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v6ops Working Group                                       Rajeev. Koodli
Internet-Draft                                             Cisco Systems
Intended status: Informational                          October 26, 2010
Expires: April 29, 2011


           Mobile Networks Considerations for IPv6 Deployment
             draft-ietf-v6ops-v6-in-mobile-networks-02.txt

Abstract

   Mobile Internet access from smartphones and other mobile devices is
   accelerating the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses.  IPv6 is widely seen
   as crucial for the continued operation and growth of the Internet,
   and in particular, it is critical in mobile networks.  This document
   discusses the issues that arise when deploying IPv6 in mobile
   networks.  Hence, this document can be a useful reference for service
   providers and network designers.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 29, 2011.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of



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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Reference Architecture and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  IPv6 Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.1.  IPv4 Address Exhaustion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.2.  NAT Placement in the mobile networks . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.3.  IPv6-only Deployment Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     3.4.  Fixed - Mobile Convergence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   4.  Summary and Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   7.  Acknowledgement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   8.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   Appendix A.  Change Log  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17































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1.  Introduction

   The dramatic growth of the Mobile Internet is accelerating the
   exhaustion of available IPv4 addressing pool.  It is widely accepted
   that IPv6 is necessary for the continued operation, and growth of the
   Internet in general, and that of the Mobile Internet in particular.
   While IPv6 brings many benefits, certain unique challenges arise when
   deploying it in mobile networks.  This document describes such
   challenges, and outlines the applicability of the existing IPv6
   deployment solutions.  As such, it can be a useful reference document
   for service providers as well as network designers.  This document
   does not propose any new protocols or suggest new protocol
   specification work.

   The primary considerations that we address in this document on IPv6
   deployment in mobile networks are:

      o Public and Private IPv4 address exhaustion and implications to
      mobile network deployment architecture;

      o Placement of Network Address Translation (NAT) functionality and
      its implications;

      o IPv6-only deployment considerations and roaming implications;

      o Fixed-Mobile Convergence and implications to overall
      architecture.


   In the following sections, we discuss each of these in detail.

   For the most part, we assume the 3GPP 3G and 4G network architectures
   specified in [3gpp.3g] and [3gpp.4g].  However, the considerations
   are general enough for other mobile network architectures as well
   [3gpp2.ehrpd].


2.  Reference Architecture and Terminology

   The following is a reference architecture of a mobile network.











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                                 +-----+    +-----+
                                 | AAA |    | PCRF|
                                 +-----+    +-----+
               Home Network         \          /
                                     \        /
                                      \      /                        /-
   MN     BS                           \    /                        /
    |     /\    +-----+ /-----------\ +-----+ /-----------\ +-----+ /
  +-+    /_ \---| ANG |/ Operator's  \| MNG |/ Operator's  \|  BR |/Inte
  | |---/    \  +-----+\ IP Network  /+-----+\ IP Network  /+-----+\rnet
  +-+                   \-----------/    /    \-----------/         \
                        ----------------/------                      \-
                      Visited Network  /
                                      /
          +-----+ /------------------\
          |ANG  |/ Visited Operator's \
          +-----+\     IP Network     /
                  \------------------/


                   Figure 1: Mobile Network Architecture

   A Mobile Node (MN) connects to the mobile network either via its Home
   Network or via a Visited Network when roaming.  In the 3GPP network
   architecture, a MN accesses the network by connecting to an Access
   Point Name (APN), which maps to a mobile gateway.  Roughly speaking,
   an APN is similar to an SSID in wireless LAN.  An APN is a logical
   concept which can be used to specify what kinds of services, such as
   Internet access, high-definition video streaming, content-rich
   gaming, and so on, a MN is entitled to.  And, each APN can specify
   what type of IP connectivity (i.e., IPv4, IPv6, IPv4v6) is enabled on
   that particular APN.

   Whereas an APN directs a MN to an appropriate gateway, the MN needs
   (an end-to-end) 'link' to the gateway, which is realized through an
   Evolved Packet System (EPS) bearer in the Long-term Evolution (LTE)
   networks, and through a Packet Data Protocol (PDP) Context in the 3G
   UMTS networks.  The different nodes in the figure are defined below:

      o ANG: The Access Network Gateway.  This is a node that forwards
      IP packets to and from the MN.  Typically, this is not the MN's
      default router, and the ANG does not perform IP address allocation
      and management for the mobile nodes.








