Telecommunications (Security) Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mavenir (TSB11)

Mavenir was grateful for the opportunity to appear in front of the Committee last week. We welcome the Bill and we are impressed with the quality of the debate and Parliamentary scrutiny. 

Mavenir is a US-based company with a strong presence in the UK and operating worldwide. Our mission is to transform mobile infrastructures with cloud native software, including Radio Access Solutions based on the OpenRAN protocols.

These are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world and have the power to ensure the UK rollout of 5G networks (and indeed future technologies beyond that) will be cost-effective, will facilitate innovation, and will be completely secure. 

OpenRAN allows multiple vendors to supply different portions of the Radio Access Network. This diversification permits greater competition and also promotes innovation by new players. This is not a fanciful future possibility, but today’s reality where OpenRAN has been deployed at scale, for example by Rakuten (Japan) and Dish (USA). OpenRAN can similarly support large scale "brownfield" roll-outs by UK MNOs: the innovative solutions offered by i.p.access demonstrate that OpenRAN can accommodate legacy technologies like 2G and 3G. Furthermore, as OpenRAN relies on software supported by commercial off-the-shelf hardware, productive capacity and logistics of installation and maintenance are not an issue. 

OpenRAN also enhances security in the radio access network. Open interfaces allow multiple independent parties to continuously test the security of the network elements and the system thus making it more likely that any vulnerability can be identified and remedied. Additionally, diversification of the supply chain increases network resilience as any attack would have to affect more vendors before significantly harming network performance and it allows replacement of vendors if there are any unforeseen issues.

As we previously stated in our submission to the Science and Technology Committee , we firmly believe that the UK is well positioned to take advantage of a paradigm shift to "New Generation" networks based on open interfaces, given its R&D centres of excellence, skilled workforce and set of companies innovating in the 5G software and hardware space.

Mavenir welcomes the opportunity to further assist the Committee throughout the parliamentary bill process and would be happy to provide further evidence whenever helpful.

Stefano Cantarelli

Mavenir

26 January 2021

 

Prepared 26th January 2021