Thursday, March 6, 2008

Internet Protocol version 6.0: An Excellent White Paper

Yesterday, 3G Americas published an excellent white paper titled Transitioning to IPv6. The white paper is directed specifically for wireless providers and includes a lot of good content directed towards the transition. Here's a quote from a 3GAmerica press release about the white paper.

The white paper by 3G Americas addresses the problems that will occur when new IPv4 address blocks are no longer available. Service providers will face increasing capital expenses and numerous challenges when attempting to operate their networks efficiently on a limited number of IPv4 addresses. Not only does transitioning to IPv6 solve the address exhaustion problem, it will likely enable new services perhaps impossible in an IPv4-only world. The 3G Americas’ white paper strongly recommends that rather than wait for the inevitable difficulties to arise, service providers should begin planning their transition to IPv6 as soon as possible.

The white paper takes a good look at how wireless providers will move their networks to IPv6 and uses 3 detailed case study examples:

Case Study 1: Video Share service
Case Study 2: Gaming services
Case Study 3: Blackberry service

Using these case studies, the white paper provides recommendations on:

1. Developing a transition plan;
2. Using a phased approach;
3. Developing a solution for IPv4-IPv6 inter-networking, and;
4. Security considerations

Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas, is quoted in the press release:

The need to transition to IPv6 is upon us. The Internet continues to expand at a rapid pace, with wireless devices becoming major users of IP addresses. Transitioning to IPv6 will take significant effort, but it can no longer be delayed.

The white paper is 23 pages long (including a great glossary) and provides some excellent reading/classroom material - I'll be using it in the advanced telecom course I'm teaching this semester. You can download it here.

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