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      o MNG: The Mobile Network Gateway is the MN's default router which
      provides IP address management.  The MNG performs functions such
      as offering Quality of Service (QoS), applying subscriber-specific
      policy, and enabling billing and accounting; these functions are
      sometimes collectively referred to as "subscriber-management"
      operations.  The mobile network architecture, as shown in the
      figure, defines the necessary protocol interfaces to enable
      subscriber management operations.

      o BR: The Border Router, as the name implies, borders the Internet
      for the mobile network.  The BR does not perform subscriber
      management for the mobile network.

      o AAA: Authentication, Authorization and Accounting.  The general
      functionality of AAA is used for subscriber authentication and
      authorization for services, as well as for generating billing and
      accounting information.
      In 3GPP network environments, the subscriber authentication and
      the subsequent authorization for connectivity and services is
      provided using the "Home Location Register" (HLR)/"Home Subscriber
      Server" (HSS) functionality.

      o PCRF: Policy and Charging Rule Function enables applying policy
      and charging rules at the MNG.


   In the rest of this document, we use the terms operator, service
   provider or provider interchangeably.


3.  IPv6 Considerations

3.1.  IPv4 Address Exhaustion

   It is generally agreed that the pool of public IPv4 addressing is
   nearing its exhaustion.  The '/8' IANA blocks for Regional Internet
   Registries (RIRs) are projected to 'run-out' towards the end of 2011.
   Subsequently, the addressing pool available to RIRs for assignment to
   Internet Service Providers is anticipated to run-out in the following
   2-3 years.  This has led to a heightened awareness among the
   providers to consider introducing technologies to keep the Internet
   operational.  There are two simultaneous approaches to addressing the
   run-out problem: delaying the IPv4 address exhaustion, and
   introducing IPv6 in operational networks.  We consider both in the
   following.

   Delaying the public IPv4 address exhaustion involves assigning
   private IPv4 addressing for end-users, as well as extending an IPv4



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   address (with the use of extended port ranges).  A mechanism such as
   the Network Address Translator (NAT) is used at the provider premises
   (as opposed to customer premises in the existing deployments) to
   manage IP address assignment and access to the Internet.  In the
   following, we primarily focus on translation based mechanisms such as
   NAT44 (i.e., translation from public IPv4 to private IPv4 and vice
   versa) and NAT64 (i.e., translation from public IPv6 to public IPv4
   and vice versa); we do this because the 3GPP architecture already
   defines a tunneling infrastructure with the GPRS Tunneling Protocol
   (GTP), and the architecture allows for dual-stack and IPv6-only
   deployments.

   In a mobile network, the IPv4 address assignment for a MN is
   performed by the MNG.  In the 3GPP network architecture, this
   assignment is performed in conjunction with the PDN connectivity
   establishment.  As mentioned earlier, a PDN can be understood to be
   the end-to-end link from the MN to the MNG.  There can be one or more
   PDN connections active at any given time for each MN.  A PDN
   connection may support both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic (as in a dual-stack
   PDN in 4G LTE networks) or it may support either one only (as in the
   existing 3G UMTS networks).  The IPv4 address is assigned at the time
   of PDN connectivity establishment, or is assigned using the DHCP
   protocol after the PDN connectivity is established.  In order to
   delay the exhaustion of public IPv4 addresses, this IP address needs
   to be a private IPv4 address which is translated into a shared public
   IPv4 address.  Hence, there is a need for private - public IPv4
   translation mechanism in the mobile network.

   In the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network, there is a requirement
   for an always-on PDN connection in order to reliably reach a mobile
   user in the All-IP network.  If this PDN connection were to use IPv4
   addressing, a private IPv4 address is needed for every MN that
   attaches to the network.  This could significantly affect the
   availability and usage of private IPv4 addresses.  An approach to
   address this problem is to make the always-on PDN to be IPv6, and
   enable IPv4 PDN on-demand, e.g., when an application binds to an IPv4
   socket interface.  This ensures that an IPv4 address is not assigned
   for every attached MN, but only to those attempting to use the
   traffic.  The IPv4 PDN may be subject to session idle timers upon the
   expiry of which, the PDN (and the assigned IPv4 address) may be
   deleted.  Another option (specified in the 3GPP standards) is to
   defer the allocation of IPv4 address on a dual-stack IPv4v6 PDN at
   the time of connection establishment.  This has the advantage of a
   single PDN for IPv6 and IPv4, along with deferring IPv4 address
   allocation until an application needs it.  However, this requires
   support for a dynamic configuration protocol such as DHCP, which many
   cellular MNs do not support today for use over the cellular radio.
   This is changing with complementary access technologies, with many



