Internet Protocol or IP addresses are like our phone or mobile numbers, identifying us on the Internet. But the current IPv4 addresses are expected to run out sometime this year. Result: we risk limited online functionality for internet users all over the world. The only solution is to upgrade to IPv6, which provides trillions of more IP addresses.
The key challenge will be to bring the services and applications on IPv6 – as today there are only 0.54 % of one million websites available on IPv6.
Today, June 8 is being celebrated as IPv6 day and, hundreds of Web companies are working with Internet Service Providers and content-delivery networks to conduct the first global-scale trial of IPv6.
Implementing IPv6: Priority No 1 for CSPs
The IPv4 situation is already critical in regions like APAC, where the Regional Internet Registry APNIC announced that they will only give blocks of thousand IPv4 addresses to market newcomers and those operators who have deployed, IPv6 to support Dual Stack. Other growing markets such as Latin America or Africa will face a similar situation. Even operators in mature market which want to grow have to face an IP-address shortage.
Also as usage shifts to an always on social/mobile experience and more devices stay connected to the internet 24×7, sharing of IP addresses by dynamic allocation is no longer possible.
M2M is another significant revenue opportunity for CSPs which requires an upgrade to IPv6.
So implementing IPv6 is crucial for CSPs. Moreover delays in implementing IPv6 will only increase the implementation costs, not to mention loss of customers and revenue.
However challenges will be not only on the network side as the routing, Packet Core and Voice Systems, but also on the complete IT infrastructure of the operator regarding billing systems, DNS, DHCP, LI, Data retention, customer relationship management systems, Firewallsa and NMS.
But the main challenge will be the introduction of appropriate end user equipment like smart phones and DSL-routers which support dual stack or other IPv6 features.
There is no one generic solution that fits all CSPs and Nokia Siemens Networks is working with individual CSPs to evolve customized solutions. The pressure to implement IPv6 depends very much on the IPv4 addresses available, the market and region an operator is working in. Operators who are using PPP in the fixed network and GTP in mobile do not have to touch their access and aggregation networks. So the first carrier equipment to be taken into consideration is the BNGs and GGSNs/EVPs. A lot of operators started with their IP/MPLS core networks, as this is the easiest way to start and a good opportunity to gain operational experience. The real challenges are still ahead of most of them; as mentioned above. It’s estimated that the introduction of IPv6 might take a minimum of one year for proper implementation. So the right time to start is now.
To know more read our white paper on Moving to IPv6
This blog post is by Geriet Wendler, from our Customer Organization (West) team.