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David Williams
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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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Mobile Network Security: The Threat of Convergence & IMS
This report analyzes the mechanisms used to integrate alternative IP-based access into the mobile packet core and tracks the evolution of today’s security-focused gateway products into “service anchor nodes” capable of supporting security, mobility, and policy enforcement across network domains.

The focus is on how the move by wireless operators to embrace alternative access networks is driving demand for a new category of convergence gateway equipment as they seek to address unfamiliar security and IP mobility challenges.

Initial security gateway deployments are focused around Unlicensed Mobile Access and wireless local-area network interworking, where there is a need for tunnel-terminating gateways with enhanced security features such as firewalls, denial-of-service protection, and intrusion detection systems. Other requirements, such as fast tunnel setup, massive scaleability, and the ability to support large numbers of secure tunnels switching rapidly between active and inactive states, also are driving the need for a new generation of equipment.

Equipment deployed today, however, needs a clear product roadmap. The next phase of development will see IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-capable Packet Data Gateways and Packet Data Interworking Function devices take on a more advanced mobility management role, and, potentially, offload Session Initiation Protocol security tasks from Proxy-Call Session Control Function in IMS architectures.

Equipment suppliers and network operators also are developing the requirements for the next-generation mobile core network being defined in the third-generation System Architecture Evolution (SAE) standards groups. As well as providing a low-latency packet core for the next generation of radio access systems, SAE identifies support for multi-access network services using a variety of access selection techniques and device types, including multi-radio terminals, as a key objective.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni0506_toc.pdf)
The majority of vendors are using Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA)-based platforms, often with customized backplanes and custom-built processor boards, for convergence gateway products; others are using proven edge router or Gateway GPRS Support Node/Packet Data Support Node platforms. Vendor product platforms are summarized below (names removed):
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Airvana Inc.; Azaire Networks Inc.; Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP); Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Clavister AB; Fortinet Inc.; Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR); Netrake Corp.; Reef Point Systems Inc.; Starent Networks Corp.; Stoke Inc.; and Tatara Systems Inc.
Total pages: 26
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