Leading Wireless Provider Improves Its Customer Experience With A Successful 4G LTE Rollout
 

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Leading Wireless Provider Improves Its Customer Experience With A Successful 4G LTE Rollout

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As part of its expansion to a 4G LTE network, U.S. Cellular sought a network security and secure remote access solution that could meet its continually increasing data and capacity demands while also ...

As part of its expansion to a 4G LTE network, U.S. Cellular sought a network security and secure remote access solution that could meet its continually increasing data and capacity demands while also adhering to its budget constraints. Learn more: http://del.ly/SuperMassiveE10000

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Leading Wireless Provider Improves Its Customer Experience With A Successful 4G LTE Rollout Document Transcript

  • 1. Business need As part of its expansion to a 4G LTE network, U.S. Cellular sought a network security and secure remote access solution that could meet its continually increasing data and capacity demands while also adhering to its budget constraints. Solution U.S. Cellular met its growing need for robust, streamlined network security and secure remote access with Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive E10800 next- generation firewalls in high availability, Dell SonicWALL TZ 215 Series firewalls at each of its 300+ retail locations and E-Class Secure Remote Access (SRA) EX9000 appliances. Benefits • Increased packets-per-second ratio from 20,000 to over 200,000 on a per-device basis • Exceeded 15 million concurrent sessions per second • Reduced data center device footprint and consolidated security services into single, small-footprint appliances in 300 retail locations • Met financial compliance regulations • Increased the reliability and security of partner communications and data transfers Solutions at a glance • Network Security • Secure Remote Access Leading wireless provider improves its customer experience with a successful 4G LTE rollout U.S. Cellular increases availability, capacity, scalability and security with Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive firewalls Customer profile Company US Cellular Industry Telecommunications Country United States Employees 6,700 Website www.uscellular.com “With the SuperMassive platform, we’ve been very successful at providing an ‘always on’ network to the extent that we’ve not had a single minute of downtime in nearly three years.” Dannie Combs, Senior Manager Network Security Engineering Operations, U.S. Cellular
  • 2. 2 The company’s mission is to deliver an ‘always on’ network for reliable cellular and data services, and security plays a major part in helping it achieve its goal. “We are primarily focused on ensuring availability of our services, and security risks are certainly present that put that availability at risk,” explains Dannie Combs, senior manager of network security engineering operations at U.S. Cellular. Moving to a 4G LTE network makes capacity and scalability top priorities Because the cellular industry is growing rapidly, U.S. Cellular is constantly evolving to meet surging capacity needs. The company has been expanding its 4G LTE network — the “next generation” of cellular technology that enables customers to surf the web, download and upload files and watch videos at speeds 10 times faster than 3G. Yet in order for the expansion to be successful, the company needed a firewall and internet security platform that could support the increased need for bandwidth capacity and scalability. The company’s longtime trusted partner, FishNet Security, recommended that U.S. Cellular partner with Dell to achieve its mission. “FishNet Security has been a valued partner and a trusted advisor, introducing us to the Dell SonicWALL™ team many years ago,” explains Combs. Based on FishNet’s recommendation, U.S. Cellular evaluated the Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive platform and found that “it was the only product that would allow us to provide internet services at a scale that meets our consumers’ current needs and their forecasted needs.” A need to balance capacity growth, availability and security for an improved customer experience U.S. Cellular had another key business challenge in rolling out its 4G LTE network: accommodating capacity growth while ensuring the availability of internet services — without compromising security. “We had to ensure that we had enough capacity to support the internet services consumptions of an evolving landscape,” explains Combs. “The proliferation of smart phones, the success of Android and the like, has resulted in an average-per- user consumption of our services that increases each and every day. We needed to plan for this expanding capacity and balance that against security risk, and the Dell SonicWALL team was able to help us.” The Dell SonicWALL team helped U.S. Cellular to deploy the SuperMassive 10800 in high availability. “We’re using the SuperMassive 10800 platform in a number of solutions, but most notably as our internet edge firewall,” says Combs. “It is the primary solution that protects our subscribers from the internet, as U.S. Cellular operates in 126 markets across 26 states. It has more than 300 retail store locations across the country, and serves more than 20 million direct and indirect subscribers. In addition to wireless services, the company offers handsets, wireless modems, tethering and a variety of devices through its technology partnerships. Technology at Work Hardware Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive E10800 next-gen firewalls Dell SonicWALL TZ 215 firewalls Dell SonicWALL E-Class SRA EX9000 appliances “ The SuperMassive 10800 platform is unique in that we no longer have to find creative ways to balance security with availability, capacity and scalability. It sustains our impressive volume bandwidth consumption while providing an equal level of security protections for users.” Dannie Combs, Senior Manager Network Security Engineering Operations, U.S. Cellular
