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Mobile Service Providers Preparing to Fortify Security in Anticipation of 5G Deployments, According to New Survey

Survey Finds Operators Anticipate Major IoT-related Revenue Opportunities That Will Dramatically Increase Security Concerns

(SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 6, 2019)

According to a new global survey fielded by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks, mobile service providers anticipate significant new revenue opportunities from the coming deployment of high-speed 5G networks and a host of new IoT-driven use cases, but they also believe much-improved security will be essential to realizing that potential. 

The new study report, “Securing the Future of a Smart World,” demonstrates that carriers are moving decisively toward 5G commercialization and that security is a top concern.

  • 67% - will deploy their first commercial 5G networks within 18 months and another 20 percent within two years
  • 94% - expect growth in network traffic, connected devices and mission-critical IoT use cases to significantly increase security and reliability concerns for 5G networks
  • 79% - 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 Gunter Reiss, vice president of 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.” 

Operators still have a significant amount of work ahead to fortify their networks for the coming of 5G. For example, while more than 80 percent of mobile operator respondents say they will need to upgrade Gi firewalls at the core of their networks, only 11 percent have completed the implementation of new Gi firewalls.

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 see 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:

  • 60% - Smart cities
  • 48% - Industrial automation and smart manufacturing
  • 39% - High-speed connectivity
  • 35% - Connected vehicles
  • 37% - Fixed wireless

Assessing 5G Security Needs

Chief among security concerns are core network security and DDoS protection.

  • 63% - 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% have or will upgrade their Gi-firewalls
  • 73% have or will upgrade their GTP firewall

“Operators overwhelmingly understand the importance of upgrading security in a more connected and smart world,” continued Reiss. “Now it’s time to take decisive action. Carriers need to move ahead aggressively with their plans for upgrade DDoS protection and consolidate security services at the core of their networks to address the growing concerns. A10 Networks 5G security solutions including Gi-firewall and DDoS protection enable operators to secure and scale their networks now and protect against the massive cyber threat coming with 5G.”

Survey Methodology

In partnership with A10 Networks, the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network conducted a global survey of communications service providers to understand industry intentions, priorities and concerns about 5G. The study includes a survey of 145 IT and business leaders at communications service providers globally.

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