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SK Telecom deploys A10 Networks’ security solution for 5G

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SK Telecom has deployed A10 Networks’ Thunder Convergent Firewall (Thunder CFW) as part of its core equipment for its 5G network.

A10 Networks' Thunder 14045 CFW is a hardware physical network function (PNF) platform that supports up to 300Gbps 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.

“South Korea is leading the 5G rollout, where big investments in infrastructure and cellular technology has given it first-mover advantage,” said Lee Chen, founder and CEO of A10 Networks. “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.”

In addition, the A10 Harmony Controller analytics and management solution manages all the Thunder CFW devices that are on 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, as well as service based on accurate analytics and end-to-end statistics. As a result, 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 in the future.

“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,” explained Se Wook Kim, director of core engineering team of SK Telecom.

“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.”

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