draft-ietf-v6ops-3gpp-analysis-11.txt   draft-ietf-v6ops-3gpp-analysis-12.txt 
Internet Draft J. Wiljakka (ed.) This Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-v6ops-3gpp-analysis-11.txt, was published as an Informational RFC, RFC 4215
Document: draft-ietf-v6ops-3gpp-analysis-11.txt Nokia (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4215.txt), on 2005-10-18.
Expires: April 2005
October 2004
Analysis on IPv6 Transition in 3GPP Networks
Status of this Memo
By submitting this Internet-Draft, I certify that any applicable
patent or other IPR claims of which I am aware have been disclosed,
and any of which I become aware will be disclosed, in accordance
with RFC 3668.
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This document analyzes the transition to IPv6 in Third Generation
Partnership Project (3GPP) packet networks. These networks are
based on General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology, and the
radio network architecture is based on Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM), or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
(UMTS) / Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology.
The focus is on analyzing different transition scenarios,
applicable transition mechanisms and finding solutions for those
transition scenarios. In these scenarios, the User Equipment (UE)
connects to other nodes, e.g. in the Internet, and IPv6/IPv4
transition mechanisms are needed.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction..................................................2
1.1 Scope of this Document....................................3
1.2 Abbreviations.............................................4
1.3 Terminology...............................................4
2. Transition Mechanisms and DNS Guidelines......................5
2.1 Dual Stack................................................5
2.2 Tunneling.................................................5
2.3 Protocol Translators......................................6
2.4 DNS Guidelines for IPv4/IPv6 Transition...................6
3. GPRS Transition Scenarios.....................................6
3.1 Dual Stack UE Connecting to IPv4 and IPv6 Nodes...........7
3.2 IPv6 UE Connecting to an IPv6 Node through an IPv4 Network
3.3 IPv4 UE Connecting to an IPv4 Node through an IPv6 Network.
3.4 IPv6 UE Connecting to an IPv4 Node.......................10
3.5 IPv4 UE Connecting to an IPv6 Node.......................11
4. IMS Transition Scenarios.....................................12
4.1 UE Connecting to a Node in an IPv4 Network through IMS...12
4.2 Two IPv6 IMS Connected via an IPv4 Network...............14
5. About 3GPP UE IPv4/IPv6 Configuration........................14
6. Summary and Recommendations..................................15
7. Security Considerations......................................15
8. References...................................................17
8.1 Normative................................................17
8.2 Informative..............................................17
9. Contributors.................................................19
10. Authors and Acknowledgements................................19
11. Editor's Contact Information................................20
12. Intellectual Property Statement.............................20
13. Copyright...................................................21
Appendix A...................................................21
1. Introduction
This document describes and analyzes the process of transition to
IPv6 in Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) General Packet
Radio Service (GPRS) packet networks, in which the radio network
architecture is based on Global System for Mobile Communications
(GSM), or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) /
Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology.
This document analyzes the transition scenarios that may come up in
the deployment phase of IPv6 in 3GPP packet data networks.
The 3GPP network architecture is described in [RFC3314], and
relevant transition scenarios are documented in [RFC3574]. The
reader of this specification should be familiar with the material
presented in these documents.
The scenarios analyzed in this document are divided into two
categories: general-purpose packet service scenarios, referred to
as GPRS scenarios in this document, and IP Multimedia Subsystem
(IMS) scenarios, which include Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
GPRS scenarios are the following:
- Dual Stack UE connecting to IPv4 and IPv6 nodes
- IPv6 UE connecting to an IPv6 node through an IPv4 network
- IPv4 UE connecting to an IPv4 node through an IPv6 network
- IPv6 UE connecting to an IPv4 node
- IPv4 UE connecting to an IPv6 node
IMS scenarios are the following:
- UE connecting to a node in an IPv4 network through IMS
- Two IPv6 IMS connected via an IPv4 network
The focus is on analyzing different transition scenarios,
applicable transition mechanisms and finding solutions for those
transition scenarios. In the scenarios, the User Equipment (UE)
connects to nodes in other networks, e.g. in the Internet and
IPv6/IPv4 transition mechanisms are needed.
