Project xCloudSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Telia Sweden has unveiled a new partnership with Microsoft, looking to bolster Xbox cloud gaming in the region, through its mobile networks.
  • The company unveiled the deal as the "first operator in the EU to offer its customers Xbox Game Pass Ultimate," with free subscriptions available to existing customers, and dedicated gaming-focused plans on the way.

Swedish mobile carrier, Telia, has announced a new gaming partnership with Microsoft, in a deal geared to accelerate Xbox cloud gaming on mobile. The network operation unveiled the venture as the first of its kind in the EU, looking to offer Xbox game streaming to customers in the region. Telia positions it as a multi-year effort complementing its expanding 5G and fiber coverage, with free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate memberships available to customers.

Microsoft formally debuted Xbox cloud gaming in late 2020, following extensive testing through its Project xCloud codename. The feature now comes bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in supported countries, unlocking the ability to streaming hundreds of Xbox games to Android phones. Redmond's cloud gaming efforts look poised to expand in the coming months, with iOS and Windows PC launches currently in the pipeline.

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Xbox cloud gaming has eyes set on the mobile market, with early high-speed 5G networks one crucial component in that vision. It allows full-fledged Xbox console games to be streamed remotely, including on-the-go access over a stable internet connection.

The new deal allows Telia customers in Sweden to claim one free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through the carrier. It also plans to offer a dedicated cloud gaming promotion featuring an Android phone and Telia plan, a free Razer Kishi controller, and Xbox Game Pass in one bundle.

Telia HQ HolmbladsgadeSource: Telia Company

"With powerful services like Xbox Game Pass streamed over our high-speed mobile networks, our customers can access AAA console games not previously available on mobile devices. And this is just the start," said Telia Sweden chief commercial officer, consumer, Henrik Lönnevi.

"This partnership is a glimpse into the future where we leverage computing resources in the cloud with 5G to reinvent how we deliver exciting new gaming experiences to mobile devices, without the need for dedicated gaming hardware."

Xbox cloud gaming has already seen Microsoft partner directly with carriers, including SK Telecom in South Korea. The partnership has cooked up commercials featuring high-profile names in the region, onboarding customers through its 5G offerings. The carrier has shown confidence through early tests, with a mobile-weighted gaming market and a steady 5G rollout supporting the largest push yet. Similar deals include T-Mobile in the U.S. and Vodafone in the UK, although both still in the early stages at this point in time.