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   Smartphones already supporting DHCP for user over WiFi.  Besides,
   laptops using the network interface cards (such as USB dongles) to
   connect to the cellular network typically support the DHCP protocol.
   In any case, there need to be appropriate triggers to initiate DHCP
   based on the application and interface usage, as well as DHCP lease
   management based on appropriate address management policies.  These
   considerations may limit the applicability of the address deferring
   option.

   On the other hand, in the existing 3G UMTS networks, there is no
   requirement for an always-on connection (a 'link' from the MN to the
   MNG in 3G UMTS is referred to as a Packet Data Protocol (PDP)
   context/connection) even though many SmartPhones seldom relinquish an
   established PDP context.  And, the existing (so-called pre-Release-8)
   deployments do not support the dual-stack PDP connection.  Hence two
   separate PDP connections are necessary to support IPv4 and IPv6
   traffic.  Even though some MNs (especially the SmartPhones) in use
   today may have IPv6 stack, such a capability is not tested (if any at
   all) extensively and deployed in operational networks.  Given this,
   it is reasonable to expect that IPv6 can only be introduced in the
   newer MNs, and that such newer MNs still need to be able to access
   the (predominantly IPv4) Internet.

   The considerations from the preceeding paragraphs lead to the
   following observations.  First, there is a need to support private
   IPv4 addressing in mobile networks in order to address the public
   IPv4 run-out problem.  This means there is a need for private -
   public IPv4 translation in the mobile network.  Second, there is
   support for IPv6 in both 3G and 4G LTE networks already in the form
   of PDP context and PDN connections.  Operators can introduce IPv6 in
   their networks, perhaps to access operator's own applications and
   services to begin with.  In other words, the IETF's recommended model
   of dual-stack IPv6 and IPv4 networks is readily applicable to mobile
   networks with the support for distinct APNs and the ability to carry
   IPv6 traffic on PDP/PDN connections.  Finally, operators can make
   IPv6 as the default for always-on mobile connections, and investigate
   on-demand PDN and (private) address assignment for IPv4.

3.2.  NAT Placement in the mobile networks

   In the previous section, we observed that the NAT44 functionality is
   needed in order to conserve the available pool, and delay public IPv4
   address exhaustion.  However, the available private IPv4 pool itself
   is not abundant for large networks such as mobile networks.  For
   instance, the so-called NET10 block [RFC1918] has approximately 16.7
   million private IPv4 addresses starting with 10.0.0.0.  A large
   mobile service provider network can easily have more than 16.7
   million subscribers attached to the network at a given time.  Hence,



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   the private IPv4 address pool management and the placement of NAT44
   functionality becomes important.

   In addition to the developments cited above, NAT placement is
   important for other reasons.  Access networks generally need to
   produce network and service usage records for billing and accounting.
   This is true for mobile networks as well where "subscriber
   management" features (i.e., QoS, Policy, and Billing and Accounting)
   can be fairly detailed.  Since a NAT introduces a binding between two
   addresses, the bindings themselves become necessary information for
   subscriber management.  For instance, the offered QoS on private IPv4
   address and the (shared) public IPv4 address may need to be
   correlated for accounting purposes.  As another example, the
   Application Servers within the provider network may need to treat
   traffic based on policy provided by the PCRF.  If the IP address seen
   by these Application Servers is not unique, the PCRF needs to be able
   to inspect the NAT binding to disambiguate among the individual MNs.
   And, the subscriber session management information and the service
   usage information also need to be correlated in order to produce
   harmonized records.  Furthermore, there may be legal requirements for
   storing the NAT binding records.  Indeed, these problems disappear
   with the transition to IPv6.  For now, it suffices to state that NAT
   introduces state which needs to be correlated and possibly stored
   with other routine subscriber information.

