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Jul 2, 2018

Protecting America’s Next-Generation Networks .

Protecting America’s Next-Generation Networks document cover


Protecting America’s Next-Generation Networks


Executive Summary
The wireless industry has baked security into our networks since the beginning, and works diligently to continually update and build on our security capabilities with every generation of wireless. Today’s 4G LTE networks have the most advanced security features to date, and 5G will further improve upon them.

As 5G networks start to be deployed this year, wireless providers are leveraging new and advanced measures—after years of research, investment, and contributions to standards bodies—to secure 5G networks. This paper updates CTIA’s 2017 Protecting America’s Wireless Networks paper to feature 5G security highlights, including:

  1. Enhanced privacy protections
    5G networks offer enhanced privacy protections like the encryption of each device’s IMSI, or unique user identifier. Industry is implementing this update to further secure device-specific and consumer-specific information as it moves on a 5G wireless network.
  2. The ability to leverage 5G “home” wireless network security when roaming or on Wi-Fi
    Wireless providers are extending the security of 5G wireless networks to other networks—called home network control—when a user is roaming or using a non-wireless network like Wi-Fi. This use of home network security on all networks more thoroughly protects devices, consumer data, and even the network itself at all times.
  3. Device-specific security updates
    Wireless providers developed systems that will allow consumers to receive new and advanced security technology updates meant for their device type—referred to as providing native support for plug-in security. Previous generations of wireless networks were only able to support a one-size-fits-all approach.

Further enhancing security across the wireless ecosystem, wireless providers are increasingly deploying network components that are virtual instead of the hardware of years’ past. 5G’s virtual and cloud-based network systems allow for more adaptable security since they can be quickly adjusted, removed, or replaced using software, reducing the likelihood that an entire network would be impacted by a cyber attack.

Strong cybersecurity is key to the U.S.’s global wireless leadership. 5G is going to be up to 100 times faster, five times more responsive, and able to support 100 times more devices, unlocking innovations we can’t even imagine. For the U.S. to continue to attract investment in the app economy, as well as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and innovations of the future, our networks must be secure at every turn. And that’s what our industry works tirelessly to provide every day.



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