F5 Delivers on its Synthesis Vision to Accelerate the Expansion of Mobile Broadband

Published February 19, 2014


Nathan Misner
Sr. Director of Global Communications
F5 Networks
(206) 272-7494

Holly Lancaster
WE Communications
(415) 547-7054

F5’s reference architectures and solutions enable service providers to optimize, secure, and monetize their mobile networks

SEATTLE – F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) announced today offerings and reference architectures that extend its F5 Synthesis™ framework and bring new benefits to service providers. F5 will be showcasing these reference architectures and demonstrating the benefits of its service provider offerings at Mobile World Congress, taking place next week in Barcelona.

F5 Synthesis provides an elastic services platform to help service providers effectively scale their networks and realize the benefits of emerging technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) by delivering Software Defined Application Services™ (SDAS™). SDAS leverage F5’s fabric-based approach by efficiently and intelligently combining virtualization, scalability, programmability, orchestration, and other capabilities.

The F5 Synthesis vision leverages core F5 technologies—including those announced earlier this week—and enhanced service provider solutions focused on the data, signaling, and application planes to further enable the secure, optimized, and orchestrated delivery of application services. F5 helps service providers adopt service-driven business practices, empowered by policy, subscriber identity, Diameter signaling, and other context- and application-aware solutions. Moreover, by delivering services in an efficient, unified manner, innovative service provider products aid organizations in managing and monetizing the way services are introduced to the market.

As an architectural framework, F5 Synthesis:

  • Combines physical, virtual, and cloud-based deployments to form a unified, elastic high-performance services fabric. This enables more efficient network architectures for service providers and an optimized migration path to advanced LTE services and emerging technologies like NFV.

  • Provides agile, orchestrated application service creation and automation capabilities through the dynamic programmability of SDAS via open REST-based APIs, allowing integration with third-party management and orchestration systems.

  • Offers F5 application services with flexible licensing models to make it cost-effective for service providers to extend valuable services for all applications on demand, with the agile technology fabric scaling as needed.

  • Enables dynamic, multilayer security across networks, applications, and devices.

  • Delivers advanced “application-driven” capabilities, service experiences, and improved economics for service providers by significantly reducing TCO for critical services and accelerating the delivery of revenue-generating VAS.1

  • Aligns and complies with current and developing industry practices. F5 is supportive of standards and guidance affecting service providers, including IETF, 3GPP, GSMA, ETSI NFV, and SDN-related standards such as ONF.

  • Supplies service provider-focused reference architectures that deliver prescriptive guidance on how to address evolving business challenges.



New F5 technologies and solutions continue to augment the company’s traffic and signaling management solutions portfolio, enabling service providers to cost-effectively build and scale their networks, achieve high service velocity and quality of experience for customers, and further monetize the network by introducing innovative services and business models. The unified F5 Synthesis architectural framework transforms the economics, experience, and enablement of application services for service providers by:

  • Unleashing Broadband Services for Optimum Performance – F5 is the leading vendor in providing intelligent service chaining, dynamic policy enforcement, Diameter routing and interworking, and DNS functionality to enable new services and business models, and enhance mobile broadband capabilities.

  • Enabling Multilayer Security for Maximum Protection – To support more flexible capabilities, LTE networks are inherently less secure than their 3G and 2G predecessors. This can open up mobile networks to a greater number of significant threats, while mobile operators are increasingly being expected to offer enhanced protection for users, network, and applications in concert. F5’s security solutions are designed to protect end-user devices, networks, and cloud deployments with industry-leading performance and scale.

  • Delivering Future-Proof Scale and Extensibility for Ultimate Value – F5 gives organizations a multiservice platform that provides important network services, such as security, policy enforcement, local DNS, IPv6 migration, and content filtering, with additional granular control over traffic policies and steering provided by programmable iRules® capabilities. F5 delivers unrivaled scale and extensibility to offer further investment protection looking forward.

  • Providing Integration Points with an Ecosystem of Technology Partners – F5’s comprehensive programmability and APIs provide enhanced opportunities for technology partners to collaborate on joint offerings and interoperability. F5 solutions have undergone extensive evaluation to promote seamless integration with technology partners in the next-generation service provider ecosystem.




