Introducing Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus

By Jason Zander Executive Vice President, Strategic Missions and Technologies.

We are announcing the public preview of Azure Operator Nexus—the next-generation hybrid cloud platform created for communications service providers (CSPs). Since we debuted the private preview at MWC 2022, we’ve expanded the capabilities of Operator Nexus to meet the needs of operators that are looking to modernize and transform their network. Operator Nexus enables operators to use cloud technology to modernize and monetize their network investments—lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), driving operational efficiency and resiliency with advanced AI and automation, improving the security of highly distributed, software-based networks.

Operator Nexus enables operators to run their workloads on-premises or on Azure, where they can seamlessly deploy, manage, secure, and monitor everything—from the bare metal to the network to the tenant. It is purpose-built for carrier-grade workloads, using the same Azure experience offered by the hyperscale public cloud, supporting our first-party solutions as well as a wide variety of our partner ecosystem offerings from industry-leading network equipment provider (NEP) partners. Proven to run network functions at a tier-one operator scale, Operator Nexus meets the security, resiliency, observability, manageability, and performance needs required by operators to achieve meaningful business results throughout the digital transformation of their mobile network.

“As a pioneer in network virtualization and SDN, AT&T is confident in our decision to run our multi-vendor 5G Standalone Mobile Core on Operator Nexus platform while we continue to deploy and operate the platform in AT&T data centers. AT&T made the decision to adopt Operator Nexus platform over time with expectation to lower total cost of ownership (TCO), leverage the power of AI to simplify operations, improve time to market, and focus on our core competency of building the world’s best 5G service. We appreciate the efforts of our Network Function ecosystem collaborators to support the evolution of our Mobility Core platform.”—Igal Elbaz, Senior Vice President, Network CTO, AT&T

“Through the combination of Ericsson’s market-leading, cloud-native 5G Core applications and orchestration suite with Microsoft’s carrier-grade Operator Nexus platform, we envision many opportunities for CSPs to digitally transform their core networks while improving customer experiences and creating exciting, new mobile services. Building on our success at mutual customers such as AT&T, Ericsson, and Microsoft are investing together to ensure Ericsson 5G Core cloud-native applications run on the Operator Nexus platform efficiently, securely, and reliably.”—Monica Zethzon, Vice President and Head of Solution Area Core Networks, Ericsson

“With the addition of Mavenir’s open cloud-native architecture end-to-end solutions including Converged Packet Core to Operator Nexus platform we look forward to working with Microsoft to help operators drive their core network transformations.”—Bejoy Pankajakshan, EVP, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Mavenir

“We’re excited to further strengthen our growing partnership with Microsoft to Nokia’s Cloud and Network Services portfolio that enables operators to run Nokia’s cloud-native 5G Core on Operator Nexus’ carrier-grade hybrid cloud platform as well as for Nokia to provide the network functions and platform to make operator network APIs available to developers through the Azure platform.”—Fran Heeran, SVP, Core Networks, Nokia Cloud and Network Services, Nokia

Azure Operator Nexus Ready and systems integrator programs

We are also introducing the Operator Nexus Ready and systems integrator (SI) programs to ensure that our platform has a broad and trusted ecosystem of support. To accelerate deployment and integration, the  Operator Nexus Ready program certifies that the ecosystem of cloud-native network functions (CNFs), virtual network functions (VNFs), and other software interoperate with the Operator Nexus platform. We are in the process of certifying VNFs and CNFs from a range of partners with two certification levels.

  • Level one is a base level that assures interoperability with the Operator Nexus platform.
  • Level two adds Azure deployment automation using the Azure Network Function Manager and offers entrance into the Azure Marketplace for ready availability to operators.

Additionally, our Operator Nexus SI program includes a select group of systems integrators known for both their telecommunications expertise, as well as their broad Azure skills. Each of these partners will work closely with the Operator Nexus engineering team to build their Operator Nexus platform skills, and to assure customer success in deployment and integration.