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Microsoft and Singtel team up on 5G via Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure customers in Singapore will soon be able to use Singtel’s 5G infrastructure to power 5G applications through the telco’s edge computing platform

Microsoft Azure customers in Singapore will soon be able to tap Singtel’s 5G infrastructure to power enterprise applications such as robotics through the telco’s multi-access edge compute (MEC) platform.

The MEC platform, which integrates 5G’s ultra-low latency and high-bandwidth capabilities with cloud computing services, will include the Azure Stack, Microsoft’s family of on-premise systems that enables enterprises to use Azure cloud services at remote branch offices and edge locations.

Singtel said trials of the MEC with Azure Stack will start this year, noting that businesses using the Azure Stack will be able to cost-effectively add new capabilities to their existing applications, such as private connectivity and real-time data analysis.

“The trials for Singtel 5G MEC allow enterprises to enjoy the best of both worlds with Azure Stack, Microsoft’s trusted hybrid cloud solution, and Singtel 5G MEC’s ultra-low-latency performance,” said Bill Chang, CEO of group enterprise at Singtel.

“Our collaboration places the benefits of 5G and MEC, such as high connection speeds and low latency, in the hands of enterprises, empowering them to use, create, deploy and scale up new 5G solutions.

“In addition, enterprises can also access new, innovative 5G solutions developed by Singtel’s and Microsoft’s ecosystems of solution providers and app developers.”

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice-president of Azure for operators at Microsoft, said that with Singtel’s 5G network, Microsoft’s cloud and edge systems, and their combined ecosystem of partners, the two parties hope to lower the barriers for enterprises to adopt next-generation technologies.

Microsoft’s partnership with Singtel on the Azure Stack is first of its kind in Singapore and comes at a time when more cloud suppliers are teaming up with telcos to address 5G enterprise use cases.

Read more about 5G in APAC

In January 2021, South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) launched a 5G cloud service that supports edge computing workloads through a tie-up with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Based on AWS Wavelength, which brings AWS cloud services to the telco edge, the SKT 5GX Edge service will enable enterprises to build low-latency mobile applications.

By connecting these applications to AWS Wavelength Zones located at the edge of SKT’s 5G network, application traffic no longer needs to hop through regional sites and the internet, reducing network latency.

Developers can also tap AWS services, application programming interfaces (APIs) and tools to build their applications spanning areas such as machine learning, the internet of things (IoT) and media streaming.

The first AWS Wavelength zone has been deployed in Daejeon in the central region of South Korea and plans are in the pipeline to expand the infrastructure to other areas, including Seoul, in 2021.

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