  • 3. 3 well as ensuring the availability of those services. The SuperMassive 10800 platform is unique in that we no longer have to find creative ways to balance security with availability, capacity and scalability. It sustains our impressive volume bandwidth consumption while providing an equal level of security protection for users.” The deployment of Dell SonicWALL firewalls has already had a significant impact on the availability and reliability of the company’s services. “With the SuperMassive platform, we’ve been very successful at providing an ‘always on’ network to the extent that we’ve not had a single minute of downtime in nearly three years,” explains Combs. Managed growth with significant cost savings Like all wireless providers, U.S. Cellular has experienced explosive subscriber data growth. Yet the technology investments needed to meet these demands don’t necessarily result in revenue opportunities. Cost-effective solutions for mission-critical areas like security are therefore highly valued. “We were very, very cost conscious about our price per megabit,” says Combs, “and the SuperMassive platform directly supports our requirements in a number of areas. It simplifies our infrastructure, reducing our device footprint in our data centers, and it significantly increases our capacity and the overall throughput capabilities of our internet services. The SuperMassive provides substantial increases on a per-unit basis as it relates to capacity and scalability, ranging from packets-per-second to concurrent sessions to total utilization.” “When you combine all of the increased capabilities and you analyze them against the investment requirements for your capital and your long-term operating expenses, I strongly recommend the SuperMassive platform. It provides an unmatched degree of capacity, scalability and flexibility for a number of deployment scenarios. In my opinion, the SuperMassive is clearly in a league of its own.” A ‘SuperMassive’ increase in scalability and performance U.S. Cellular has seen a marked increase in network scalability and performance with its new SuperMassive firewalls. “Previous architectures limited us to approximately one million concurrent sessions per second and 20,000 packets per second,” says Combs. “With the SuperMassive platform, we’re able to achieve north of 15 million concurrent sessions per second and 200,000 packets per second.” Improved customer experience on the network and in the stores Another critical aspect of the deployment was the company’s decision to re-architect its retail environment to comply with government regulations and protect customers’ data during financial transactions. “We decided to deploy approximately 300 Dell SonicWALL TZ 215 firewalls,” says Combs. “The TZ 215 segments critical assets away from non-critical assets and consolidates a number of services, such as firewall, anti-virus, intrusion detection and logging into one appliance.” Combs continues: “The TZ 215 is paramount in our ability to achieve PCI compliance. Our customers now enjoy a relatively unique level of security compared to our competitors in this industry. We take very seriously our commitment to our customers to protect their personal data while participating in their consumer transactions. Our customers know we’ve got their backs.” Partner communications are secured In order to achieve secure remote access with its key business partners, U.S. Cellular also deployed Dell SonicWALL E-Class SRA EX9000 appliances as part of its rollout. “We selected the SRA EX9000 because it enables the secure transfer of files with our trusted partners “ The TZ 215 is paramount in our ability to achieve PCI compliance. Our customers now enjoy a relatively unique level of security compared to our competitors in this industry.” Dannie Combs, Senior Manager Network Security Engineering Operations, U.S. Cellular
  • 4. 4 Dell, the Dell logo and SonicWALL are trademarks of Dell Inc. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Availability and terms of Dell Software, Solutions and Services vary by region. This case study is for informational purposes only. Dell makes no warranties – express or implied—in this case study. Reference Number: 10013118 © July 2014, Dell Inc. All Rights Reserved CaseStudy-US Cellular-US-AC-24597 and it provides access to vendors and other business partners that support our customer base,” says Combs. “The SRA EX9000 is highly respected within the industry. Its capacity and scalability capabilities and high reliability were key factors for us. Plus the capability to provide self-support for end users is something we value too.” With Dell SonicWALL, U.S. Cellular is ‘always on’ “For customers, an ‘always on’ network experience is one that is not only reliable, but is also of the highest quality and uniquely secured,” explains Combs. “The SuperMassive platform provides us with the capability to insure availability, capacity, scalability and security. Our partnership with Dell has enabled U.S. Cellular to provide the best service possible for our customers. The technology clearly speaks for itself. And the price per unit, as compared to the capacity and scalability capabilities, puts the Dell SonicWALL team at the head of the entire next-generation firewall class.” View all Dell case studies at Dell.com/CustomerStories