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Telefónica Tech, Microsoft offer industry private 5G and edge computing

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The two have signed a collaboration agreement to integrate private 5G connectivity and Azure Private Edge Zone.

Telefónica Tech, Telefónica's digital business holding company, signed a collaboration agreement with Microsoft for the operator to install private 5G connectivity and Microsoft's edge computing capabilities at customers’ premises.

Their aim is to drive customers’ digital transformation, and enable automation and control of industrial processes as part of their joint vision for Industry 4.0. through an integrated architecture.

New model

They say their model will accelerate the adoption of new business processes as part of the move to becoming smart factories which involves digitisation of equipment, intensive use of computing and AI to facilitate business decisions and secure data on customers’ premises.

The architecture expands the ecosystem of solutions and creates a reference model for the industrial market, migrating traditional services to a single model, incorporating new technologies and solutions.

The aim is to provide end-to-end visibility, and guarantee the highest possible levels of security, efficiency to run business and mission-critical applications.

Simple, replicable, scalable

“This framework responds to the needs of those companies that want to deploy demanding industrial use cases on high-performance and secure private connectivity, focusing on simplicity, replicability and scalability ", says Gonzalo Martín-Villa, CEO of IoT and Big Data from Telefónica Tech.

Yousef Khalidi, Azure Corporate Vice President for Operators at Microsoft. "Partners like Telefónica Tech are essential in helping us meet the local needs of our industrial clients. We look forward to working together to help our clients take advantage of this platform to drive the transformation of their businesses and that of the industry as a whole in the future".

Leaving the MEC to others?

Interesting to reflect, as Dean Bubley writes in a recent blog,"Telcos' MEC edge-compute was supposed to take centre-stage against hyperscale cloud providers. Instead, MEC's main use is to host internal NFV or vRAN functions that run the network itself. Or enable some hyperscalers' own edge platforms on a wholesale basis, where they don't have other options.

"Meanwhile, edge-compute evolves in many other (non-telco) domains much faster, including on-device / gateway, or linked to non-3GPP technologies such as Wi-Fi and fibre."