Monday, May 30, 2011

IPv6 Addressing - Mobile network considerations

Now I have of late been looking into alot of things IPv6. So much that I'll actually be throwing in a discussion around it at Afnog in Tanzania - look me up on the 7th June 11 am. After that we can grab some beers at Kempiski.

While alot of the stuff we'll discuss are not implemented. They show our (the technical guys) thinking and plans for the mobile network part. The enterprise business and IT generally have plans just like everyone else has.

So what is different with IPv6 addressing:
First of all, IPv6 is technically incompatible with IPv4 addresses. With that in mind, here are some areas we expect some 'issues'...

There are three considerations to focus on here; the network,the mobile nodes and the applications.
  1. - First of all Roaming. I don't see this happening without some automated tunneling like ISATAP. There have been commercial tests for this by Ericsson and a european telco. A native IPv6 roaming agreement will probably take a while. (I still dont get this whole roaming thing - I personally think its a 'silly business model'. also note that if some providers do not go IPv6 at around the same time you do, it ironically forces you to support IPv4 addressing when your own  (outbound) subscribers roam to networks which do not offer IPv6.
  2. Per subscriber IP addressing: We'll seemingly be using several addresses per subscriber. If you did any IPv4 planning, conservation was very key. It might seem like a huge waste assigning /64's per subscriber GGSN/PGW- thats huge unless GGSN's start supporting 12Million subscribers or more.....
  3. If you choose a dual stack scenario, Your handset will need more memory to hold IP's. At afnog we'll be discussing why the best strategy really is to have IPv6 end to end or at least at the network and handset level then leave the applications to slowly transition. This interestingly has us using NAT 'for good' ie we'll be natting IPv6 to V4.
  4. The transport network need not be IPv6 ready, an operational IPv6 network can be deployed with configured tunneling between the network nodes with IPv4-only transport. for instane betwen nodeb's and rnc's. 
A flexible method for IPv6 address assignment

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