1.1 Scope of this Document
The scope of this document is to analyze the possible transition
scenarios in the 3GPP defined GPRS network where a UE connects to,
or is contacted from, another node on the Internet. The document
covers scenarios with and without the use of the SIP-based IP
Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS). This document does not
focus on radio interface-specific issues; both 3GPP Second and
Third Generation radio network architectures (GSM, EDGE and
UMTS/WCDMA) will be covered by this analysis.
The 3GPP2 architecture is similar to 3GPP in many ways, but differs
in enough details that this document does not include these
variations in its analysis.
The transition mechanisms specified by the IETF Ngtrans and v6ops
Working Groups shall be used. This memo shall not specify any new
transition mechanisms, but only documents the need for new ones (if
1.2 Abbreviations
2G Second Generation Mobile Telecommunications, for
example GSM and GPRS technologies.
3G Third Generation Mobile Telecommunications, for example
UMTS technology.
3GPP Third Generation Partnership Project
ALG Application Level Gateway
APN Access Point Name. The APN is a logical name referring
to a GGSN and an external network.
CSCF Call Session Control Function (in 3GPP Release 5 IMS)
DNS Domain Name System
GGSN Gateway GPRS Support Node (default router for 3GPP
User Equipment)
GPRS General Packet Radio Service
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications
HLR Home Location Register
IMS IP Multimedia (Core Network) Subsystem, 3GPP Release 5
IPv6-only part of the network
ISP Internet Service Provider
NAT Network Address Translator
NAPT-PT Network Address Port Translation - Protocol Translation
NAT-PT Network Address Translation - Protocol Translation
PCO-IE Protocol Configuration Options Information Element
PDP Packet Data Protocol
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol
SGSN Serving GPRS Support Node
SIIT Stateless IP/ICMP Translation Algorithm
SIP Session Initiation Protocol
UE User Equipment, for example a UMTS mobile handset
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
WCDMA Wideband Code Division Multiple Access
1.3 Terminology
Some terms used in 3GPP transition scenarios and analysis documents
are briefly defined here.
Dual Stack UE Dual Stack UE is a 3GPP mobile handset having both
IPv4 and IPv6 stacks. It is capable of activating
both IPv4 and IPv6 Packet Data Protocol (PDP)
contexts. Dual stack UE may be capable of tunneling.
IPv6 UE IPv6 UE is an IPv6-only 3GPP mobile handset. It is
only capable of activating IPv6 PDP contexts.
IPv4 UE IPv4 UE is an IPv4-only 3GPP mobile handset. It is
only capable of activating IPv4 PDP contexts.
IPv4 node IPv4 node is here defined to be IPv4 capable node
the UE is communicating with. The IPv4 node can
be, for example, an application server or another
IPv6 node IPv6 node is here defined to be IPv6 capable node
the UE is communicating with. The IPv6 node can
be, for example, an application server or another
PDP Context Packet Data Protocol (PDP) Context is a connection
between the UE and the GGSN, over which the packets
are transferred. There are currently three PDP
Types: IPv4, IPv6 and PPP.
2. Transition Mechanisms and DNS Guidelines
This chapter briefly introduces these IETF IPv4/IPv6 transition
- dual IPv4/IPv6 stack [RFC2893-bis]
- tunneling [RFC2893-bis]
- protocol translators [RFC 2766], [RFC2765]
In addition, DNS recommendations are given. The applicability of
different transition mechanisms to 3GPP networks is discussed in
chapters 3 and 4.
2.1 Dual Stack
The dual IPv4/IPv6 stack is specified in [RFC2893-bis]. If we
consider the 3GPP GPRS core network, dual stack implementation in
the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) enables support for IPv4 and
IPv6 PDP contexts. UEs with dual stack and public (global) IP
addresses can typically access both IPv4 and IPv6 services without
additional translators in the network. However, it is good to
remember that private IPv4 addresses and NATs have been used and
will be used in mobile networks. Public/global IP addresses are
also needed for peer-to-peer services: the node needs a
public/global IP address that is visible to other nodes.
2.2 Tunneling
Tunneling is a transition mechanism that requires dual IPv4/IPv6
stack functionality in the encapsulating and decapsulating nodes.
