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Re: [RRG] 2 billion IP cellphones in 2103 & mass adoption of IPv6 by currentIPv4 users
On Sep 17, 2008, at 7:01 AM, Marshall Eubanks wrote:
If this is true, and it sounds plausible, and if this $ 200 billion
industry (2 billion x $ 100 per) needs IPv6 and a new routing
mechanism, why isn't this list flooded by cell-phone engineers ?
Mobile operators, in many cases, appear in many cases to be slow to
acknowledge that they are in fact SPs, and that their networks must be
designed and operated as SP networks, even when they explicitly and
aggressively market services like 3G connectivity for laptops/mobiles
(as I'm typing this message, I'm sitting on a ferry, connected via an
HSDPA USB adaptor to a wireless carrier's network). I've personally
held conversations with the senior technical management of multiple
mobile operators wherein I pointed out to them that they were access
SPs and ought to design/operate their networks as such, and they
vehemently denied this, despite their aggressive marketing of GPRS/
EDGE/3G connectivity services, until I finally whipped out my mobile
phone and started accessing Web sites and sending/receiving IMs over
their respective networks in order to make the point in an irrefutable
The result has invariably been a sort of chagrined epiphany, followed
by varying degrees of bemusement, dismay, and incipient panic.
Do they believe in magic ?
It would almost appear that way, in some cases, heh.
Do they just don't know the IETF & IRTF exist ?
Oftentimes, only a few people within the mobile operator organization
seem to really know about and understand IP, and very few of them
participate in IETF/IRTF and/or other non-mobile standards bodies or
industry conclaves (there are exceptions, of course, and awareness/
engagement seems to be increasing, over time). In many cases, their
IP-based networks appear to've have grown organically, without much in
the way of conscious design and planning; once their higher-speed IP-
based connectivity services start to receive significant uptake,
there's a lot of concern and scrambling around to increase capacity,
resiliency, redundancy, et. al.
In some ways, what's happening in the mobile broadband space seems to
faithfully echo the various trends, challenges, and reactions which
have taken place in the wireline broadband space, but compressed
greatly in time due to the rapid uptake of such services and the even
higher initial oversubscription ratios in the wireless spac
Or do they have other plans ?
There's a lot of NATting going on in this space, and an active desire
on the part of management to provide the minimum of 'true' IP
connectivity which users will accept and pay for, due to fears of
service bypass, the desire to keep the user in a 'walled garden' of
metered services, oversubscription concerns, etc. The service terms
for many wireless services often explicitly forbid the use of P2P
technologies like BitTorrent, and in some cases ftp and other
protocols/services which are viewed as being undesirable due to
typically heavy usage patterns.
Note that the handset manufacturers are very responsive to carrier
requirements in terms of the capabilities that they design into the
handsets, even in markets where unlocked, individually-purchased
mobiles are the norm. AFAIK, none of even the most modern smartphones
support IPv6, or allow it to be enabled by the user (correction
welcome); which is rather ironic, given that, at present, IPv6-based
mobile networks would represent a garden with especially high walls.
Also, I've yet to see a wireless access service which supports IPv6
even for general-purpose computers connected via wireless adaptors.
None of the mobile network operators with whom I've interacted provide
IPv6 connectivity at all, or have disclosed an intention to do so in
the near-to-medium-term future.
As to long-range plans, my subjective impression is that most of the
mobile operators to whom I've spoken are just now coming to grips with
the implications and requirements of operating production-quality IPv4
networks, and IPv6, even though it would at first blush seem quite
attractive to them, is in many cases not even on their radar. I'm
sure this will change over time, but quite slowly, given the industry
characteristics noted above.
Roland Dobbins <email@example.com> // +852.9133.2844 mobile
History is a great teacher, but it also lies with impunity.
-- John Robb
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