SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - Mobile broadband developer Stoke has introduced a new Mobile Border Agent™ for its LTE Security eXchange gateway, designed to address the service assurance needs of evolving LTE networks. Security eXchange's Mobile Border Agent leverages the advantages of its unique location at the junction of the LTE radio access network and core network, delivering unprecedented capabilities for protecting vital network elements, supporting services and enhancing the end user experience e even when network conditions are strained.
The role of Stoke's Mobile Border Agent has similar characteristics to international border protection agencies, performing authorized inspection, guided by service provider policies. It ensures LTE network integrity and protects services availability across multiple planes of activity by providing comprehensive visibility into LTE network transactions. The Mobile Border Agent helps protect the mobile operator against threats and emerging optimization challenges -- such as unauthorized access, session spoofing, privacy attacks or signaling loads resulting from wide spread use of small cells -- that will impact operators' services delivery at different phases of the LTE network lifecycle.
Initial findings1 from Stoke's investigations with the University of Surrey into small cells signaling indicate that mobility events will significantly increase, driving up signaling loads on core network resources disproportionately, often leading to sluggish or interrupted service. The new Mobile Border Agent solution can alert operators of these conditions and enforce operator policies when it occurs, ensuring localized containment of such problems.
"The rapid evolution of LTE networks is revealing new trouble spots on the border between the mobile access network and the operator core," said Dilip Pillaipakam, VP of Product Management at Stoke. "As operators move from initial deployment to full build-out and then to introducing advanced services like VoLTE, they need a gateway that performs more than security alone, that is purpose-designed to move up the protocol value chain in line with LTE networks as they mature."
In a new white paper entitled "Radio-to-Core Protection in LTE"2, industry analyst Monica Paolini of Senza Fili Consulting observed, "In the context of end-to-end network protection, securing the radio-to-core link is of crucial importance to ensuring the overall security in mobile networks. A strategically located security gateway enables operators to meet their performance, reliability and service requirements as they go through three distinct, but often overlapping, phases in their LTE deployments.
"To avoid congestion or service interruption, and provide a consistent QoE to their subscribers, mobile operators have to protect their entire networks -- devices, base stations or femtocells, backhaul links, and the core network -- against abnormal traffic flows, whether intentionally generated or not," added Paolini.
Stoke Session eXchange's Mobile Border Agent
Security eXchange has evolved to include gateway functions specifically designed for 'S1' -- the 3GPP defined interface between the LTE RAN and Core networks. More comprehensive than a firewall, the Mobile Border Agent combines stateful awareness of the control plane, user plane, the RAN and sessions to identify anomalous conditions (i.e. signaling storms) and security threats.
The Stoke Mobile Border Agent includes four primary components focusing on the LTE mobile access border location:
- Multi-Dimensional Awareness: Continually monitors packets from multiple S1 protocols and correlates data to identify anomalies.
- Reference Network Model: Maintains a reference model of desired states for eNodeB and core elements
- Data Collection/Reporting: Collects data and reports back to network operators, providing a unique perspective of the network
- Corrective Actions: Enacts specific actions to help assure service availability and network asset protection
About Stoke, Inc.
Stoke provides market-proven mobile gateway solutions to the broadband network industry. For more information, visit www.stoke.com.
1 Detailed analysis of test results will be published in March, 2013
2 For a copy of the report, go to www.senzafiliconsulting.com