Microsoft announced on Tuesday contracts with companies specializing in space and satellites to beef up its cloud offer (cloud computing) and make it accessible to more sectors, especially in regions poorly served by telecom networks.
“A thriving satellite ecosystem is needed to meet the world’s growing networking needs, and we are pleased to have partnered with industry leaders to bring these capabilities to our customers faster,” says the giant. American IT in a press release.
The group notably signed an agreement with SpaceX. The company founded by Elon Musk in 2002 has put into orbit several hundred satellites to form the constellation dubbed “Starlink”, which is to provide high speed internet from space.
The contract with SpaceX is to “provide ultra-fast, ultra-low latency bandwidth” to Microsoft’s new data center, “Azure Modular Datacenter.”
The software giant comes in second in the cloud market, behind Amazon, thanks to Azure, its “smart cloud” platform for businesses.
Tom Keane, group vice president in charge of Azure Global, expects opportunities in terms of connectivity in agriculture, energy and telecommunications, in particular.
In September, Microsoft launched Azure Orbital, a platform supposed to allow operators to communicate with their satellites.
On Tuesday, the Redmond group also announced that it was expanding its agreement between Azure Orbital and SES, a leader in satellite telecommunications services.
This partnership should strengthen the connections between its data centers and various connected devices, falling within the scope of “edge computing” or “peripheral computing”, which consists, for a machine or a vehicle, of processing the data collected on site instead of it. send back to the server, for more responsiveness.
Microsoft, like other technology giants, is thus positioning itself in this very promising sector, which is supposed to take off with 5G. Applications range from self-driving cars to agricultural machinery, for example.
Amazon, which dominates the cloud at the global level, announced this summer that it had obtained the approval of the American authorities to deploy a constellation of more than 3,000 satellites in low orbit, supposed to provide high-speed Internet everywhere in the world.
The e-commerce giant’s “Project Kuiper” will target white areas in the United States first, then worldwide, and could power wireless and 5G networks.