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SP360: Service Provider

Despite the “buzz” around IPv6 right now for many customers it’s not easy to actually test drive an IPv6 connection. When we got the opportunity to sponsor the Wi-Fi customer access at the 2012 v6 World Congress, we jumped at it. It became an opportunity to showcase both the simplicity and effectiveness of the Cisco Carrier Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution. The CGv6 solution is the industry’s only IPv6 transition solution that has been performance tested and validated by a third party, in our case by EANTC.

Wi-Fi is a topic of particular interest to mobile operators today since newer generation devices are driving mobile network usage and data traffic growth. As a preview to the upcoming Cisco VNI Mobile Forecast (2011 – 2016), the updated study projects that 71% of  mobile connected smartphone and tablet devices (1.6 billion) could be IPv6 capable by 2016 (meaning, that they’ve got the technology and operating system to support an IPv6 connection.)   Rather than using limited cellular spectrum, by making IPv6 Internet access available over Wi-Fi (we call it Service Provider Wi-Fi), carriers can solve both the lack of available IPv4 addresses and make optimal use of mobile bandwidth.

The actual hardware used at the event is all available right now: a Cisco ASR 1000 router, the Aironet 1142 Access Point, and the Cisco 5508 Wireless LAN Controller. The ASR 1000 is one of Cisco’s most popular routers and in use by over 8000 customers, including both enterprise and service providers. The ASR 1000 is a proven platform for IPv6 applications and has been deployed by two of the industry’s earlier adopters of v6 technology: Iliad Group’s Free and SFR.

Watch Alain Fiocco, Senior Director, IPv6 High Impact Program show how he’s easily able to test dual stack IPv4/IPv6, IPv6 via NAT64 (to reach the majority of the Internet which is still IPv4 based), and native IPv6.

One unique aspect of the demonstration worth calling out is the specific IPv6-only SSID for users that want to try out a pure IPv6 Internet. At this point it means that you don’t have a lot of web sites to visit since many of the sites that participated in World IPv6 Day last year took down their v6 implementations after the test. However, with the upcoming IPv6 World Launch on June 6, 2012, anyone who wants to stay on the IPv6 Internet should have a lot more destinations, including Facebook, Cisco, and Yahoo. We’re planning to deploy the same Wi-Fi implementation at CiscoLive! 2012 in San Diego June 10-14.

Look for more news from the v6 World Congress here in SP360 this week!

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