Basic tunneling alternatives are IPv6-in-IPv4 and IPv4-in-IPv6.
Tunneling can be static or dynamic. Static (configured) tunnels are
fixed IPv6 links over IPv4, and they are specified in [RFC2893-
bis]. Dynamic (automatic) tunnels are virtual IPv6 links over IPv4
where the tunnel endpoints are not configured, i.e. the links are
created dynamically.
2.3 Protocol Translators
A translator can be defined as an intermediate component between a
native IPv4 node and a native IPv6 node to enable direct
communication between them without requiring any modifications to
the end nodes.
Header conversion is a translation mechanism. In header conversion,
IPv6 packet headers are converted to IPv4 packet headers, or vice
versa, and checksums are adjusted or recalculated if necessary.
NAT-PT (Network Address Translator / Protocol Translator) [RFC2766]
using Stateless IP/ICMP Translation [RFC2765] is an example of such
a mechanism.
Translators may be needed in some cases when the communicating
nodes do not share the same IP version; in others, it may be
possible to avoid such communication altogether. Translation can
take place at the network layer (using NAT-like techniques), the
transport layer (using a TCP/UDP proxy) or the application layer
(using application relays).
2.4 DNS Guidelines for IPv4/IPv6 Transition
To avoid the DNS name space from fragmenting into parts where some
parts of DNS are only visible using IPv4 (or IPv6) transport, the
recommendation (as of this writing) is to always keep at least one
authoritative server IPv4-enabled, and to ensure that recursive DNS
servers support IPv4. See DNS IPv6 transport guidelines [RFC3901]
for more information.
3. GPRS Transition Scenarios
This section discusses the scenarios that might occur when a GPRS
UE contacts services or other nodes, e.g. a web server in the
The following scenarios described by [RFC3574] are analyzed here.
In all of the scenarios, the UE is part of a network where there is
at least one router of the same IP version, i.e. the GGSN, and the
UE is connecting to a node in a different network.
1) Dual Stack UE connecting to IPv4 and IPv6 nodes
2) IPv6 UE connecting to an IPv6 node through an IPv4 network
3) IPv4 UE connecting to an IPv4 node through an IPv6 network
4) IPv6 UE connecting to an IPv4 node
5) IPv4 UE connecting to an IPv6 node
3.1 Dual Stack UE Connecting to IPv4 and IPv6 Nodes
In this scenario, the dual stack UE is capable of communicating
with both IPv4 and IPv6 nodes.
It is recommended to activate an IPv6 PDP context when
communicating with an IPv6 peer node and an IPv4 PDP context when
communicating with an IPv4 peer node. If the 3GPP network supports
both IPv4 and IPv6 PDP contexts, the UE activates the appropriate
PDP context depending on the type of application it has started or
depending on the address of the peer host it needs to communicate
with. The authors leave the PDP context activation policy to be
decided by UE implementers, application developers and operators.
One discussed possibility is to activate both IPv4 and IPv6 types
of PDP contexts in advance, because activation of a PDP context
usually takes some time. However, that probably isn't good usage of
network resources. Generally speaking, IPv6 PDP contexts should be
preferred even if that meant IPv6-in-IPv4 tunneling would be needed
in the network (see section 3.2 for more details). Note that this
is transparent to the UE.
Although the UE is dual-stack, the UE may find itself attached to a
3GPP network in which the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN), the
GGSN, and the Home Location Register (HLR) support IPv4 PDP
contexts, but do not support IPv6 PDP contexts. This may happen in
early phases of IPv6 deployment, or because the UE has "roamed"
from a 3GPP network that supports IPv6 to one that does not. If the
3GPP network does not support IPv6 PDP contexts, and an application
on the UE needs to communicate with an IPv6(-only) node, the UE may
activate an IPv4 PDP context and encapsulate IPv6 packets in IPv4
packets using a tunneling mechanism.
The tunneling mechanism may require public IPv4 addresses, but
there are tunneling mechanisms and deployment scenarios in which
private IPv4 addresses may be used; for instance, if the tunnel
endpoints are in the same private domain, or the tunneling
mechanism works through IPv4 NAT.
