iBurst has successfully completed testing of IPv6 on its network (access, transmission, peering and transit), and will start enabling the packet gateways to use dual stack IPv4 and IPv6 from this week. The change will start in Gauteng, then Kwazulu-Natal and finally Western Cape.
“The operating system will try to reach a resource on IPv6 first and then fall back to IPv4 if not available on IPv6. As content sites move to IPv6 subscribers will automatically migrate,” explained Bartels.
Bartels added that anyone wishing to experience and experiment with IPv6 will be able to do so using an iBurst connection.
“We can also provide IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels. This will allow a person to buy an IPv6 kit that will allow then to use IPv6 from iBurst while obtaining legacy IPv4 from any ISP or mobile operator that hasn’t yet updated their technology.”
The biggest advantage of IPv6 is the larger number of available IP addresses, and here iBurst is also benefiting.
“We have billions of IPv6 addresses but less than half a million IPv4 addresses. It will reduce our reliance on IPv4,” said Bartels.
Bartels further highlighted that the IPv6 move will allow iBurst to establish a relationship with subscribers who are interested in IPv6 and who are the leaders in new technology adoption.
IPv4 versus IPv6 (Source: Electronic Design)
Feature IPv4 IPv6 Address 32 bits (4 bytes)12:34:56:78 128 bits (16 bytes)1234:5678:9abc:def0: Packet size 576 bytes required, fragmentation optional 1280 bytes required without fragmentation Packet fragmentation Routers and sending hosts Sending hosts only Packet header Does not identify packet flow for QoS handling Contains Flow Label field that specifies packet flow for QoS handling Includes a checksum Does not include a checksum Includes optionsup to 40 bytes Extension headers used for optional data DNS records Address (A) records,maps host names Address (AAAA) records,maps host names Pointer (PTR) records,IN-ADDR.ARPA DNS domain Pointer (PTR) records,IP6.ARPA DNS domain Address configuration Manual or via DHCP Stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC) using Internet Control Message Protocol version 6 (ICMPv6) or DHCPv6 IP to MAC resolution broadcast ARP Multicast Neighbor Solicitation Local subnet group management Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) Broadcast Yes No Multicast Yes Yes IPSec optional, external required