In a move to brace itself for a possible onslaught of data traffic, Verizon Wireless is mandating that devices connecting to its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network support IPv6. The carrier states in its LTE requirements that "the device shall be assigned an IPv6 address whenever it attaches to the LTE network."
So what exactly is IPv6? It's the long-awaited upgrade to the Internet's basic communications protocol, IPv4.
As carriers move to LTE, the adoption of IPv6 will become increasingly important since they will need more IP addresses for all of the devices hooking into their networks. The number of unused IPv4 addresses is growing smaller and smaller, so a new standard will be needed to address new waves of data-capable devices.
Verizon has said it will commercially launch 20 to 30 LTE markets in the second half of 2010. On a conference call in May mainly about LTE device specifications for developers, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said that the carrier would have "nationwide buildout complete in late 2013 to early 2014." Verizon will turn on one "pre-commercial" LTE market on the East Coast and one on the West Coast during 2009, McAdam said.
- see this Network World article
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