   Mobile network deployments vary in their allocation of IP address
   pools.  Some network deployments use the "centralized model" where
   the pool is managed by a common node, such as the PDN's Border
   Router, and the pool shared by multiple gateways all attached to the
   same BR.  This model has served well in the pre-3G deployments where
   the number of subscribers accessing the mobile Internet at any given
   time, perhaps, has not exceeded the available address pool.  However,
   with the advent of 3G networks and the subsequent dramatic growth in
   the number of users on the mobile Internet, the service providers are
   increasingly forced to consider their existing network design and
   choices.  Specifically, the providers are forced to address private
   IPv4 pool exhaustion as well as scalable NAT solutions.

   In order to address the private IPv4 exhaustion in the centralized
   model, there would be a need to support overlapped private IPv4
   addresses in the common NAT functionality as well as in each of the
   gateways.  In other words, the IP addresses used by two or more MNs
   (which may be attached to the same MNG) are very likely to overlap at
   the centralized NAT, which needs to be able to differentiate traffic.
   The approach specified in [gi-ds-lite] is one way to achieve traffic
   separation for overlapping private IPv4; the others include MPLS VPN
   tunnels or any tunneling mechanism with a unique identifier for the
   session.  An obvious advantage of centralizing the NAT and using



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   overlapped private IPv4 addressing is that a large number of mobile
   subscribers can be supported with a common limited pool at the BR.
   It also enables the operator's enterprise network to use IPv6 from
   the MNG to the BR; this (i.e., the need for an IPv6-routed enterprise
   network) may be viewed as an additional requirement by some
   providers.  The disadvantages include diminished subscriber
   management (compared to a subscriber-aware NAT), need for additional
   protocol to correlate the NAT state (at the common node) with
   subscriber session information (at each of the gateways), suboptimal
   MN - MN communication, and of course the need for a protocol from the
   MNG to BR itself.  Also, if the NAT function were to experience
   failure, all the connected gateway service will be affected.  These
   drawbacks are not present in the "distributed" model which we discuss
   in the following.

   In a distributed model, the private IPv4 address management is
   performed by the MNG which also performs the NAT functionality.  In
   this model, each MNG has a block of 16.7 million unique addresses,
   which is sufficient compared to the number of mobile subscribers
   active on each MNG.  By distributing the NAT functionality to the
   edge of the network, each MNG is allowed to re-use the available
   NET10 block, which avoids the problem of overlapped private IPv4
   addressing at the network core.  In addition, since the MNG is where
   subscriber management functions are located, the NAT state
   correlation is readily enabled.  Furthermore, an MNG already has
   existing interfaces to functions such as AAA and PCRF, which allows
   it to perform subscriber management functions with the unique private
   IPv4 addresses.  Finally, the MNG can also pass-through certain
   traffic types without performing NAT to the application servers
   located within the service provider's domain, which allows the
   servers to also identify subscriber sessions with unique private IPv4
   addresses.  The disadvantages of the "distributed model" include the
   absence of centralized addressing and centralized management of NAT.

   In addition to the two models described above, a hybrid model is to
   locate NAT in a dedicated device other than the MNG or the BR.  Such
   a model would be similar to the distributed model if the IP pool
   supports unique private addressing for the mobile nodes, or it would
   be similar to the centralized model if it supports overlapped private
   IP addresses.  In any case, the NAT device has to be able to provide
   the necessary NAT session binding information to an external entity
   (such as AAA or PCRF) which then needs to be able to correlate those
   records with the user's session state present at the MNG.

   The foregoing discussion can be summarized as follows: First, the
   management of available private IPv4 pool has become important given
   the growth of the mobile Internet users.  The mechanisms that enable
   re-use of the available pool are required.  Second, in the context of



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   private IPv4 pool management, the placement of NAT functionality has
   implications to the network deployment and operations.  Whereas the
   centralized models with a common NAT have the advantages of
   continuing their legacy deployments, re-use of private IPv4
   addressing, and centralized NAT, they need additional functions to
   enable traffic differentiation, and NAT state correlation with
   subscriber state management at the MNG.  The distributed models also
   achieve private IPv4 address re-use, and avoid overlapping private
   IPv4 traffic in the operator's core, but without the need for
   additional mechanisms.  Since the MNG performs (unique) IPv4 address
   assignment and has standard interfaces to AAA and PCRF, the
   distributed model also enables a single point for subscriber and NAT
   state reporting as well as policy application.  In summary, providers
   interested in readily integrating NAT with other subscriber
   management functions, as well as conserving and re-using their
   private IPv4 pool, may find the distributed model compelling, while
   those interested in common management of NAT may find the cetralized
   model more compelling.

