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5G welcome, provided security concerns addressed

Global cybersecurity firm Fortinet said there is broad-based optimism among Indian telecom sector respondents for 5G revenue opportunities. The firm had commissioned a survey by TelecomTV in association with HardenStance and ETSI. However, the respondents expressed enthusiasm only if the new 5G services were both more secure and better tailored to key enterprise use cases. 5G is expected to boost the consumer and enterprise market bringing a series of benefits such as high speeds, lower latency, and more bandwidth. The fifth generation of mobile standards also paves the way to enhance domains such as healthcare, transport with autonomous vehicles or smart cities offering new usages, and improving daily lives. On the other hand, 5G increases considerably the number of connected devices that provide a new profitable field for cyber adversaries. Considering this, mobile network operators and enterprises must have a strong cybersecurity strategy that can protect their entire infrastructure, from the mobile core to the edge. Fortinet said almost 90% of the respondents anticipate growth in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) from their investments. This growth is expected to be split evenly between public and private 5G networks, but since at least half of all private networks are likely to be built and managed by the operators, such companies could potentially capture as much as 75% of the overall 5G business.

However, critical to achieving these gains, according to 64% of respondents, will be the augmentation of existing security – as much in terms of architecture as in operations – as well as the tailoring of solutions to specific business use cases which are either critical or very important for nearly three-quarters of respondents – especially within the key vertical markets of transport, logistics, automation, manufacturing, and healthcare. Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC at Fortinet, said from an infrastructure perspective, the migration of today’s mobile networks to 5G – especially standalone (SA) implementations – creates new security imperatives that extend well beyond inherent 5G capabilities as defined by 3GPP. The virtualized, distributed and dynamic nature of the 5G core combined with massive increases in scalability, the growing utilization of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), and overall critical use cases, requires strong security for the underlying infrastructure and the business use cases, he added.


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