the third generation, in mobile computing is set to
offer a lot of benefits to operations and end users
the most obvious benefit to mobile operators and service
providers is the massively increased addressing space
that Ipv6 supports. Most of today's Internet is based
on Ipv4, a set of protocols that are nearly twenty
increases this address space from 32 bits to 128 bits,
creating a much greater pool of available addresses.
It will provide over 4 million unique addresses per
square meter of the earth's surface.
glimpse of the future
With the IPv6 set to generate more IP addresses
and help accelerate the creation of the mobile Internet,
security and quality and service are also likely to
can look forward to receiving new electronics equipment
that already have their own IP addresses. And as the
fixed and mobile Internets continue to converge, users
can look forward to enjoying the benefits and added
value of interconnected electronics equipment, such
as in the home environment.
fewer than five years, the number of Internet users
has grown from 16 million to over 190 million. Even
so, this phenomenal growth is eclipsed by that seen
in the wireless communications sector: the penetration
of mobile phones, for example, is increasingly exceeding
PC usage throughout the world.
phones grow inexorably in popularity they are also
gaining in power, features and functionality. WAP
browsers give a web-like face to this 'mobile Internet',
while the adoption of packet radio services, followed
by the launch of third generation universal mobile
telecommunications systems (UMTS) networks, will provide
vastly increased bandwidth capable of supporting new,
media-rich information, entertainment and commerce
services as well as voice and streaming media.
Central to the concept of third generation is the
integration between mobile communications and the
wealth of applications, services and content already
delivered by fixed networks. Unconstrained by the
physical limitations of a fixed-line connection, mobile
connectivity will become an intrinsic part of the
Internet itself creating a truly global public network
that is accessible to everybody wherever they may
be in the world. The mobile Internet is already well
on its way towards making our lives easier, at least
when it comes to accessing updated information while
on the move.
the mobile terminal is likely to become many users'
preferred Internet access device by 2010, the UMTS
Forum expects nearly 50 per cent of Internet users
to be accessing the Net from two or more devices that
will differ significantly in functionality and capability.
This shift towards mobile access to multimedia content
and services brings a new challenge for mobile operators
and manufacturers as well as the Internet and IT communities:
to integrate this new population of Net-enabled devices
with the other packet-switched networks that make
up the Internet today.
enable the Internet to deliver its promise of efficient
networked communications and applications development,
the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has specified
a new version of the Internet Protocol that defines
how devices share information over networks. Version
6 (IPv6) has already been endorsed by the Third Generation
Partnership Project (3GPP) for introduction into the
third generation core networks. It dramatically enriches
the scope and functionality of current protocols,
and offers features (see Box 2) that are geared toward
its implementation in cellular networks in its 'native'
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to mobile operators
and service providers is the massively increased addressing
space that Ipv6 supports. Most of today's Internet
is based on IPv4, a set of protocols that are nearly
twenty years old.
it has served us well, Ipv4 has one fundamental limitation:
the total number of physical devices it can describe
uniquely. Just as every mobile phone user has an individual
phone number, every device connected to the Internet
whether it's a PC, a mobile phone or a car's onboard
geopositioning system needs its own, unique
IPv4, these addresses are described by a 32-bit number,
and herein lies the issue.
just 32 bits to play with, the largest number that
can be represented is just below 4.3 billion (4,300,000,000)
a figure smaller than the number of human beings alive
on this planet now. With the total number of fixed
and mobile devices connected to the Internet expected
to exceed the world's population in just a few years'
time, we will quite simply run out of addresses unless
a new addressing scheme is adopted and one that is
based on future proof all IP.
IPv6 increases this address space from 32 bits to
128 bits, creating a much greater pool of available
addresses. It will provide over 4 million unique addresses
per square meter of the earth's surface more than
enough for our fixed and mobile Internet access needs
for at least the foreseeable future!
more than enough IP addresses to go round, address
allocation can also be improved. Currently IP addresses
are assigned to each device or user for only as long
as they are needed much like providing hotel room
allocation of a unique address, permanently assigned
to every mobile device, could eliminate the need to
administer dynamically significant streamlining communications
between device and network. Ultimately, it could potentially
speed up the registration process every time a user
logs on setting the stage for the third generation
of mobile communications. NM
Courtesy: Nokia. For more information, see http://www.3gpp.org/,
http://www.ipv6forum.com/, and http://www.units-forum.org/.