3.3.  IPv6-only Deployment Considerations

   As we observed in the previous section, the NAT functionality in the
   network brings multiple issues which would otherwise be not present
   with the end-to-end access.  NAT should be viewed as an interim
   solution until IPv6 is widely available, i.e., IPv6 is available for
   mobile users for all (or most) practical purposes.  Whereas NATs at
   provider premises may slow down the exhaustion of public IPv4
   addresses, expeditious and simultaneous introduction of IPv6 in the
   operational networks is necessary to keep the "Internet going and
   growing".  Towards this goal, it is important to understand the
   considerations in deploying IPv6-only networks.

   There are three dimensions to IPv6-only deployments: the network
   itself, the mobile nodes and the applications, represented by the
   tuple [nw, mn, ap].  The goal is to reach the co-ordinate [IPv6,
   IPv6, IPv6] from [IPv4, IPv4, IPv4].  However, there are multiple
   paths to arrive at the goal.  The classic dual-stack model would
   traverse the co-ordinate [IPv4v6, IPv4v6, IPv4v6], where each
   dimension supports co-existence of IPv4 and IPv6.  This appears to be
   the path of least disruption, although we are faced with the
   implications of supoorting large-scale NAT in the network.  The other
   intermediate co-ordinate of interest is [IPv6, IPv6, IPv4], where the
   network and the MN are IPv6-only, and the Internet applications are
   recognized to be predominantly IPv4.  This transition path would,
   ironically, require interworking between IPv6 and IPv4 in order for
   the IPv6-only MNs to be able to access IPv4 services and applications
   on the Internet.  In other words, in order to disengage NAT (for IPv4
   - IPv4), we need to introduce another form of NAT (i.e., IPv6 - IPv4)



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   to expedite the adoption of IPv6.

   It is interesting to consider the preceeding discussion surrounding
   the placement of NAT for IPv6 - IPv4 interworking.  There is no
   overlapping private IPv4 address problem because each IPv6 address is
   unique (and there are plenty of them available!).  Hence, there is
   also no requirement for (IPv6) address re-use, which means no
   protocol is necessary in the centralized model to disambiguiate NAT
   sessions.  However, there is an additional requirement of DNS64
   [dns64] functionality for IPv6 - IPv4 translation.  This DNS64
   functionality must ensure that the synthesized AAAA record correctly
   maps to the IPv6 - IPv4 translator.

   The IPv6-only deployments in mobile networks need to reckon with the
   following considerations.  First, both the network and the MNs need
   to be IPv6-capable.  Expedited network upgrades as well as roll-out
   of MNs with IPv6 would greatly facilitate this.  Fortunately, the
   3GPP network design for LTE already requires the network nodes and
   the mobile nodes to support IPv6.  Even though there are no
   requirements for the transport network to be IPv6, an operational
   IPv6 network can be deployed with configured tunneling between the
   network nodes with IPv4-only transport.  Hence a service provider may
   choose to enforce IPv6-only PDN and address assignment for their own
   subscribers in their Home Networks, see Figure 1.  This is feasible
   for the newer MNs when the provider's network is "IPv6-ready", which
   means the network is able to provide IPv6-only PDN support and IPv6 -
   IPv4 interworking for Internet access.  For the existing MNs however,
   the provider still needs to be able to support IPv4-only PDP/PDN
   connectivity.

   Migration of applications to IPv6 in MNs with IPv6-only PDN
   connectivity brings challenges.  The applications and services
   offered by the provider obviously need to be IPv6-capable.  However,
   a MN may host other applications which also need to be IPv6-capable
   in IPv6-only deployments.  This can be a "long-tail" phenomenon;
   however, when a few prominant applications start offering IPv6, there
   can be a strong incentive to provide application layer (e.g., socket
   interface) upgrades to IPv6.  Also, some IPv4-only applications may
   be able to make use of alternative access such as WiFi when
   available.  A related challenge in the migration of applications is
   the use of IPv4 literals in application layer protocols (such as
   XMPP) or content (as in html or xml).  Some Internet applications
   expect their clients to supply IPv4 addresses as literals, and this
   will not be possible with IPv6-only deployments.  These experiences
   and the related considerations in deploying IPv6-only network are
   documented in [arkko-v6].  In summary, application migration to IPv6
   needs to be done even though it is anticipated to take a while before
   all applications migrate to IPv6.