One deployment scenario uses a laptop computer and a 3GPP UE as a
modem. IPv6 packets are encapsulated in IPv4 packets in the laptop
computer and an IPv4 PDP context is activated. The tunneling
mechanism depends on the laptop computerĘs support of tunneling
mechanisms. Another deployment scenario is performing IPv6-in-IPv4
tunneling in the UE itself and activating an IPv4 PDP context.
Closer details for an applicable tunneling mechanism are not
analyzed in this document. However, a simple host-to-router
(automatic) tunneling mechanism can be a good fit. There is not yet
consensus on the right approach, and proposed mechanisms so far
include [ISATAP] and [STEP]. Especially ISATAP has had some support
in the wg. Goals for 3GPP zero-configuration tunneling are
documented in [zeroconf].
This document strongly recommends the 3GPP operators to deploy
basic IPv6 support in their GPRS networks. That makes it possible
to lessen the transition effects in the UEs.
As a general guideline, IPv6 communication is preferred to IPv4
communication going through IPv4 NATs to the same dual stack peer
Public IPv4 addresses are often a scarce resource for the operator
and usually it is not possible for a UE to have a public IPv4
address (continuously) allocated for its use. Use of private IPv4
addresses means use of NATs when communicating with a peer node
outside the operator's network. In large networks, NAT systems can
become very complex, expensive and difficult to maintain.
3.2 IPv6 UE Connecting to an IPv6 Node through an IPv4 Network
The best solution for this scenario is obtained with tunneling,
i.e. IPv6-in-IPv4 tunneling is a requirement. An IPv6 PDP context
is activated between the UE and the GGSN. Tunneling is handled in
the network, because IPv6 UE does not have the dual stack
functionality needed for tunneling. The encapsulating node can be
the GGSN, the edge router between the border of the operator's IPv6
network and the public Internet, or any other dual stack node
within the operator's IP network. The encapsulation (uplink) and
decapsulation (downlink) can be handled by the same network
element. Typically the tunneling handled by the network elements is
transparent to the UEs and IP traffic looks like native IPv6
traffic to them. For the applications and transport protocols,
tunneling enables end-to-end IPv6 connectivity.
IPv6-in-IPv4 tunnels between IPv6 islands can be either static or
dynamic. The selection of the type of tunneling mechanism is a
policy decision for the operator / ISP deployment scenario and only
generic recommendations can be given in this document.
The following subsections are focused on the usage of different
tunneling mechanisms when the peer node is in the operator's
network or outside the operator's network. The authors note that
where the actual 3GPP network ends and which parts of the network
belong to the ISP(s) also depends on the deployment scenario. The
authors are not commenting how many ISP functions the 3GPP operator
should perform. However, many 3GPP operators are ISPs of some sort
themselves. ISP networks' transition to IPv6 is analyzed in [ISP-
3.2.1 Tunneling inside the 3GPP Operator's Network
GPRS operators today have typically deployed IPv4 backbone
networks. IPv6 backbones can be considered quite rare in the first
phases of the transition.
In initial IPv6 deployment, where a small number of IPv6-in-IPv4
tunnels are required to connect the IPv6 islands over the 3GPP
operator's IPv4 network, manually configured tunnels can be used.
In a 3GPP network, one IPv6 island can contain the GGSN while
another island can contain the operator's IPv6 application servers.
However, manually configured tunnels can be an administrative
burden when the number of islands and therefore tunnels rises. In
that case, upgrading parts of the backbone to dual stack may be the
simplest choice. The administrative burden could also be mitigated
by using automated management tools.
Connection redundancy should also be noted as an important
requirement in 3GPP networks. Static tunnels alone don't provide a
routing recovery solution for all scenarios where an IPv6 route
goes down. However, they can provide an adequate solution depending
on the design of the network and the presence of other router
redundancy mechanisms, such as the use of IPv6 routing protocols.
3.2.2 Tunneling outside the 3GPP Operator's Network
This subsection includes the case in which the peer node is outside
the operator's network. In that case, IPv6-in-IPv4 tunneling can be
necessary to obtain IPv6 connectivity and reach other IPv6 nodes.
