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With the growth of 3G devices in India, it have to look for IPv6

ICTpost Governance Bureau

The IPv6 protocol is designed to support modern routing systems, and to allow expansion as the Internet grows

Indian enterprises are still unprepared to cope with a move to the new format of Internet addresses when the existing format of addresses runs out some time in 2014. Operators offering Internet connections and network devices alike will need to move to a new format of addresses (IPv6), much like changing from a seven to eight digit phone number.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest revision of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.

IPv6 improves scalability of multicast routing by adding a ‘scope’ field to multicast addresses. It also offers a new type of address, the ‘anycast addressing’ which improves the support for multicasting. This new kind of addressing basically says, ‘deliver this message to the easiest-to-reach member of this group,’ and potentially enables new types of messaging functionality.

The way that fragmentation and reassembly of datagrams works has been changed in IPv6 to improve efficiency of routing and better reflect the realities of today’s networks. The IPv6 protocol is designed to support modern routing systems, and to allow expansion as the Internet grows.

Main Advantages of IPv6

  • Expand addressing capabilities;
  • Server-less auto-configuration (plug-n-play) and  e-Configuration;
  • More efficient and robust mobility mechanisms;
  • Built-in, strong IP-layer encryption and authentication;
  • Streamlined header format and flow identification,  and;
  • Improved support for options/extensions
  • The structure of an IPv6 packet header.

Transition Mechanisms for IPv6

To coexist with an IPv4 infrastructure and to provide an eventual transition to an IPv6-only infrastructure, generally following mechanisms are used:

  • Dual IP layer
  • IPv6 over IPv4 tunneling and
  • Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure.

IPv6 in 3G Core Networks

North America has enough IPv4 addresses to take them through many years compared to the Asia-Pacific region. The IPv4 addresses in Stanford University are more than those in China. This shows that the Asia-Pacific region has a shortage, as the US had taken a bulk of the capacity much earlier.

This is the main reason for choosing the Asia-Pacific region and the region will soon run short of addresses. With the explosive growth of 3G devices in India, it will have to look for options other than IPv4. The rest of the world is already much in action to implement IPV6. In Europe, two projects – 6NET and Euro61X – as well as 40 research projects are being conducted to test interoperability, and initiate deployment of advanced network services. Japan has allocated the equivalent of $70 million for IPv6 research and development, and South Korea is working on policies.
The existing version IPv4 with over 4-million 32-bit addresses is not sufficient to handle the enormous growth of Internet users, wireless subscribers, mobile devices, portable computers and wide range of IP-enabled devices that would be come to the market. The IPv6, Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF), solution to overcome the limitations of IPv4 comes with 128-bit address and many new and useful features.

The pervasiveness and development of the Internet, coupled with the emergence of mobile connectivity devices, is a phenomenon that has revolutionised communication. IPv6 as an emerging technology will change the way networking works, and will become the standard on which networking the Internet and communication will rest.

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