As a complement to its Synthesis framework, F5 provides a growing library of reference architectures designed to help service providers address some of the industry’s most pervasive challenges. Individual reference architectures provide prescriptive guidance focused on efficiently deploying SDAS to achieve a specific business purpose.

F5 reference architectures designed for service providers include:

  • S/Gi Network Simplification – The F5 solution simplifies S/Gi design and operations while also offering advanced content- and subscriber-aware features. Service providers can consolidate multiple services such as advanced firewall solutions, DNS, IPv6 carrier-grade NAT migration, policy enforcement, and intelligent traffic steering to enable dynamic service function chaining.

  • Security for Service Providers – Dynamic, intelligent security is implemented at the network, session, and application layers, with centralized command and distributed control. F5’s unified service delivery platform offers unmatched scalability, capacity, and performance to simplify security architectures and reduce TCO.

  • LTE Roaming – A Diameter signaling solution seamlessly enables roaming from LTE systems in a secure manner. F5’s LTE Roaming solution uses an advanced Diameter Edge Agent (DEA) for high-performance subscriber- and context-awareness for operators and IPX providers while delivering enhanced quality of experience for subscribers.

  • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) – F5’s solution for NFV architectures helps leverage the benefits of cloud and SDN within the service provider network environment. In addition to delivering capabilities such as load balancing and global server load balancing that are essential for NFV to succeed, F5 technologies provide a unified, orchestrated environment to realize the full benefits of a virtualized service infrastructure.



“S/Gi network simplification, LTE roaming, voice over LTE, security, and NFV are very important topics for service providers to look at over the next few years in considering their next-generation mobile network deployments. We are pleased to see F5 Synthesis addressing important issues within the industry.”
Vic McClelland, Managing Director of Networks, Optus

"As mobile operators continue to deploy LTE (4G and look further towards 5G networks, scaling and securing the data, signaling, and application planes become increasingly important. F5 Synthesis binds these three realms to provide an architectural framework to address critical issues for mobile operators."
Dimitris Mavrakis, Principal Analyst, Telecoms & Media, Informa

“Service providers are going through a fundamental architectural shift to SDN and NFV, which increases the importance of automating the scalability, security, virtualization, and programmability of their networks. In our view, F5 is the first in the industry to focus this shift on the mobile broadband segment across the data, signaling, and application planes, with the aim of helping providers with flexible scaling and rapid service introductions. We believe that service providers will want to look at how F5 software can help them develop new service and business models that will increase their ability to monetize mobile broadband.”
Michael Howard, Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

“Service providers have traditionally deployed many stateful session-based devices on their S/Gi network, which are inherently not high capacity or are very expensive to scale to sufficient levels to meet growing bandwidth demands of 4G/LTE and 5G/Advanced LTE networks. With F5’s S/Gi network simplification solution, service providers can consolidate these disparate functions into one platform and scale to meet future bandwidth demands, in turn reducing TCO by 36 percent over five years compared to their traditional approach.”
Dr. Ray Mota, Managing Partner, ACG Research

“The explosive growth of always-connected devices running thousands of applications is requiring service providers to rethink how services are offered, scaled, and monetized. Virtualization and orchestration within a flexible architectural framework will become increasingly important as service providers look to build seamless Application Delivery Networks.”
Patrick Donegan, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

“Changes in the service provider market are being driven by the desire for services that better address new economic models and customers’ evolving interests. The F5 Synthesis framework provides a unified technology fabric and intelligent services orchestration, enabling service providers to accelerate the transition from just providing connectivity to delivering enhanced, differentiated mobile experiences for subscribers.”
Dr. Mallik Tatipamula, VP of Service Provider and Cloud Solutions, F5


F5 will be exhibiting its service provider technologies in Hall 5 Stand 5G11 at this year’s Mobile World Congress event, taking place February 24–27 in Barcelona. In addition, the F5 Traffix™ Signaling Delivery Controller™ has been shortlisted for recognition in the Best Mobile Infrastructure segment of the Global Mobile Awards 2014, presented at the event.


The F5 solutions and reference architectures mentioned in this announcement are generally available now. Please contact a local F5 sales office for product availability in specific countries.

1 ACG Research, Business Case for S/Gi Network Simplification, February 2014

About F5

F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) makes apps go faster, smarter, and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments, and consumer brands. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organizations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.

F5 is a trademark or service mark of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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