A10 Networks, a leading provider of security solutions for mobile operators worldwide, announced the findings of the ‘Securing the Future of a Smart World’ Survey in partnership with Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network. Gathering insights from 145 telco and cloud service providers worldwide, including India, to understand industry intentions, priorities and concerns about 5G.
The findings underscored that mobile carriers around the world foresee rapid progress toward 5G over the next 18 months, significant new revenue opportunities for carriers and disruptive new use cases for many industries. Respondents also believe that much-improved security will be essential to realizing the full potential of 5G.
Mobile carriers also ranked security nearly on par with increased throughput and capacity as critical to the next generation of networks. As they assess the risks associated with new levels of traffic, explosive growth in connected things and mission-critical use cases planned for their networks, most IT decision makers were of the view that security and reliability must be an essential aspect of 5G networks.
As India is amongst the top countries in mobile data consumption and ranks second in terms of mobile subscriber base, 5G technology has the potential to drive transformative services that can have a deep impact on society. 5G is poised to enable the role of information technology across sectors like manufacturing, educational, healthcare, agricultural, financial and social. With several markets including India being poised to commercially launch the next generation cellular communications technology by the end of this year or next year, the global survey demonstrates that carriers are moving decisively toward 5G commercialization and that security is a top concern.
- 67% respondents said they will deploy their first commercial 5G networks within 18 months and another 20 percent within two years
- 94% respondents expect growth in network traffic, connected devices and mission-critical IoT use cases to significantly increase security and reliability concerns for 5G networks
- 79% respondents say 5G is a consideration in current security investments
“Mobile carriers anticipate significant revenue opportunities and exciting new use cases as they move forward with their 5G deployments. However, the industry also recognizes that 5G will dramatically raise the stakes for ensuring the security and reliability of these networks,” said Ravi Raj Bhat, Global Field Chief Technology Officer, A10 Networks. “New mission-critical applications like autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and remote patient monitoring will make network reliability vital to the safety and security of people and businesses. Meanwhile, dramatic increases in traffic rates and connected devices will significantly expand the attack surface and scale for cyber criminals.”
New Revenue Opportunities and Use Cases
Realizing the potential of full-scale 5G networks requires major investments by carriers—and payback on that spend is a crucial issue for the telecommunications industry. Operators surveyed reported significant opportunities to increase revenues and innovate new business models.
The top-three benefits derived from 5G:
- 67% – Overall growth in the mobile market
- 59% – Better customer service and satisfaction
- 43% – The creation of new 5G-enabled business models
Top drivers for 5G:
- 61% – Smart cities
- 48% – Industrial automation and smart manufacturing
- 39% – High-speed connectivity
- 37% – Fixed wireless
- 35% – Connected vehicles
“Operators overwhelmingly understand the importance of upgrading security in a more connected and smart world,” continued Bhat. “Now it’s time to take decisive action. Carriers need to move ahead aggressively with their plans to upgrade legacy DDoS protection and consolidate security services at the core and edge of their networks to address the growing concerns. A10 Networks 5G security solutions including Gi/SGi firewall, GTP firewall and AI based DDoS protection enable operators to secure and scale their networks now and protect against the massive cyber threat coming with 5G.”
Emphasizing cyber security, legacy infrastructure challenges and the potential for 5G in India, Sanjai Gangadharan, Regional Sales Director, SAARC, A10 Networks said, “5G technology has the potential to unleash new business opportunities and disrupt every vertical industry over the next decade. With India ranked as one of the top countries for data consumption, 5G will be central in transforming the economy and accelerating government initiatives such as Digital India and Smart Cities. Ultimately, with more connected devices on the network, security will play a very important role to ensure the networks are safeguarded from potential cyber threats.”
Assessing 5G Security Needs
Chief among security concerns among respondents are core network security and DDoS protection.
- 63% respondents said advanced DDoS protection is the most important security capability needed for 5G networks.
- 98% of respondents said core network security was either very important (72%) or important (26%) in 5G build-outs
- 79% respondents have or will upgrade their Gi/SGi firewalls
- 73% respondents have or will upgrade their GTP firewall
5G networks, with their dramatic advances in transmission speed, latency, capacity, energy efficiency and connection densities, promise to bring about a smarter and more connected society that will drive massive changes in India and across the global economy.