Telefónica and Microsoft combine private 5G and edge compute for Industry 4.0
Telefónica has signed a deal with Microsoft to combine their private 5G networking and edge computing capabilities, respectively, for the industrial sector. The pair said their “joint vision” is to deploy integrated industrial-grade 5G communications and computing solutions on customers’ premises.
The arrangement is between Telefónica Tech, the Spain-based operator’s digital change unit, and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing business. There was no mention in their press statement about Affirmed Networks or Metaswitch, Microsoft’s twin core networking companies for private LTE and 5G infrastructure.
They said their combined Industry 4.0 proposition will “guarantee the highest levels of security, efficiency and performances which are needed to run mission critical and business critical applications”. Microsoft said “partners like Telefónica Tech are critical” to serve the Industry 4.0 market at the edge.
A statement said: “This model accelerates the adoption of new business processes, included within the concept of [a] ‘smart factory’, where the digitization of equipment, intensive use of computing and artificial intelligence to facilitate business decision-making and the security of data, which never leaves enterprise premises, are key points.
Gonzalo Martín-Villa, chief executive of IoT and big data at Telefónica Tech, said: “This agreement… will allow us to offer… a framework for the creation, deployment and operation of industrial solutions and their private communications in an integrated way inside and outside the factory. [It addresses] the needs of enterprises willing to deploy demanding industrial use cases over secure and performant private connectivity, focusing on simplicity, replicability and scalability.”
Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president for operators at Microsoft Azure, said: “Together… we can enable enterprises to leverage 5G to accelerate transformation and drive innovation across industrial scenarios within their own private networks.”
In February, Telefónica announced a deal with Mavenir and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer managed IoT connectivity to industrial, manufacturing, public sector, and automotive customers anywhere in the world using Mavenir’s cloud-based packet core solution over AWS cloud infrastructure. Telefónica wants to “reinvent the way IoT connectivity services are delivered” to enterprises, said Mavenir.
Telefónica is working with Siemens to offer combined IT / OT cybersecurity for the Industry 4.0 sector in Spain, marrying their respective strengths in IT and OT security. The Spanish division of Siemens is offering its digital industry solutions into the bargain, covering traditional industrial networking components, newer OT-based digital technologies, plus sundry consulting and auditing services. Telefónica is drawing on its portfolio of security services in the IT field, mostly authored by its ElevenPaths business.