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SK Telecom Deployed A10 Networks Thunder CFW for the World’s First 5G Commercial Service Network

August 08, 2019 By BlueAlly

A10 Networks

Thunder® CFW Provides Leading Gi Firewall Security, CGNAT Performance and IPv6 Translation for 5G Commercial Network SAN JOSE, Calif. – August 8, 2019 – A10 Networks (NYSE: ATEN) today announced that SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile network operator, has deployed its Thunder CFW (Convergent Firewall) as part of core equipment of SK Telecom’s 5G network. SK Telecom launched the world’s first commercial service on April 3, 2019. “South Korea is leading the 5G rollout, where big investments in infrastructure and cellular technology has given it first-mover advantage. Our unique value propositions of high-performance, consolidated application services, were completely aligned with SK Telecom’s 5G SGi/Gi-LAN and multi-access edge computing (MEC) requirements. Our team is excited to work with SKT as we believe the 5G market opportunity in Korea is significantly larger than with 4G,” said Lee Chen, founder and CEO of A10 Networks. A10 Networks’ Thunder 14045 CFW is a hardware physical network function (PNF) platform that supports up to 300 Gbps throughput and 512 million concurrent sessions per second and supports carrier-grade network address translation (CGNAT) and NAT64 IPv6 translation for SK Telecom’s new 5G-based IP services. The A10 Networks solution will support all the requirements of SK Telecom’s 5G services:
  • Up to one million subscribers per square kilometer
  • High-scale simultaneous connections per second – more than 135 million sessions per second
  • Low latency – 20 Gbps internet use at the speed of 500 km per hour
  • Maximum concurrent subscribers – a minimum one million subscribers within 1 km2
  • A superior number of concurrent connections per second – more than 135 million sessions per second
  • Dynamic deep packet buffer
Together, these parameters satisfied the requirements of SK Telecom’s 5G NAT request for proposal (RFP). Korea’s mobile internet use has exploded over the past decade since smartphones were first introduced, and the already exhausted IPv4 addresses have made it impossible to support IP services for the increasing mobile network subscribers. As a result, the IPv6 address system, which has been deployed since 4G/LTE, has become an essential technology that must be adopted in the 5G network. 5G networks will be forced to allocate IPv6 addresses for all subscribers due to the demand of IoT devices, smartphones, smart cities, smart factories, connected cars, telemedicine, augmented and virtual reality devices, which will continue to increase in the coming years. The network core of telecom service providers have been fully supporting the IPv6 addressing system for the last 10+ years, but most enterprises, homes and other organizations are still using IPv4 addresses. A10 Networks’ Thunder CFW solution provides full end-to-end connectivity by simultaneously supporting real-time mutual address translations between IPv4 and IPv6 in environments where both addressing schemes can coexist. In addition to the advanced CGNAT solution, the Thunder CFW solution also provides SK Telecom with an advanced Gi firewall to protect the customer’s most valuable mobile packet core and its services. The Thunder CFW solution provides leading CGNAT capabilities, which have been fully proven in SK Telecom’s production network for its commercial 4G/LTE services, distinguishing it from competing solutions. In addition, the A10 Harmony Controller® analytics and management solution connects and manages all the Thunder CFW devices that are delivered and installed in SK Telecom’s 5G commercial network. The A10 Harmony Controller enables SK Telecom’s network operations teams to view real-time traffic trends and data by source, app, and service based on accurate analytics and end-to-end statistics. Therefore, SK Telecom will be able to carry out remote troubleshooting, lifecycle management and to forecast equipment management, expansions and relocation according to increased 5G traffic going forward. “SK Telecom started the world’s first 5G commercial service on April 3, 2019. We are very satisfied with the performance and stability of our initial 5G services and the network operations moving towards hyper connectivity. We have prepared a lot for this over the years. For the 5G infrastructure that theoretically provides broadband wireless data service up to 20Gbps, SK Telecom rebuilt the entire network including core/edge routers, vEPC, gNBs with ultra-high-capacity, super-low latency and high-reliability to meet with the 5G standard. In particular, for CGNAT devices, which are a mission-critical component for IP services with 5G, we decided to deploy A10 Networks Thunder CFW because of its superb performance, functionality and highest reliability. It was a superior choice.” “The higher performance and more advanced features of the A10 Networks Thunder CFW PNF were a key part of our conclusion so we could guarantee the quality of services. A10 Networks’ high reliability, which was proven in our 4G/LTE service network over the past years has shown the best performance in handling not only NAT44 but also NAT64 traffic with no service interruptions. A10 Networks was the only solution that satisfied 100 percent of our requirements,” said by SE WOOK KIM, director of core engineering team of SK Telecom.