In general, configured tunneling can be recommended.
Tunnel starting point can be in the operator's network depending on
how far the 3GPP operator has come in implementing IPv6. If the
3GPP operator has not deployed IPv6 in its backbone, the
encapsulating node can be the GGSN. If the 3GPP operator has
deployed IPv6 in its backbone but the upstream ISP does not provide
IPv6 connectivity, the encapsulating node could be the 3GPP
operator's border router.
The case is pretty straightforward if the upstream ISP provides
IPv6 connectivity to the Internet and the operator's backbone
network supports IPv6. Then the 3GPP operator does not have to
configure any tunnels, since the upstream ISP will take care of
routing IPv6 packets. If the upstream ISP does not provide IPv6
connectivity, an IPv6-in-IPv4 tunnel should be configured e.g. from
the border router to a dual stack border gateway operated by
another ISP which is offering IPv6 connectivity.
3.3 IPv4 UE Connecting to an IPv4 Node through an IPv6 Network
3GPP networks are expected to support both IPv4 and IPv6 for a long
time, on the UE-GGSN link and between the GGSN and external
networks. For this scenario, it is useful to split the end-to-end
IPv4 UE to IPv4 node communication into UE-to-GGSN and GGSN-to-
v4NODE. This allows an IPv4-only UE to use an IPv4 link (an IPv4
PDP context) to connect to the GGSN without communicating over an
IPv6 network.
Regarding the GGSN-to-v4NODE communication, typically the transport
network between the GGSN and external networks will support only
IPv4 in the early stages and migrate to dual stack, since these
networks are already deployed. Therefore it is not envisaged that
tunneling of IPv4-in-IPv6 will be required from the GGSN to
external IPv4 networks either. In the longer run, 3GPP operators
may choose to phase out IPv4 UEs and the IPv4 transport network.
This would leave only IPv6 UEs.
Therefore, overall, the transition scenario involving an IPv4 UE
communicating with an IPv4 peer through an IPv6 network is not
considered very likely in 3GPP networks.
3.4 IPv6 UE Connecting to an IPv4 Node
Generally speaking, IPv6-only UEs may be easier to manage, but that
would require all services to be used over IPv6, and the universal
deployment of IPv6 probably isnĘt realistic in the near future.
Dual stack implementation requires management of both IPv4 and IPv6
networks and one approach is that "legacy" applications keep using
IPv4 for the foreseeable future and new applications requiring end-
to-end connectivity (for example, peer-to-peer services) use IPv6.
As a general guideline, IPv6-only UEs are not recommended in the
early phases of transition until the IPv6 deployment has become so
prevalent that direct communication with IPv4(-only) nodes will be
the exception, and not the rule. It is assumed that IPv4 will
remain useful for quite a long time, so in general, dual-stack
implementation in the UE can be recommended. This recommendation
naturally includes manufacturing dual-stack UEs instead of IPv4-
only UEs.
However, if there is a need to connect to an IPv4(-only) node from
an IPv6-only UE, it is recommended to use specific translation and
proxying techniques; generic IP protocol translation is not
recommended. There are three main ways for IPv6(-only) nodes to
communicate with IPv4(-only) nodes (excluding avoiding such
communication in the first place):
1. the use of generic-purpose translator (e.g. NAT-PT [RFC2766])
in the local network (not recommended as a general solution),
2. the use of specific-purpose protocol relays (e.g., IPv6<->IPv4
TCP relay configured for a couple of ports only [RFC3142]) or
application proxies (e.g., HTTP proxy, SMTP relay) in the
local network, or
3. the use of specific-purpose mechanisms (as described above in
2) in the foreign network; these are indistinguishable from
the IPv6-enabled services from the IPv6 UE's perspective, and
not discussed further here.
For many applications, application proxies can be appropriate (e.g.
HTTP proxies, SMTP relays, etc.). Such application proxies will not
be transparent to the UE. Hence, a flexible mechanism with minimal
manual intervention should be used to configure these proxies on
IPv6 UEs. Application proxies can be placed, for example, on the
GGSN external interface ("Gi"), or inside the service network.
