O2 teams up with Microsoft for on-prem MEC in private 5G network trial

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

O2 has announced a partnership with Microsoft to trial on-premise mobile edge computing (MEC) within a private 5G network.

The proof of concept ‘aims to pave the way for secure data management, enabling confidential information to stay on-premises at all times’, in the operator’s words.

O2 will provide secure private 5G network capabilities, with the computing service delivered via Microsoft Azure Private Edge Zones. O2 will also collaborate with Microsoft for Startups to ‘support the startup ecosystem in delivering new, innovative solutions on 5G’ as part of the partnership.

“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,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure for Operators in a statement.

“Combining Azure technology with O2 services is critical to bringing MEC to the enterprise edge, and we look forward to seeing customers leerage this platform to drive innovation across a broad range of information and operational technology applications,” Khalidi added.

Information with regard to timeframes was thin on the ground; however, O2 did add the trial was ‘similar’ in scope to a recent private 5G network initiative with Leonardo, a high tech provider for aerospace.

This is by no means the only news coming out of O2 this week. As sister publication Telecoms has reported, the Competition & Markets Authority has given the green light to a £31 billion merger of O2 and Virgin. The deal was provisionally approved last month.

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