Home / Blogs

IPv6 or IPv4? What Will We See in the First Wave of LTE Networks?

All the talk early this year seems to be about LTE deployment to alleviate chronic Apple and other smartphones induced indigestion on the AT&T and other major Mobile Networks swamped by data traffic.

The telluric shift albeit the user will not care or should not notice is that when he or she will power on that smartphone or whatever the communicating Swiss Knife will be called, it will request an IP address to complete an IP based call. A device without an IP address will be rather difficult to reach and the ungodly NATword should not even be whispered. The comfort of the good old circuit switched network core will be gone in the LTE era.

It is rather timely, if not a bit last minute, that the GCF, the Global Certification Forum, announced a LTE device certification scheme to be ready by the end of 2010.

Verizon, as far as I know, is the only mobile network Operator so far who officially announced IPv6 support in their devices and stated that ” the device shall be assigned an IPv6 address whenever it attaches to the LTE network”.

Verizon’s commitment to IPv6 seems to be further underscored as ICSA, their independent conformity testing lab became the first one approved by NIST for USGv6 conformance testing. Congratulations, Verizon.

In the meantime, Telia Sonera claimed the world’s first commercial LTE deployment in Stockholm and Oslo in December. Has anyone confirmed what kind of IP addresses they are using, IPv4 and/or IPv6? They just announced the suppliers for their LTE network extension to 29 cities in Sweden and Norway. Let us hope the Nordic countries will continue to surprise us as they have done for a long time in telecommunications.

With all the LTE plans announced lately, it should not come as a surprise to see LTE as a prime discussion topic during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month. And while it will not have the starring role, IPv6 will be best supporting actor.

With the first LTE networks coming on-line later this year it will be interesting to track compliance and interoperability.

LTE should not be fragmented in too many Short Term Evolutions. The end-user community expects seamless high quality service, to them it is ancillary if is called LTE and works in IPv4 or IPv6.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications

(Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

Visit Page

Filed Under


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet




Sponsored byVerisign

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global


Sponsored byDNIB.com

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC