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Home » 5G » Network monitoring and visibility are the key to 5G success

Matt Percival

Sr. Director, EMEA Service Provider

5G brings increased network complexity that must be monitored, managed and secured before businesses can reap the benefits of enhanced speed and bandwidth.

The anticipation surrounding 5G is undeniable, and rightly so. The World Economic Forum estimates that the economic impact of 5G in new goods and services will reach $12 trillion by 20351.

While it’s yet to be established exactly what this much-anticipated technology will enable, it’s clear that it will significantly enhance connectivity among people, businesses and information – leading to countless opportunities.

Opportunities and challenges

5G’s edge-infrastructure is set to redefine network speed, and may see wired connections begin to be pushed to the wayside.

This will be accelerated by the need for consistent bandwidth that wired connections can’t always provide – which is especially prevalent in the work from home era.

Certain sectors in particular will reap significant benefits from this. For example, service providers seek to ensure the highest quality performance possible in order to ensure customer satisfaction and, with 5G increasing network speeds, this takes on a whole new meaning. Similarly, mobile operators globally are set to invest $1 trillion2 in this new technology between 2018 and 2025, as it will enable them to provide their customers with far higher levels of service and reliability.

However, 5G is a major re-design of mobile cellular networks. The speed and data volumes it will introduce are set to increase network complexity, exacerbating risks of performance issues and security threats.

Attaining a coherent and uncompromised view across this dramatically evolved network can prove a challenge, and can lead to high costs for monitoring and security, but is more crucial than ever.

A 5G data boom is predicted – data monitoring will be crucial

This new generation of networking looks set to open the door to a data boom. In order to manage this shift, businesses must react accordingly to keep their networks running fast and staying secure.

Comprehensive data monitoring will enable businesses to properly manage and analyse network traffic.

But, due to 5G’s virtualised nature, this must be a strategic consideration from the start and must not be overlaid. It will enable only relevant data to be directed efficiently and coherently to monitoring tools.

Not only will this optimise network tools and probes, but will reduce the costs associated with their use.

Furthermore, clearer visibility into network usage, thanks to comprehensive monitoring, will empower companies such as service providers (SPs) to analyse end-user behaviour and ensure the optimisation of 5G as a tool to drive service quality and enhance customer experience.

Decryption tools will be necessary to avoid cyber threats

For enterprise, 5G brings with it another important consideration: security. With higher speeds and increased bandwidth leading to more noise on the network, suspicious traffic and activity could easily fly under the radar.

Clear visibility into all data-in-motion will be fundamental to expand and optimise the use of security tools, such as intrusion prevention and web application firewalls.

Adding to the issue of more traffic is encrypted traffic, which will be employed between all the disaggregated control plane elements.

Businesses must ensure they deploy decryption tools that can provide visibility into this traffic to manage evolving cyber threats and optimise their security processes.

5G is set to be a revolutionary technology and one that all companies, including SPs, must adapt to.

With increased data volumes, businesses must ensure they have full visibility into their network and are able to monitor all traffic effectively.

It is only then they can reap the benefits of 5G while running fast and staying secure.

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