IPv6 for mobile networks

Rapidly increasing deployments of 3G and 4G/LTE mobile networks impacts end user behaviour. The number of end users who are accessing the Internet via mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Recent measurements show the number of 4G connections in the AP region in 2012 was about 24 million, less than 1% of the total connections. This number is projected to grow to 425 million, or 8%, of the total connections in 2017. This new wave of 4G user growth will inevitably increase Internet usage via mobile devices, along with demand for Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Mobile network operators need to make strategic decisions for business growth, and maximize their IPv4 holdings. It is also important to think about deploying IPv6 enabled production services to cope with the increasing demand for IP addresses, particularly when deploying new networks, such as LTE networks.

IPv6 provides a long-term, scalable solution with fewer operational and maintenance issues than IPv4 networks deployed in NAT (Network Address Translator) environments. The deployment of Large Scale NAT, or LSN, also known as Carrier Grade Nat (CGN), without having a plan for IPv6 deployment will only extend the lifetime of the IPv4 addresses. This approach does not solve the core issue of IPv4 address depletion.

IPv6@APNIC brings you a few sources of useful information that is available to support mobile network operators to deploy IPv6 enabled services.

Information for network engineers




IPv6 Migration Finds a Better Path with 464XLAT (May 2015) Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributo

This is a brief explanation on 464XLAT, one of IPv6 transition technologies that has been discussed and tested in the last few years among mobile network operators. This article provides a brief summary of Alcatel Lucnet's whitepapter 464XLAT in mobile networks (April 2015). As with the other articles and presentations, it is recommended to read this article by applying your own judgement.

A sensible mobile IPv6 migration strategy (April 2015) Alcatel Lucnet

Brief introduction on IPv6 migration strategies for mobile network operators

IPv6 mobile network migration strategies: Digital Ideas (podcast) (April 2015) Alcatel Lucnet

Brief introduction on IPv6 migration strategies for mobile network operators

464XLAT in mobile networks (April 2015) Alcatel Lucnet

Easy to read introducing to one of IPv6 transition technologies for mobile network operators, 464XLAT. This transition technology has been implemented at T-Mobile USA, and currently under testing at Telstra Australia and other mobile operators in the world.

IPv6 implementation in mobile network Orange Poland (March 2014) Tomasz Kossut, Michał Czerwonka, Orange Poland

This presentation provides some analyse on various IPv6 transition technologies from mobile operators point of view. It also talks about necessity and issues of NAT64 and DNS64 in mobile networks, roaming and IPv6, and IPv6 enabled handheld devices that Orange Poland certified.

46IPv6 Single Stack Now or Later? The Ultimate Carrier Conundrum (March 2015) Sunny Yeung, Telstra Australia (APRICOT 2015)

This is one of APRICOT 2015 tutorial content delivered by one of leading mobile network engineers in the world who has been conducting tests on one of IPv6 transition technologies for mobile network operators, 464XLAT at Telstra Australia. Knowledge and experience in this field is currently evolving thus it is hard to find training content. It is a cutting edge tutorial content that will benefit network engineers for mobile networks.

IPv6 in Mobile Networks: Lessons learned and strategies forward (Feb 2013) Cameron Byrne, T-Mobile USA (APNIC 35)

In this presentation, Cameron explained the business and technology strategy for IPv6-only networks at T-Mobile USA.

T-Mobile USA started their IPv6 transition in 2010 with DNS64/NAT64 as a test network. They discovered issues on DNS64 with IPv4 literals.

Cameron co-authored a new standard, 464XLAT, to solve this issue and successfully deployed it in T-Mobile USA's commercial mobile network. Once they turned on IPv6 in their network, it started showing immediate impact to the level of IPv6-ready end users.

Impact on 3GPP architecture when enabling IPv6 service (Feb 2013) Jouni Korhonen, Renesas Corporation (APNIC 35)

This presentation covers the basic concept of 3GPP end user IPv6 services, the end user IPv6 service impact to 3GPP core network, and transition complexity. Jouni a co-author of "Deploying IPv6 in 3GPP Networks: Evolving Mobile Broadband from 2G to LTE and Beyond".

IPv6 Progress in China Mobile (Aug 2012) Haijun Li, China Mobile (APNIC 34)

Since the China State Council's announcement on IPv6 deployment policies and guidelines in late 2011, China Mobile has been working on testing TDLTE deployment on IPv6. Their current plan is to bring 3 million commercial users by the end of 2013.

IPv6 at Verizon Wireless (Aug 2012) Samir Vaidya, Verizon Wireless (APNIC 34)

When the first generation of Android devices was launched across the Verizon (VZW) network, the rapid increase in demand on IPv4 addresses resulted in NAT deployments as a quick solution.

To accommodate another large network deployment (LTE), it was clear that IPv6 was no longer an option, as there simply would not be enough IPv4 to deploy such a large, scalable network. The VZW network engineers chose IPv6 for LTE, over NAT IPv4, because they wanted to provide the best end user experience. The VZW networks currently have the highest rate of IPv6 ready users among commercial operators.

464XLAT – A Solution for Providing IPv4 Services Over an IPv6-only Network Cameron Byrne

This document provides a detailed explanation for network engineers who are interested in testing and deploying 464XLAT.

IPv6 World Congress 464XLAT on Android over IPv6 Cellular Only Lorenzo Colitti, Google and Jan Zorz, ISOC

This video demonstrates the usage of 464XLAT Android implementation over IPv6-only access.

How can an IPv6-only mobile device use an IPv4-only application such as Skype? 464XLAT gives a dummy IPv4 address to an IPv6-only device, which enables it to accept IPv4 packets for the handset to translate to IPv6. Take a look at this demonstration for more details.

RFC6877 464XLAT: Combination of Stateful and Stateless Translation M Mawatari, JPIX; M Kawashima, NEC; and C Byrne, T-Mobile USA

This RFC informational document describes the architecture of 464XLAT, an IPv4-over-IPv6 solution, as one of the techniques for IPv4 service extension that can also encourage IPv6 deployment.

Information for decision makers




White Paper: The Business Case for IPv6 Services in Mobile Networks (Mar 2013) IDC Sponsored by Cisco Systems, by Nav Chandler

During the time of increasing 4G/LTE service deployments, mobile network operators are facing challenges in planning CAPEX and OPEX for an optimal transition to IPv6. This paper examines the economics of IPv4 to IPv6 transition for mobile network operators.

LTE Asia – "IPv4 was a business risk and supporting IPv6 was a business opportunity" (Sept 2013)
Principal Architect (T-Mobile USA), interviewed for the Official LTE World Series blog

Mehul Shah (T-Mobile) explains why T-Mobile USA decided to deploy IPv6 earlier than some other telcos, the challenges faced, and lessons learned.

Gartner: Smartphone sales grew 46.5% in second quarter of 2013; exceeded feature phone sales for first time (Aug 2013) Gartner This report describes a current user base shift from mobile phones to smartphones, with statistical information on smartphone sales by vendors, by OSes, and mobile phone sales by vendors. Smartphones require IP addresses to access to the Internet.

Mobile Devices and BYOD are Driving IPv6 Adoption (April 2013)
Scott Hogg, Cisco NetworkWorld blog

Scott Hogg is one of the world's preeminent IPv6 experts. This article summarizes reasons why IPv6 needs to be deployed in mobile networks, using examples such as the explosion of mobile devices, the 'Internet of Things', and 'BYOD'.