The GSM Association and the RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), the European Regional Internet Registry, have jointly agreed to the process to enable GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) roaming services to be supported by operators globally.
The GSM Association entered into discussions with the RIPE NCC earlier this year initiated by a proposal for infrastructure addresses to support GPRS roaming. The proposal was initially greeted with uncertainty within the RIPE community due to concerns over the amount of addresses requested - although as a result of subsequent meetings and clarification of existing address policies the GSM Association's proposal was modified and issues of concern have been addressed and resolved.
A key result of the discussion is that a task force - the GPRS Infrastructure IP Addressing Working Party - was formed with expertise from the IP/ISP community, the GSM/GPRS community and the RIPE NCC and already a constructive meeting of task force members has taken place.
At this meeting the GSM Association's members clarified their needs, ISPs raised their concerns and the RIPE NCC clarified its existing IP address allocation policies and procedures. The results of the task force meeting were presented to the overall RIPE community during its recent meeting and the principal results were as follows:
- Public IPv4 address space can be used in parts of the GPRS network infrastructure
- Existing IP address allocation policies and procedures apply
- Requests from mobile network operators can be sent directly to the RIPE NCC or their data network backbone providers
These processes will be communicated to the global addressing community by the RIPE NCC for review by the other Regional Internet Registries and their respective constituencies. The GSM Association's IREG (International Roaming Experts Group) has initiated discussions with the RIPE NCC to clarify the existing process for obtaining these IP addresses. The RIPE NCC has already received IP address requests from GPRS operators as a result.
Address requirements for mobile devices are still not finalised and work continues on determining the needs of GPRS terminals and third generation mobile systems.