Verizon takes equity stake in Casa Systems to sharpen 5G edge

US telco takes 9.9% stake in provider of core 5G technologies to develop mobile edge computing solutions

As Verizon battles to establish primacy in an ever more competitive 5G market in the US, and specifically to boost its public mobile edge computing (MEC) service offering, the telecommunications services provider has announced a $40m equity investment in comms architecture technology firm Casa Systems in the form of a multi-year purchase contract.

Casa Systems describes itself as a provider of physical and cloud-native infrastructure technology solutions for mobile, cable and fixed networks. It delivers the core-to-customer building blocks to speed 5G transformation with “future-proof solutions and cutting-edge” bandwidth for all access types. Moreover, it is confident that in the current increasingly personalised world, it can create disruptive architectures built specifically to meet the needs of service provider networks.

As part of the Verizon investment, which will see the telco acquire a 9.9% ownership in common stock, Casa Systems will provide its 5G core network functions to Verizon, helping power the company’s public MEC service offering, which moves computing resources onto cloud servers at the network edge – as close as possible to places where data is generated. The Verizon MEC is designed to offer US enterprise customers with a dedicated on-premise infrastructure that enables ultra-low latency, higher levels of security and deeper customisation.

“This announcement is an important milestone for our 5G Core and Security Gateway technology, as well as the growth potential of our business,” said Jerry Guo, president and CEO of Casa Systems.

“Our cloud-native approach is at the foundation of today’s agreement and represents an important pivot in the telecommunications industry. Casa Systems is excited to be at the forefront of this shift towards a cutting edge, cloud-based strategy through this partnership with Verizon,” added Guo.

“This agreement validates our leadership in 5G Core and MEC and positions Casa Systems as a key champion for cloud-native 5G infrastructure in the US. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for all their hard work in helping us achieve this agreement,” said Guo.

Kyle Malady, president of global networks and technology at Verizon, added: “Casa Systems is an important member of our 5G and MEC ecosystem, providing flexible applications that will allow us to scale up for our customers as real-time solutions continue to grow. We have confidence in Casa as a cloud-native technology partner and look forward to joint innovation as we scale the power of 5G and MEC in the years to come.”

Verizon has been advancing its MEC offering over the past year or so, working with major cloud providers, among other partners. In October 2021, Verizon announced that its private MEC offering with AWS Outposts was available for enterprise customers in the US.

The partnership is designed to guarantee customers that their combined solution supports the massive bandwidth and low latency needed to support real-time enterprise applications such as intelligent logistics, factory automation and robotics.

With Verizon’s On Site 5G and private edge platform, enterprises are also said to be able to gain operational efficiencies, higher levels of security and reliability, and improved productivity.

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