When 3G really gets going and more advanced mobile applications become a reality an increasing number of IP addresses will be needed. The solution is a new version of the Internet protocol known as IPv6, which multiplies the number of available addresses by several magnitudes.
TeliaSonera was early out of the starting block and has just received the largest allocation to date of IPv6 addresses from RIPE NCC, the Internet organisation responsible for allocation of IP-addresses. The number of addresses TeliaSonera has received is many times the number of addresses currently available on the entire Internet.
Today's Internet communication is based on the IPv4 protocol, which will continue to dominate for many years to come. The next version is known as IPv6 and is beginning to be introduced. IPv6 has many improvements for example within security.
The benefits for the consumers will be increased simplicity and higher accessibility to the Internet. For example, IPv6 will provide a more optimal technical solution for future 3G-services such as push services and instant messaging.
But above all, IPv6 has many times the number of currently available IP addresses. The available IPv4 addresses will eventually be exhausted. It is this very lack of addresses that is expected to be the greatest driving force for network operators and service providers to switch to IPv6.
The most obvious advantage of IPv6 is the larger address space which simplifies services such as always-on residential broadband Internet, peer-to-peer, machine-to-machine and mobile push services.
TeliaSonera was quick to realise the advantage and submitted a request during the year for IPv6 addresses from RIPE NCC which allocates IP addresses to operators in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and the African countries located north of the equator.
"The IPv6 protocol is a definitive approach for future optimisation and development of our networks and services. This is a necessary and an inevitable step for TeliaSonera to continue providing cost efficient and high quality services to customers," says Claes Nycander, Senior Vice President and Chief Network Officer, TeliaSonera AB.
The address allocation to TeliaSonera is the largest assignment of addresses to an individual operator to date. TeliaSonera will by the record allocation receive 3,2451,8553,6584,2672,6783,1560,2057,6256 addresses. The addresses are what is known as a /20 block, which is equivalent to 17,000 billion (17,000,000,000,000) subnets that can be assigned to customers. Each subnet has more individual addresses than are currently available on the entire IPv4 Internet.