Introducing Azure Operator 5G Core

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

One of the Microsoft announcements at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona is Azure Operator 5G Core reaching public preview. The Azure Operator 5G Core is a modern, containerized, carrier-grade, ’Any-G’, hybrid mobile packet core running on Operator Nexus. It combines field proven network functions integrated into the Azure stack with all the security and automation benefits. A highly scalable and performant core with inline user plane services (such as DPI, CGNAT, Traffic optimization) provides operators with a reduced total cost of ownership while improving the overall user experience.


“As part of e& UAE’s transformation to becoming a digital telco we are excited to collaborate closely with Microsoft as we drive innovation in our services and excellence in our customer experience. The use of Azure Operator Nexus & Azure Operator 5G Core to support our core network will better enable us to leverage the power of AI and automation and provide new avenues for monetization.” 

 - Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer, e& UAE 


This modern packet core solves common industry problems by running any-G, anywhere, and for any use case. While 5G is the latest technology, having all radio generations under the same operational paradigm simplifies management and streamlines the network. The Operator 5G Core any-G solution addresses 5G (5GC) and 2G/3G/4G (EPC), leveraging cloud native capabilities. Operators want to deploy future proof network functions today, even if they are not ready for 5G.


Infrastructure complexity is solved with deployment flexibility. Running anywhere means that customers can centralize what they can and distribute what they must, empowering pragmatic solutions. Operator 5G Core can be deployed on Azure Operator Nexus, our carrier-grade hybrid cloud platform designed for the specific needs of the telecommunications operator.




Finally, Operator 5G Core lets operators support new and emerging use cases like Fixed Wireless Access and enterprises, to unlock new revenue stream beyond consumer smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT). Operator 5G Core is built for all operators — mobile network operators (MNO), virtual network operators/enabler (MVNOs/MVNE), satellite network operators (SNOs).



Built on proven in-field at scale acquired packet core technology from Affirmed Networks, Operator 5G Core modernizes the mobile packet core to support both optimization and automation. Running on Azure Operator Nexus, the Microsoft mobile core leverages the power of Azure to bring automation and management to bring scale, flexibility, and power to your infrastructure. Together with partners, you can build a network with the network functions you need.


Operator 5G Core available network functions:

  • 5G SA: 
    • Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF) 
    • Session Management Function (SMF) 
    • User Plane Function (UPF) 
    • Network Slice Selection Function (NSSF) 
    • NF Repository Function (NRF) 
  • 4G / 5G NSA: 
    • Mobility Management Entity (MME) 
    • PDN Gateway Control Plane Function (PGW-C) 
    • PDN Gateway User Plane Function (PGW-U) 
    • Serving Gateway Control Plane Function (SGW-C) 
    • Serving Gateway User Plane Function (SGW-U) 
  • 2G / 3G: 
    • Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) 
    • Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN)  

Sophisticated management tools and automated lifecycle management simplify and streamline network deployments, provisioning, and operations. Operator 5G Core’s modern API-first approach provides repeatable and consistent automation for rapid, error-free service rollouts. Operators can efficiently accelerate migration to 5G, while continuing to support all legacy mobile network access technologies.


The Operator 5G Core observability provides a rich set of detailed real-time call and network events. Local observability comes in a small footprint per cluster for both platform and application level metrices, key performance indicators, logs, alerts, alarms, traces, and event data records. Once deployed, Operator 5G Core provides an inventory view of clusters and first-party network functions along with deployment and operation health status, as well as rich out-of-the-box set of observability dashboards.


Operators can ingest the Operator 5G Core observability data including detailed subscriber-level event data records into Azure Operator Insights for further analysis. This unlocks the power of AI to provide operators with the capability to quickly analyze large and complex datasets at scale and optimize network performance. Examples of this include Copilot, anomaly detection, fraud protection, capacity planning and predictive maintenance.


In addition, operators get the power of Microsoft’s commitment to security. Microsoft’s mobile core incorporates Azure security services, controls, and capabilities and is available to empower operators to address the multidimensional 5G end-to-end (E2E) attack surfaces. 


Azure Operator 5G Core offers a versatile, future-proof solution that adapts to the changing landscape of mobile network operations, ensuring optimal performance, flexibility, and revenue generation opportunities for operators.


What's next? 

As we have seen here, Microsoft Azure helps operators modernize networks by running communication workloads on our AI-enabled, containerized, carrier-grade, hybrid cloud platform. Operator 5G Core offers a versatile, future-proof solution that adapts to the changing landscape of mobile network operations, ensuring optimal performance, flexibility, and revenue generation opportunities for operators.


We look forward to further development and the general availability of Azure Operator 5G Core in the coming months. For now, learn more by visiting or by browsing our documentation.


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