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v6ops Working Group                                        Rajeev Koodli
Internet-Draft                                             Cisco Systems
Intended status: Informational                            April 17, 2010
Expires: October 19, 2010

           Mobile Networks Considerations for IPv6 Deployment


   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 October 19, 2010.

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  . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.4.  Fixed - Mobile Convergence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   4.  Summary and Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   6.  Acknowledgement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   7.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

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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.
   When deploying IPv6 in mobile networks, certain unique challenges
   arise.  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;

      o Fixed-Mobile Convergence and implications to overall

   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

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-end) 'link' to the gateway, which is realized through a
   Packet Data Network (PDN) connection in the Long-term Evolution (LTE)
   networks, and through a Packet Data Protocol Context/connection in 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 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 hightened 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

   Delaying the public IPv4 address exhaustion involves assigning
   private IPv4 addressing for end-users, as well as extending an IPv4
   address (with the use of extended port ranges).  Mechanisms such as a

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   Network Address Translator (NAT) and "A+P" are 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).

   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-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.  This IP address
   needs to be a private IPv4 address which is translated into a shared
   public IPv4 address in order to delay the exhaustion of public IPv4
   addresses as IPv6 is being deployed.  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.  Alternatively, the
   always-on PDN connection may be assigned with an IPv6 prefix
   (typically a /64) at the time of connection establishment, and an
   IPv4 address is assigned only on-demand (e.g., when an application
   binds to an IPv4 socket interface).  This is feasible on the same
   (dual-stack) PDN in LTE networks (with short DHCP lease times), or
   with on-demand IPv4 PDNs.  On-demand IPv4 PDN and address management
   can be effective in conserving IPv4 addresses; however, such a
   management could have some implications to how the PDN and addresses
   are managed at the MN.

   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

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   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 dual-stack model
   of separate 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 use IPv4
   (private) addressing only on-demand.

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  A large
   mobile service provider network can easily have more than 16.7
   million subscribers attached to the network at a given time.  Hence,
   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.  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 to store the NAT binding records.  Indeed, these
   problems disappear with the transition to IPv6.  For now, it suffices

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   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 did not exceed 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
   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.  The disadvantages include diminished subscriber
   management, 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

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   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

   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
   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.  They also readily enable subscriber awareness
   since the (unique) IPv4 address management is performed by the MNG,
   which already has well-defined interfaces to AAA, and PCRF.  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.

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-end access.  NAT should be viewed as an interim solution
   until IPv6 is widely available, i.e., it 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

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   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)
   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, an IPv6 prefix is managed and assigned by the MNG
   (unlike in the "centralized" NAT44 model where address pool
   management is common for all the gateways).  Hence, the subscriber
   management functions for the IPv6 prefix are vastly simplified.
   Furthermore, for NAT binding correlation, billing and accounting, as
   well as for subscriber management, it may be beneficial to locate the
   IPv6 - IPv4 interworking function at the MNG.

   The IPv6-only deployments in mobile networks need to recknon 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

   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 be 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

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   IPv6, there can be a strong incentive to provide application layer
   (e.g., socket interface) upgrades to IPv6.  Furthermore, some IPv4-
   only applications may be able to make use of alternative access such
   as WiFi when available.  In summary, application migration to IPv6
   needs to be done even though it is likely to take a while before all
   applications migrate to IPv6.

   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 similar 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.
   This is a realistic scenario today where an LTE deployment may be
   IPv6-only, whereas a roamed 3G UMTS network may not offer IPv6 PDN
   connectivity service.  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 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.  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.  Such IPv6-only deployments can be phased-in for newer
   mobile nodes, while the existing ones continue to demand IPv4-only

   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.

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3.4.  Fixed - Mobile Convergence

   Many service providers have both fixed broadband and mobile networks.
   Access networks are generally disparate, with some common
   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 [6rd]
   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.

   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.

   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.  The 3GPP and IETF are working on the necessary system
   architecture and protocol mechanisms respectively, in order to enable
   IPv6 operational networks.  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 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

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      "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.  Acknowledgement

   This document has benefitted from discussions with and reviews from
   Cameron Byrne, David Crowe, Hui Deng, Fredrik Garneij, Teemu
   Savolainen and Dan Wing.  Thanks to all of them.  Mohamed Boucadair
   provided an extensive review of version 01; many thanks Mohamed.

7.  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.",

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              "E-UTRAN - eHRPD Connectivity and Interworking: Core
              Network Aspects",  http://www.3gpp2.org/Public_html/Misc/

   [6rd]      Townsley, M. and O. Troan, "IPv6 via IPv4 Service Provider
              Networks "6rd"",  draft-ietf-softwire-ipv6-6rd-04.txt,
              Feb 2010.

   [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.

              Brockners, F. and S. Gundavelli, "Gateway Initiated Dual-
              stack Lite Deployment",
              Oct 2009.

Author's Address

   Rajeev Koodli
   Cisco Systems

   Email: rkoodli@cisco.com

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