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3G Americas urges transition to IPv6
Posted: 26-Feb-2009 [Source: 3G Americas]

[3G Americas releases white paper, "Transitioning to IPv6," encouraging service providers to transition to IPv6 as soon as possible in response to the growth in Internet-capable mobile devices.]

Bellevue, WA -- 3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the GSM family of technologies including LTE, today announced that it has published a research report titled, "IPv6 Transition Considerations for LTE and Evolved Packet Core." The educational white paper outlines recommendations needed in the Americas region to further build and expand upon a March 2008 white paper titled, "Transitioning to IPv6," which 3G Americas published to assist wireless service providers in planning a smooth and successful IPv6 transition.

The explosive growth in the wireless industry has created a requirement for always-available IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are rapidly diminishing and are likely to exhaust by 2012. As IPv4 addresses are being depleted, always-on services (SIP-based applications) are being deployed at an increasing rate and, therefore, the urgency to move to IPv6 continues to be a major issue for vendors and particularly operators in the wireless industry. The report 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 time is now for the entire converged wireless ecosystem of operators, vendors and regulators to fully plan and implement IPv6 transition strategies to ensure our great industry continues to prosper," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "As today's four billion wireless subscribers transition to Internet-capable mobile devices, the need for IPv6 addresses becomes more apparent to ensure wireless data growth for the robust mobile broadband industry."

"IPv6 Transition Considerations for LTE and Evolved Packet Core" highlights specific LTE and Evolved Packet Core element recommendations that operators and their vendor partners can begin implementing to ensure a smooth transition. The white paper notes that carriers evolving their networks to Long Term Evolution (LTE) should consider making IPv6 a requirement from day one. Since LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) does not support a Circuit Switched Core as part of the 3GPP standard, native support for voice will be supported by the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core. Because the transition to IMS-based Voice-over-IP (VoIP) will likely take several years, it is critical for operators to understand the impact of IPv6 on the existing Voice Core and Signaling infrastructure.

The white paper recognizes that the transition to IPv6 is a significant effort and will carry expense for operators, but at this point in time, can no longer be delayed. Failure to transition to IPv6 in a timely manner will also cost operators money due to reasons such as the inability to scale services. IPv6 has several additional benefits and will likely enable new services that would otherwise be impossible in an IPv4-only world.

The 3G Americas white paper, "IPv6 Transition Considerations for LTE and Evolved Packet Core," and the previous March 2008 report, "Transition to IPv6," both were written collaboratively by members of 3G Americas and are available for free download at: www.3gamericas.org.

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