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   An important consideration in mobile networks is roaming, where users
   may roam to networks operated by providers other than their own.  The
   service providers can control their own network design but not their
   peer's networks which they rely on for roaming.  Perhaps more
   importantly, the users expect uniformity in experience even when they
   are roaming.  This imposes a constraint on providers interested in
   IPv6-only deployments to also support IPv4 addressing when their own
   (outbound) subscribers roam to networks which do not offer IPv6.  For
   instance, when an LTE deployment is IPv6-only, a roamed 3G network
   may not offer IPv6 PDN connectivity.  Since a PDN connection involves
   the radio base station, the ANG and the MNG (See Figure 1), it would
   not be possible to enable IPv6 PDN connectivity without the roamed
   network support.  Similarly, there are inbound roamers to an IPv6-
   ready provider network whose MN's are not capable of IPv6.  The IPv6-
   ready provider network has to be able to support IPv4 PDN
   connectivity for such inbound roamers as well.  There are encouraging
   signs that the existing deployed network nodes in the 3GPP
   architecture already provide support for IPv6 PDP context.  It would
   be necessary to scale this support for a (very) large number of
   mobile users.

   In summary, IPv6-only deployments should be encouraged along-side the
   dual-stack model, which is the recommended IETF approach.  This is
   relatively straightforward for an operator's own services and
   applications, provisioned through an appropriate APN (and IPv6-only
   PDP/PDN).  Some providers may consider IPv6-only deployment for
   Internet access as well, and this would require IPv6 - IPv4
   interworking.  When the IPv6 - IPv4 translation mechanisms are used
   in IPv6-only deployments, the protocols and the associated
   considerations specified in [xlate-stateful] and [xlate-stateless]
   apply.  Finally, such IPv6-only deployments can be phased-in for
   newer mobile nodes, while the existing ones continue to demand IPv4-
   only connectivity.

   Roaming is important in mobile networks and roaming introduces
   diversity in network deployments.  This means IPv6-only mobile
   network deployments need to support IPv4 connectivity (and NAT44) for
   their own users who roam into peer provider networks, and also for
   inbound roaming users with no IPv6 capability.

   However, by taking the initiative to introduce IPv6-only for the
   newer MNs, the mobile networks can significantly reduce the demand
   for private IPv4 addresses.

3.4.  Fixed - Mobile Convergence

   Many service providers have both fixed broadband and mobile networks.
   Access networks are generally disparate, with some common



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   characteristics but with enough differences to make it challenging to
   achieve "convergence".  For instance, roaming is not a consideration
   in fixed access networks.  And, an All-IP mobile network service
   provider is required to provide voice service as well, whereas a
   fixed network provider is not required to.  A "link" in fixed
   networks is generally capable of carrying IPv6 and IPv4 traffic,
   whereas not all mobile networks have "links" (i.e., PDP/PDN
   connections) capable of supporting IPv6 and IPv4; indeed roaming
   makes this problem worse when a "portion" of the link (i.e., the Home
   Network in Figure 1) is capable of supporting IPv6 and the other
   "portion" of the link (i.e., the Visited Network in Figure 1) is not.
   Such architectural differences, as well as policy and business model
   differences, make convergence challenging.

