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IDC’s Nav Chander Analyzes the Economics of the IPv6 Transition

April 30, 2012 - 0 Comments

Everyone is talking about the transition to IPv6 in the run up to the June 6th launch of the IPv6 Internet. Most of the discussion has focused on the technical details of various approaches – 6rd vs. DS-Lite vs. CGNAT for example. However, what we haven’t seen is an effort made to look at the economic impact of the choice between IPv4 extension vs. IPv6 transition and back it up with some real world data. A few months back we asked telecommunications analyst Nav Chander of IDC (pictured right) to evaluate and publish the results of an economic analysis of the IPv6 options. This is a crucial and timely topic because operators are faced with important decisions about which transition technologies to use, when to implement them, and where in the network.

We’re pleased to report that Nav is finished and is ready to reveal the results of his findings. To keep the scope of his analysis within a reasonable boundary, he initially focused on just one scenario: that of a wireline carrier considering the deployment of a Carrier Grade NAT-only implementation (which basically just extends the life of IPv4 with no IPv6), or migrating to IPv6 with a combination of CGNAT (for short term IPv4 extension) and while new customers were deployed with 6rd.

The results of this study are detailed in a new IDC white paper which examines the costs associated with maintaining and growing current service offerings while dealing with the depletion of public IPv4 address space.  To ensure the validity of this analysis, it was based in part on data with a major North American Tier 1 fixed wireline operator and includes CAPEX cost considerations in the access, aggregation and core networks and discusses important OPEX cost considerations.

This will be the first part of a multi-phase study. Part two of IDC’s analysis will focus on the economics of the IPv6 transition for mobile carriers.

Two of the key findings include:

  • Fixed Wireline Operators can expect up to 69% in savings over 5 years by using IPv6 for new subscribers instead of relying on private IPv4 space and NAT444 exclusively.
  • NAT444 is not a long-term solution to IPv4 address exhaust.  NAT444 should only be used if absolutely necessary due to the long term cost prospects of maintaining a NAT444 network.

Nav will reveal the rest of his results and the basis for his analysis next week at an online seminar hosted on the Cisco Knowledge Network. Registration for this event, which is on Tuesday, May 1 at 11am New York time (GMT-5) can be found here. You’ll also be able to download the full white paper at the same time.

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