NEC partners with Fortinet over 5G security

Japanese tech giant NEC is incorporating the security expertise of US company Fortinet into its ‘Open Networks ecosystem’.

NEC has been steadily building up not only its in-house 5G and Open RAN capabilities, but fairly aggressively expanding what it calls the NEC Open Networks ecosystem. The latter was the main theme of NEC’s presence at this year’s Mobile World Congress and the Japanese vendor is arguably the most significant player in pushing telecoms collaboration right now.

Here’s what it had to say on the matter in its MWC 2022 press release: “Throughout the duration of the event, NEC will illustrate how its open network ecosystem, comprised of its own products and those of trusted partners, is creating new value and helping service providers to address challenges on how to avoid vendor lock-in while cost-effectively operationalizing their networks and preparing them for additional technological and market challenges.’

So being chosen as apparently the primary security partner within this ecosystem seems like a significant win for Fortinet. Its primary contribution, it seems, will be the FotiGate hyperscale firewall, to which the press release attributes an impressive range of superlatives. There will also be the usual arrange of cyber security measures, analytics, etc.

“The global partnership with Fortinet is a perfect fit for NEC Open Networks’ ecosystem to enable our services to meet the customer’s urgent and diverse needs for network security in the 5G era,” said Hideyuki Ogata, GM of the Service Provider Solutions Department at NEC. “NEC CoEs already have rich experience in network security, including the recent success with Fortinet for CETIN and others. This partnership promises to further enrich our service portfolio facing customers as a global network integrator.”

In the past year or so NEC has announced collaborations with Red Hat and AWS over the 5G cloud, Xilinx over 5G radio units. It has also landed a number of significant Open RAN deal wins, as well as augmenting its competence in that area with the recent acquisition of Aspire Technologies. While it’s great to see someone take the lead on Open RAN and the 5G ecosystem in general, you have to wonder why we’re not seeing more of this sort of thing from the other big telecoms vendors.


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