecom industry of late, having acquired Affirmed Networks in April. Even as 5G rollout globally is getting delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft hopes to be ready to be a part of the lucrative ecosystem that is bound to emerge after it starts. The company said that its telecom plans are “in the areas of radio access networks (RAN), next-generation core, virtualized services, orchestration and operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) modernization,” indicating its plans to be involved deeply in the software side of things.
Last August, Microsoft announced a decade-long deal with Reliance Jio. With Jio being the telco that seems most primed to make the leap to 5G networks, it is likely that Microsoft’s acquisitions will play a role in the infrastructure that the rollout will need.