Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based virtualized mobile network company Affirmed Networks to strengthen its 5G cloud offerings.

According to Microsoft, the acquisition of Affirmed will provide an advancement in its 5G network solutions, significantly creating an opportunity for both incumbents and new players across the cloud industry to innovate, collaborate and access new markets, as well as serving the networking and edge computing needs of Microsoft’s mutual customers.

Already, Affirmed has over 500 employees and boasts of more than 100 carriers as customers, including giants such as Vodafone, Orange and AT&T.

“With Affirmed Networks, we will be able to offer new and innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of operators, including managing their network workloads in the cloud,” said Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, Microsoft.

“We believe that with innovation in software and by making use of broadly available cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure, operators can deploy and maintain 5G networks and services more efficiently, more cost effectively, more rapidly and more securely.”

This acquisition deal is the first major transaction under Anand Krishnamurthy, the new CEO and president of Affirmed Networks. He got the appointment just a day before the acquisition announcement, and will have to see the deal to a close.

“As I embark on the role of President and CEO of Affirmed Networks, I am thrilled to share the news that Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Affirmed Networks. Upon the close of this transaction, Affirmed Networks, the company that we built from the ground-up to become an industry-transforming leader in virtualization and 5G, will become part of Microsoft,” said Anand.

“We now begin the next phase of our journey. A new journey based on shared values that promises even more innovation, growth, and a rewarding path to the future for our customers, employees and partners.”

Microsoft adds that, it will continue to extend its cloud-based software-defined networking into the world of 5G connectivity with strong partnerships and interoperability. Hence, the cloud giant promises to work closely with existing suppliers, emerging innovators and other stakeholders around the world including in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and other markets.