OpenRAN: Why is DNS so important?

OpenRAN is a shift in the mobile networking infrastructure to move away from a single vendor solution. The solution can now be built using open interfaces and software to allow different vendors to interoperate and build the RAN network.

This modular architecture brings efficiency, scale and speed of innovation as the network can be upgraded to add new features by upgrading elements knowing that so long as the protocols in use are adhered to, the platforms will interoperate.

One element that is not often discussed is the need for a reliable, secure DNS within any modern telecommunications network. DNS in the network is not just for the consumer resolving a domain name for a social media site but is used to power the network itself.

Every transaction starts with DNS including ones inside the RAN network and ones using the RAN network to access the internet. Specifically, DNS is used to provide the details of communication between elements of the network. Resources can move and change their IP address. Access to that service is therefore accessed via a DNS lookup. DNS is open and configurable and allows for security solutions to be layered over the top of the solution.

In a 5G network, every service is packetized and sent over the IP network. Voice, video, data are just different services in the core. Different APN’s are used to send these different services. From the users point of view a failure in DNS would mean a total failure of services and usage of the handset for Voice, Video and Data.

In the core of the network, DNS is also used for Load Balancing and accessing components. Elements of the network that needs to talk to one another use the DNS name of the other component. DNS is therefore critical for this communication and the service of the network.

When a user access services on the internet, this naturally uses DNS to access the resource or site the user wants to go to.

Why is a Secure DNS solution needed?
Simply put, various systems and resources require DNS for the network to operate. The DNS needs to be self defending and stop problems. It needs to be scalable and given the critical nature of the DNS in the operation of the network, it needs to be carrier grade.
For the consumer, the need protection and content control to stop bad sites such as Malware, Phishing, Ransomware etc.

Here are Secure64 we want to congratulate 1&1 and Mavenir for the first OpenRAN deployment in Europe and look forward to more success with the team.