Asia Pacific (APAC) is well ahead in plans to roll out 5G networks compared to global counterparts, according to new findings from A10 Networks.
Under the title of Securing the Future of a Smart World, 79 per cent of APAC respondents will launch 5G networks within the next 18 months, compared to 67 per cent globally.
Moreover, service providers across APAC seek to benefit from 5G across three key areas, namely, the overall growth of the mobile market; better customer service and satisfaction, and increased revenue through tiered service levels.
“Mobile carriers anticipate significant revenue opportunities and exciting new use cases as they move forward with their 5G deployments,” said Gunter Reiss, vice president of A10 Networks. “However, the industry also recognises that 5G will dramatically raise the stakes for ensuring the security and reliability of these 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."
Furthermore, 89 per cent of APAC respondents saw increased network traffic and connected devices, in addition to mission-critical use cases triggering security and reliability concerns. However, this figure was lower than the global average of 94 per cent.
While APAC respondents showed less concern around the impact of connected devices to their security posture, 84 per cent saw 5G technology as playing a role in their current security investments, compared to 79 per cent of all service providers globally.
Providers also anticipate significant new revenue opportunities from the coming deployment of high-speed 5G networks and a host of new Internet of Things-driven use cases, but they also believe much-improved security will be essential to realising that potential.
Operators still have a significant amount of work ahead to fortify their networks for the coming of 5G.
For example, while more than 80 per cent of mobile operator respondents say they will need to upgrade Gi/SGi firewalls at the core of their networks, only 11 per cent have completed the implementation of new Gi/SGi firewalls.
“Operators overwhelmingly understand the importance of upgrading security in a more connected and smart world,” said Reiss. “Now it is 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."