The authors note that [NATPTappl] discusses the applicability of
NAT-PT and [NATPTdep] discusses the reasons to deprecate NAT-PT.
The problems related to NAT-PT usage in 3GPP networks are
documented in appendix A.
3.5 IPv4 UE Connecting to an IPv6 Node
The legacy IPv4 nodes are typically nodes that support the
applications that are popular today in the IPv4 Internet: mostly e-
mail and web-browsing. These applications will, of course, be
supported in the future IPv6 Internet. However, the legacy IPv4 UEs
are not going to be updated to support future applications. As
these applications are designed for IPv6, and to use the advantages
of newer platforms, the legacy IPv4 nodes will not be able to take
advantage of them. Thus, they will continue to support legacy
Taking the above into account, the traffic to and from the legacy
IPv4 UE is restricted to a few applications. These applications
already mostly rely on proxies or local servers to communicate
between private address space networks and the Internet. The same
methods and technology can be used for IPv4 to IPv6 transition.
4. IMS Transition Scenarios
As IMS is exclusively IPv6, the number of possible transition
scenarios is reduced dramatically. The possible IMS scenarios are
listed below and analyzed in sections 4.1 and 4.2.
1) UE connecting to a node in an IPv4 network through IMS
2) Two IPv6 IMS connected via an IPv4 network
For DNS recommendations, we refer to section 2.4. As DNS traffic is
not directly related to the IMS functionality, the recommendations
are not in contradiction with the IPv6-only nature of the IMS.
4.1 UE Connecting to a Node in an IPv4 Network through IMS
This scenario occurs when an (IPv6) IMS UE connects to a node in
the IPv4 Internet through the IMS, or vice versa. This happens when
the other node is a part of a different system than 3GPP, e.g. a
fixed PC, with only IPv4 capabilities.
Over time, users will upgrade the legacy IPv4 nodes to dual-stack,
often by replacing the entire node, eliminating this particular
problem in that specific deployment.
Still, it is difficult to estimate how many non-upgradeable legacy
IPv4 nodes need to communicate with the IMS UEs. It is assumed that
the solution described here is used for limited cases, in which
communications with a small number of legacy IPv4 SIP equipment are
As the IMS is exclusively IPv6 [3GPP 23.221], for many of the
applications in the IMS, some kind of translators may need to
be used in the communication between the IPv6 IMS and the legacy
IPv4 hosts in cases where these legacy IPv4 hosts cannot be
upgraded to support IPv6.
This section gives a brief analysis of the IMS interworking issues,
and presents a high level view of SIP within the IMS. The authors
recommend that a detailed solution for the general SIP/SDP/media
IPv4/IPv6 transition problem will be specified as soon as possible
as a task within the SIP related WGs in the IETF.
The issue of the IPv4/IPv6 interworking in SIP is somewhat more
challenging than many other protocols. The control (or signaling)
and user (or data) traffic are separated in SIP calls, and thus,
the IMS, the transition of IMS traffic from IPv6 to IPv4 must be
handled at two levels:
1. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [RFC3261], and Session
Description Protocol (SDP) [RFC2327] [RFC3266] (Mm-interface)
2. the user data traffic (Mb-interface)
In addition, SIP carries an SDP body containing the addressing and
other parameters for establishing the user data traffic (the
media). Hence, the two levels of interworking cannot be made
Figure 1 shows an example setup for IPv4 and IPv6 interworking in
IMS. The "Interworking Unit" comprises two internal elements a
dual-stack SIP server and a transition gateway (TrGW) for the media
traffic. These two elements are interconnected for synchronizing
the interworking of the SIP signaling and the media traffic.
+-------------------------------+ +------------+
| +------+ | | +--------+ |
| |S-CSCF|---| |SIP Serv| |\
| | +------+ | | +--------+ | \ --------
+-|+ | / | | | | | |
| | | +------+ +------+ | | + | -| |-
| |-|-|P-CSCF|--------|I-CSCF| | | | | | () |
| | +------+ +------+ | |+----------+| / ------
| |-----------------------------------|| TrGW ||/
+--+ | IPv6 | |+----------+| IPv4
UE | | |Interworking|
| IP Multimedia CN Subsystem | |Unit |
+-------------------------------+ +------------+
Figure 1: UE using IMS to contact a legacy phone
Currently the only way to make the IPv4-IPv6 interworking to work
in the protocol level, is to have the SIP server reserve IP address
and port from the TrGW both for IPv4 and IPv6. The SIP server then
rewrites the SDP in the SIP signaling to insert the transition
gateway in the middle of the media flow between the two end-points.
