”IMS is ”holy grail” for communications”

By : |October 27, 2006 0

Sigi Achappa

What are the trends in the adoption of IMS and NGN among carriers?

In the US and Europe, service providers and telecommunications companies are still in the early stages of assessing the feasibility of the business and the technology of NGN and IMS. In Asia, though, I understand that most carriers are already in the process of implementing the services and infrastructure for Next Generation Networks, or have plans to implement it within the next year. All major telcos in India, South Korea, Japan and China already have 3G networks in place and these developments are driven by the high adoption rates for mobile phones and services in these countries.

What impact will these technologies have on the mobile industry?

NGN and IMS technologies will bring many benefits to mobile operators. IMS in fact is a kind of “holy grail” for communications because operators that deploy it can potentially offer a much wider range of applications and services, to subscribers irrespective of their location, at reduced cost and complexity. IMS will allow operators to increase their revenues through the additional services that can be offered, while their capital expenditure and operation expenses will decrease with their migration from legacy TDM networks to converged network architectures.

Russ Sovde, Solution Architect, FortinetWhat are the developments on the standards front for mobile security?

Mobile security standards were virtually non-existent until recently, because early cellular phones had limited features, limited memory, and until very recently, were too expensive for ordinary people to own.

With IMS and future rollouts of network upgrades, security components and strategies will be defined very early on and will become integral parts of production rollouts.

How have security products evolved to safeguard wireless networks?

When 2.5G networks first rolled out, the challenge was dealing with the high bandwidth and uptime requirements of telco networks. This resulted in various strategies, such as deploying load balancers, multiple redundant firewall systems, splitting security functions between several servers, etc. A lot of security vendors are still not able to penetrate the carrier and telco market because of these high throughput and reliability requirements. However, some security vendors have already taken steps to address not only the bandwidth requirements but also the trend towards virtualization. Fortinet recently announced the General Availability of the FortiGate-5000 series of ATCA-compliant multi-threat security systems that are designed to function in gigabit-level networks. These systems are chassis-and-blade systems that aggregate all the essential security functions, such as firewall, anti-virus, intrusion prevention, etc.

The natural evolution of security devices has dovetailed nicely with the evolving requirements of mobile operators. Traditional security devices were Level 4 and down and only provided rudimentary security, when mobile networks were still “closed” from the wider Internet. 

As mobile operators evolved their network infrastructure to allow them to offer enhanced revenue generating services, the challenge was dealing with the high bandwidth and uptime requirements. This resulted in various strategies, such as deploying load balancers, multiple redundant firewall systems, splitting security functions between several servers, etc. A lot of security vendors are still not able to penetrate the carrier and telco market because of these high throughput and reliability requirements. However, some security vendors have already taken steps to address not only the bandwidth requirements but also the trend towards virtualization.

© CIOL Bureau

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