   Nevertheless, within the same provider's space, some common
   considerations may apply.  For instance, IPv4 address management is a
   common concern for both the access networks.  This implies the same
   mechanisms discussed earlier, i.e., delaying IPv4 address exhaustion
   and introducing IPv6 in operational networks, apply for the converged
   networks as well.  However, the exact solutions deployed for each
   access network can vary for a variety of reasons.  Tunneling of
   private IPv4 packets within IPv6, for example, is feasible in fixed
   networks where the end-point is often a cable or DSL modem.  This is
   not the case in mobile networks where the end-point is a MN itself.
   Similarly, encapsulation-based mechanisms such as 6rd [RFC5969] are
   feasible where a residential gateway can become a tunnel end-point
   for connecting subscribers to IPv6-only networks, whereas translation
   is perhaps necessary for IPv6-only mobile networks.  A mobile network
   provider may have application servers (e.g., an email server) in its
   network that require unique private IPv4 addresses for MN
   identification, whereas a fixed network provider may not have such a
   requirement or the service itself.  These examples illustrate that
   the actual solutions used in an access network are largely determined
   by the requirements specific to that access network.  However, some
   sharing between access and core network may be possible depending on
   the nature of the requirement and the functionality itself: for
   example, when a fixed network does not require a subscriber-aware
   feature such as NAT, the functionality may be provided at a core
   router while the mobile access network continues to provide the NAT
   functionality at the mobile gateway.  In addition, if a provider
   chooses to offer common subscriber management at the MNG for both
   fixed and wireless networks, the MNG itself becomes a convergence
   node that needs to support the applicable transition mechanisms for
   both fixed and wireless access networks.

   Different access networks of a provider are more likely to share a
   common core network.  Hence, common solutions can be more easily
   applied in the core network.  For instance, configured tunnels or



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   MPLS VPNs from the gateways from both mobile and fixed networks can
   be used to carry traffic to the core routers, until the entire core
   network is IPv6-enabled.

   There can also be considerations due to the use of NAT in access
   networks.  Solutions such as Femto Networks rely on a fixed Internet
   connection being available for the Femto Base Station to communicate
   with its peer on the mobile network, typically via an IPsec tunnel.
   When the Femto Base Station needs to use a private IPv4 address, the
   mobile network access through it is subject to NAT policy
   administration, which could include periodic clean-up and purge of
   NAT state.  Such policies affect the usability of the Femto Network,
   and has implications to the mobile network provider.  Using IPv6 for
   the Femto (or any other access technology), on the other hand, could
   alleviate some of these concerns if the IPv6 communication could
   bypass the NAT.

   In summary, there is clear interest in fixed-mobile convergence at
   least among some providers.  While there are benefits from
   harmonizing the network as much as possible, there are also
   idiosyncrasies of disparate access networks which influence the
   convergence.  Perhaps greater harmonization is feasible at the higher
   service layers, e.g., in terms of offering unified user experience
   for services and applications.  Some harmonization of functions
   across access networks into the core network may be feasible.  A
   provider's core network appears to the place where most convergence
   is feasible.


4.  Summary and Conclusion

   IPv6 deployment in mobile networks is crucial for the mobile
   Internet.  In this document, we discussed the considerations in
   deploying IPv6 in mobile networks.  Specifically, we discussed:

      o IPv4 address exhaustion and its implications to mobile networks:
      we saw that, as the mobile networks begin to deploy IPv6,
      conserving the available IPv4 pool and delaying its exhaustion
      implies the need for network translation in mobile networks.  At
      the same time, providers can make use of the 3GPP architecture
      constructs such as the APN and PDN connectivity to introduce IPv6
      without affecting the (predominantly IPv4) Internet access.  The
      IETF dual-stack model [RFC4213] can be applied to the mobile
      networks readily.

      o The placement of NAT functionality in mobile networks: we
      discussed the centralized and distributed models of private IPv4
      address pool management and their relative merits.  We saw that by



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      enabling each MNG to manage its own NET10 pool, the distributed
      model achieves re-use of available private IPv4 pool, and avoids
      the problems associated with the non-unique private IPv4 addresses
      for the MNs without additional protocol mechanisms.  The
      distributed model also augments the "subscriber management"
      functions at an MNG, such as readily enabling NAT session
      correlation with the rest of the subscriber session state.  On the
      other hand, the existing deployments which have used the
      centralized IP address management can continue their legacy
      architecture by placing the NAT at a common node.  The centralized
      model also achieves private IPv4 address re-use, but needs
      additional protocol extensions to differentiate overlapping
      addresses at the common NAT, as well as to integrate with policy
      and billing infrastructure.

      o IPv6-only mobile network deployments: we saw that this is
      feasible in the LTE architecture for an operator's own services
      and applications.  We observed that the existing MNs still expect
      IPv4 address assignment.  And, roaming, which is unique to mobile
      networks, requires that a provider support IPv4 connectivity when
      their (outbound) users roam into a mobile network that is not
      IPv6-enabled.  Similarly, a provider needs to support IPv4
      connectivity for (inbound) users whose MNs are not IPv6-capable.
      And, we also observed that IPv6 - IPv4 interworking is necessary
      for IPv6-only MNs to access IPv4 Internet.

      o Fixed-Mobile Convergence: we discussed the examples illustrating
      the differences in the requirements of fixed and mobile networks.
      While some harmonization of functions may be possible across the
      access networks, the service provider's core network is perhaps
      best-suited for converged network architecture.  Perhaps even
      greater gains are feasible in the service and application layers.



