T-Mobile is pushing IPv6. Hard.

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T-Mobile USA has launched an IPv6 web site -- http://ipv6.t-mobile.com/. Only the front page (including images and CSS) is reachable over IPv6; most of the links are broken or redirect to the IPv4-only site. Clearly, it's still a work-in-progress. This appears to be a futher development in their IPv6 strategy announced at Google's IPv6 Implementors Conference few weeks ago. (Btw, the conference was quite good; hats off to Erik, Lorenzo, and the rest of the Google team.)

T-Mobile USA makes heavy use of NAT44 and bogon addresses. Going forward, this isn't sustainable. So they've decided that future cellular deployments will be IPv6-only, with NAT64 to access the "legacy" IPv4 Internet (slides | video). Yes, NAT is bad, but this approach is the least-bad of the alternatives. There's still only one layer of NAT, it gets IPv6 on a large number of end nodes, and IPv6-enabled content (Google, Netflix, Facebook, etc) isn't NAT'ed at all. Over time, less traffic should flow through the NAT64 boxes as more content is IPv6-enabled. T-Mobile USA suspects they can run 50% of their cellular data traffic over IPv6 by the end of 2011 (apparently they send a lot of traffic to Google and Facebook).

On a personal note, it was very entertaining to hear Cameron Byrne from T-Mobile USA repeatedly tell content providers, "Our users are going to access your content over IPv6. The only relevant question is 'will we make the AAAA record or will you?' Wouldn't you rather be the one to do it so you have control?" After the fourth or fifth time it sunk in: These folks are serious.

This is an even gutsier move than Verizon. VZ is dual-stacking their LTE network and mandating IPv6 support on all devices. Let's hope T-Mobile is really good at running large-scale NATs.

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» T-Mobile IPv6 Open Trial from Living with IPv6

T-Mobile USA is running an open beta (or "friendly user trial") of their IPv6-over-cellular service. If you're a T-Mobile USA customer, and have the right phone, you should check this out. What's note-worthy about this trial is that it's self-service.... Read More

7 Comments

Nivex said:

...and ipv6.t-mobile.com is gone already :(

Michiel said:

I think this is a great step forward. ISPs have been very lethargic but now T-mobile appears to be the exception. Chapeaux for T-mobile!

Cameorn said:

ipv6.t-mobile.com had a DNS snag, it will be back soon. The real news is IPv6 on Nokia handsets, websites are easy :)

Derek Morr Author Profile Page said:

Cameron, that's good to hear.

Cameron said:

ipv6.t-mobile.com is back. Still working on the CDN to do IPv6.

Cameron said:

FYI, the T-Mobile USA IPv6 beta is open to any T-Mobile USA subscriber with an IPv6 Nokia phone. More info at http://groups.google.com/group/tmoipv6beta

Chuong Pham said:

Hi there,
We at Telstra Wireless in Australia are working towards a production trial with IPv6-only handsets, NAT64 and DNS64 soon. Would you like testing IR with IPv6 with us in the future?

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