The thirst for ultra-broadband access has never been greater. With the rise in smartphones and tablets, 3G and LTE (News - Alert) boosting mobile speeds, streaming video, as well as an increasing reliance on the cloud for services, operators are requiring more ways to meet consumer demand.
This has led operators to increasingly adopt carrier Wi-Fi, small cells, IP edge technologies that store content closer to users, and a range of mobile bandwidth solutions including small cells, residential cells and enterprise cells. It also has encouraged operators to move to a flatter, all-IP infrastructure.
Yet, this all-IP infrastructure and the diversity of delivery mechanisms is vulnerable to the kinds of threats known on fixed networks, plus some new ones that are specific to mobile networks, and each of these delivery mechanisms creates an IP access point to the network that could potentially be used as an entry point by attackers.
To combat the risk, operators need to leverage a security gateway at the end of the network, according to a recent paper on the topic, Alcatel-Lucent WLAN Gateway: Foundation to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience.
“Given the diversity of access devices and the varying needs for security, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) believes the best solution for service providers is to use a common platform to act as the security gateway for all mobile technologies,” noted the paper. “This platform can be used across the range of radio access types (macro cell, small cell, residential cell and carrier Wi-Fi).”
Having a single solution that can effectively address all the diverse requirements both simplifies security and delivers reduced capital and operating expenses.
Delivering on the need, the company has developed its Alcatel-Lucent Security Gateway (News - Alert) (SeGW), which is explicitly designed to serve this function and conform to 3GPP standards.
The SeGW delivers a compact, high throughput security gateway that is ideally suited to handling the growing bandwidth demands of the Ultra-Broadband mobile access world. It works with and inherits all of the advantages of Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 Service Router and the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, including high availability and resilience features. It leverage the full range of Layer 2 and Layer 3 services and IP/MPLS networking capabilities to seamlessly interoperate with IP/MPLS-based networks, even when a network is based on third-party vendor equipment, according to Alcatel-Lucent.
With this flexibility, the SeGW functionality can be delivered in many different deployment scenarios, including:
- Combined radio access security gateway and head-end backhaul aggregation router
- In a centralized or distributed model
- Combined WLAN gateway and security gateway for fixed-mobile convergence
- Multiservice PE where security gateway and service PE are collapsed.
Overall, a security gateway on the edge addresses the need to protect the network while responding to the growing demand for speed and capacity coming from a variety of access devices.
Edited by Peter Bernstein