Operators Look to CPE Suppliers for IPv6 Help

Network operators expect CPE suppliers to take the lead in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, says Heavy Reading Insider

Mar 03, 2011, 12:00 ET from Heavy Reading

NEW YORK, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the long-anticipated migration from IPv4 to IPv6 finally becomes a reality, network operators are expecting suppliers of customer premises equipment (CPE) to take a leading role in making the transition a smooth one for their customers, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Insider (www.heavyreading.com/insider), a paid research service of Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com).

Residential CPE Vendors Gear Up for IPv6 looks at how operators are responding to the drivers of change to IPv6, and how they are asking for help from their suppliers of CPE. It reviews the options for managing the transition (with a focus on DSL rather than cable networks), including the use of techniques to prolong the life of IPv4, and tunneling IPv6 traffic through IPv4 networks and vice versa. It reviews the way that CPE vendors are building IPv6 capabilities into their equipment, and compares their approaches. Finally, it profiles eight of the leading vendors of IPv6-capable CPE.

For a list of companies covered in this report, http://img.lightreading.com/lri/pdf/hri0311_companies.pdf

"Though IPv6 has existed for many years, it is only relatively recently that operators have begun preparing the ground for its widespread use," notes Danny Dicks, research analyst with Heavy Reading Insider and author of the report. "Interest in the IPv6 capabilities of CPE is rising rapidly as Internet service provider ideas about how to manage the v4-to-v6 transition become clearer, and standards bodies' and industry forums' CPE specifications become more widely promoted and adopted."

IPv6 increases the number of unique IP addresses from the 4 billion provided by IPv4 to 340 trillion trillion trillion, but most CPE vendors have been slow to develop and promote specific IPv6 capabilities in their products because v6 doesn't deliver any significant benefits to end users, Dicks says. "Network operators need their CPE vendors to help them transition from IPv4 to IPv6 seamlessly, at the lowest cost and with as little disruption as possible," he continues. "There is the potential for service disruption and noticeably reduced performance from the Internet caused by some of the technologies required."

Key findings of Residential CPE Vendors Gear Up for IPv6 include the following:

  • 2011 is the year when many operators and ISPs will move decisively toward offering IPv6 services.
  • An estimated 50 to 100 million IPv6-capable CPE boxes will be installed worldwide by the end of 2011.
  • Network change will be driven by exhaust of IPv4 addresses and the growth in apps and sites designed with IPv6 in mind, but the drivers vary between countries.
  • The most flexible way for ISPs to manage the transition to IPv6 will be dual-stack CPE with support for the most common tunneling mechanisms.
  • Leading CPE vendors are responding to the needs of their key service provider customers, and increasingly promoting their equipment's IPv6 capabilities.

Residential CPE Vendors Gear Up for IPv6 is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,995. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

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About Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com)

Heavy Reading is an independent market research organization offering quantitative analysis of telecom technology to carriers, service providers, and vendors. Our remit is to provide the comprehensive competitive analysis needed today for the deployment of profitable networks based on next-generation hardware and software. This information is compiled via exhaustive surveys of both vendors' products and service-provider decision makers.

About Light Reading Communications Network (www.lightreading.com)

Founded in 2000, the Light Reading Communications Network is the world's leading research-led integrated media company serving the global communications market. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for technological and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, and TelcoTV Asia, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Europe, and The Tower Summit @ CTIA, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives in the US, Europe, India, and China. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

SOURCE Heavy Reading