A top Nokia executive said that the company's service provider customers are increasingly concerned about network security as they work to expand 5G sales to manufacturing companies and other opportunities in the IoT.
"It is actually growing," Brian McCann, chief product officer of Nokia Software, said of operators' security concerns. He said that enterprises looking at 5G in the IoT are worried about maintaining security across hundreds, thousands or millions of devices.
"Hackers and the bad actors out there have just grown," he explained.
McCann said Nokia worked to address those concerns in the launch of the company's new cloud-native Digital Operations Center. The software-based offering comprises Nokia products like orchestration management and service assurance, and the company said it allows service providers to manage the activation and delivery of complex 5G services like network slicing.
Nokia said its Digital Operations Center allows service providers to "deliver and oversee network slices at scale and speed through close-loop automation," and that it can support Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
"We've seen an increased importance of IoT and security," McCann said, explaining that operators need to be able to ensure end-to-end security when they sell slices of their network to enterprise customers like manufacturing companies.
McCann said Nokia is selling its Digital Operations Center as a product that either its customers can run or Nokia can run. He said Singtel in Singapore has already agreed to purchase the offering, and that Nokia is in discussions with a handful of other operators for sales.
"We are pleased to be working with Nokia to trial our network slicing capabilities," Mark Chong, Singtel's group CTO, said in a release. "Nokia's technology leadership, through its truly cloud-native approach to software, gives us the confidence of providing enterprises new 5G services with the scale and speed they expect from operators."
Nokia's latest product builds on the company's investment into its software offerings. Importantly, that investment appears to be paying off considering the company's software unit recently posted an operating profit after its parent, Nokia Corp., turned in a year of losses.