O2 and Microsoft have announced a partnership that will see a new Proof of Concept (PoC) launched, which the companies’ say will revolutionise secure data management. The PoC will deploy on premise mobile edge computing (MEC) capabilities within a private 5G network, a new innovation in the UK and aims to pave the way for secure data management, enabling confidential information to stay on premises at all times.
“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,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure for Operators at Microsoft.
Significant 5G trial
The trial will combine secure, high-bandwidth private 5G network capabilities with on-site low latency data storage, which will provide safer and more efficient data management, meaning the potential benefits of the trial are significant.
O2 will provide the secure private O2 5G network capabilities, as well as a range of Industry 4.0 applications. The computing service will be delivered via Microsoft Azure Private Edge Zones, bringing compute, storage and intelligence to the edge where data is created. This will be the first deployment of the Microsoft Azure platform utilising a UK private 5G network.
“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,” said Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2.
The new partnership will also see O2 collaborating with Microsoft for Startups to support the startup ecosystem in developing new, innovative solutions on 5G networks.
O2 recently announced it had launched a private 5G network initiative with Leonardo, a global high technology company in the aerospace, defence and security sector. This trial with Microsoft will be similar, but will involve MEC to broaden the use cases and benefits.