Singtel to provide 5G network layer security to users

Singtel to provide 5G network layer security to users
Image credit: Singtel

In partnership with Palo Alto Networks.

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Singtel has announced that it is one of the first telcos in the world to have 5G Security-as-a-Slice (SecaaS) capability.

This security feature, developed by the telco in partnership with Palo Alto Networks, can proactively identify and block cyberattacks at the network layer, thus preventing them from reaching the network’s users.

Singtel said it is using Palo Alto Networks’ expertise in 5G-native security, Machine Learning-Powered Next-Generation Firewalls (ML-Powered NGFW) and cloud-based cybersecurity products to provide this capability.

This has allowed the telco to offer “customised, highly secure” 5G virtual networks or “slices”.

Cyber threats such as viruses, malware, spyware, phishing links and malicious websites will be proactively identified and blocked in real-time at the network level, preventing them from getting to users’ mobile devices, the telco said.

Singtel’s Consumer Singapore division CEO, Anna Yip, said with SecaaS, “we have taken security to the next level so that our customers can take advantage of the ultra-fast download speeds, high bandwidth and ultra-low latency of 5G while being protected from ever-evolving and increasingly sophisticated cyber threats”.

She noted that with SecaaS in place, users would have some protections in place “even if they have not installed any security applications”.

Yip noted that a network-based security solution can protect all types of 5G network devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices regardless of whether the platforms or operating systems are supported by device-based cybersecurity applications.

Singtel will roll out its SecaaS service, for consumers and enterprises, in the coming months.

Federated Edge Hub

In another 5G-related announcement, Singtel said that, along with Thailand’s mobile operator, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Bridge Alliance, and Summit Tech, it has conducted an edge-to-edge interconnection between the two telecom operators, validated through a 360-degree interactive live streaming use case.

With this achievement, a Federated Edge Hub (FEH) testbed for this service is now ready for more trials with application partners to unlock new commercial use cases powered by multi-market, multi-access edge computing (MEC) and 5G, Singtel said.

The live streaming use case was a music performance in Montreal that was broadcast in 8K to audiences in Bangkok and Singapore in January 2023 by leveraging AIS and Singtel 5G networks and tapping on AIS’ 5GNEXTGen Platform and Singtel’s Paragon Platform.

This was achieved after both MEC platforms were interconnected via the Bridge Alliance’s FEH.

Audiences used their smartphones and headsets to view the performance on Summit Tech’s Odience immersive and interactive virtual reality (VR) 360 live streaming platform, which leverages 5G and MEC to provide bandwidth-efficient streams to mobile devices and wearables.

A poll conducted at the event found that the audience experience was “extremely positive”, with the majority finding it superior to traditional streaming, Singtel said.

The telco said the use case demonstrates the potential of low-latency applications that leverage edge-to-edge interactions in multiple markets.

FEH serves as a “truly global collaboration platform for cross-market 5G, MEC and web 3.0 applications like the metaverse”, by allowing Bridge Alliance member operators to interconnect with other mobile operators worldwide, Singtel said in a statement. 

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