5.  Security Considerations

   This document does not introduce any new security vulnerabilities.


6.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not require any actions from IANA.


7.  Acknowledgement

   This document has benefitted from discussions with and reviews from



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   Cameron Byrne, David Crowe, Hui Deng, Remi Despres, Fredrik Garneij,
   Jouni Korhonen, Teemu Savolainen and Dan Wing.  Thanks to all of
   them.  Mohamed Boucadair provided an extensive review of version 01;
   many thanks Mohamed.  Cameron Byrne and Kent Leung provided thorough
   reviews of v01, which have helped improve this document.


8.  Informative References

   [3gpp.3g]  "General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description;
              Stage 2, 3GPP TS 23.060, December 2006",  .

   [3gpp.4g]  "General Packet Radio Service (GPRS);enhancements for
              Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
              (E-UTRAN) access", 3GPP TS 23.401 8.8.0, December 2009.",
               .

   [3gpp2.ehrpd]
              "E-UTRAN - eHRPD Connectivity and Interworking: Core
              Network Aspects",  http://www.3gpp2.org/Public_html/Misc/
              X.P0057-0_v0.13_E-UTRAN-
              eHRPD_Interworking_VV_Due_5_December-2008.pdf.

   [RFC1918]  Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, R., Karrenberg, D., Groot, G., and
              E. Lear, "Address Allocation for Private Internets",
              BCP 5, RFC 1918, February 1996.

   [RFC4213]  Nordmark, E. and R. Gilligan, "Basic Transition Mechanisms
              for IPv6 Hosts and Routers", RFC 4213, October 2005.

   [RFC5969]  Townsley, W. and O. Troan, "IPv6 Rapid Deployment on IPv4
              Infrastructures (6rd) -- Protocol Specification",
              RFC 5969, August 2010.

   [arkko-v6]
              Arkko, J. and A. Keranen, "Experiences from an IPv6-Only
              Network",  draft-arkko-ipv6-only-experience-01, Jul 2010.

   [dns64]    Bagnulo, M., Sullivan, A., Matthews, P., and I. van
              Beijnum, "DNS64: DNS extensions for Network Address
              Translation from IPv6 Clients to IPv4 Servers",
               draft-ietf-behave-dns64-11, Mar 2010.

   [gi-ds-lite]
              Brockners, F. and S. Gundavelli, "Gateway Initiated Dual-
              stack Lite Deployment",
               draft-gundavelli-softwire-gateway-init-ds-lite-01.txt,
              Oct 2009.



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   [xlate-stateful]
              Bagnulo, M., Matthews, P., and I. van Beijnum, "Stateful
              NAT64: Network Address and Protocol Translation from IPv6
              Clients to IPv4 Servers",
               draft-ietf-behave-v6v4-xlate-stateful-11, Mar 2010.

   [xlate-stateless]
              Li, X., Bao, C., and F. Baker, "IP/ICMP Translation
              Algorithm",  draft-ietf-behave-v6v4-xlate-20, May 2010.


Appendix A.  Change Log

   Revisions (from draft-koodli-**), descending chronological order

      o: FMC, Femto Networks text

      o: Dedicated NAT device model (in addition to the centralized and
      distributed models)

      o: IPv6-only deployment considerations: - IPv4 literals discussion
      and reference, - IPv6 prefix assignment clarification, - DNS64
      requirement and reference

      o: Overall revisions based on comments from reviews (C. Byrne, K.
      Leung)

      o: Dual-stack being the recommended model, while encouraging IPv6-
      only deployments.

      o: Clarifications on on-demand IPv4 PDN usage, DHCP usage and on-
      demand IPv4 assignment.

      o: Clarifications regarding IPv6-only deployment: Roaming and
      Applications considerations.



Author's Address

   Rajeev Koodli
   Cisco Systems
   USA

   Email: rkoodli@cisco.com






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