However, this approach has some drawbacks. The biggest drawback is
that the rewriting of SDP in the SIP signaling prevents securing
the SDP payload between the two end-points. Furthermore, this
solution does not use some of newer features of SDP ū such as
carrying multiple alternative addresses in the SDP.
This analysis clearly shows that a new solution for IPv4-IPv6
interworking in SIP networks is needed. It is recommended that the
SIP related WGs start working on a solution to overcome the
drawbacks of the current solution.
4.2 Two IPv6 IMS Connected via an IPv4 Network
At the early stages of IMS deployment, there may be cases where two
IMS islands are separated by an IPv4 network such as the legacy
Internet. Here both the UEs and the IMS islands are IPv6-only.
However, the IPv6 islands are not connected natively with IPv6.
In this scenario, the end-to-end SIP connections are based on IPv6.
The only issue is to make connection between two IPv6-only IMS
islands over IPv4 network. This scenario is closely related to GPRS
scenario represented in section 3.2. and similar tunneling
solutions are applicable also in this scenario.
5. About 3GPP UE IPv4/IPv6 Configuration
This informative section aims to give a brief overview on the
configuration needed in the UE in order to access IP based
services. There can also be other application specific settings in
the UE that are not described here.
UE configuration is required in order to access IPv6 or IPv4 based
services. The GGSN Access Point has to be defined when using, for
example, the web browsing application. One possibility is to use
over the air configuration [OMA-CP] to configure the GPRS settings.
The user can, for example, visit the operator WWW page and
subscribe the GPRS Access Point settings to his/her UE and receive
the settings via Short Message Service (SMS). After the user has
accepted the settings and a PDP context has been activated, he/she
can start browsing. The Access Point settings can also be typed in
manually or be pre-configured by the operator or the UE
DNS server addresses typically also need to be configured in the
UE. In the case of IPv4 type PDP context, the (IPv4) DNS server
addresses can be received in the PDP context activation (a control
plane mechanism). A similar mechanism is also available for IPv6:
so-called Protocol Configuration Options Information Element (PCO-
IE) specified by the 3GPP [3GPP-24.008]. It is also possible to use
[RFC3736] (or [RFC3315]) and [RFC3646] for receiving DNS server
addresses. Active IETF work on DNS discovery mechanisms is ongoing
and might result in other mechanisms becoming available over time.
The DNS server addresses can also be received over the air (using
SMS) [OMA-CP], or typed in manually in the UE.
When accessing IMS services, the UE needs to know the Proxy-Call
Session Control Function (P-CSCF) IPv6 address. Either a 3GPP-
specific PCO-IE mechanism or a DHCPv6-based mechanism ([RFC3736]
and [RFC3319]) can be used. Manual configuration or configuration
over the air is also possible. IMS subscriber authentication and
registration to the IMS and SIP integrity protection are not
discussed here.
6. Summary and Recommendations
This document has analyzed five GPRS and two IMS IPv6 transition
scenarios. Numerous 3GPP networks are using private IPv4 addresses
today, and introducing IPv6 is an important thing. The two first
GPRS scenarios and both IMS scenarios are seen the most relevant.
The authors summarize some main recommendations here:
- Dual-stack UEs are recommended instead of IPv4-only or IPv6-
only UEs. It is important to take care that applications in
the UEs support IPv6. In other words, applications should be
IP version-independent. IPv6-only UEs can become feasible when
IPv6 is widely deployed in the networks, and most services
work on IPv6.
- It is recommended to activate an IPv6 PDP context when
communicating with an IPv6 peer node and an IPv4 PDP context
when communicating with an IPv4 peer node.
- IPv6 communication is preferred to IPv4 communication going
through IPv4 NATs to the same dual stack peer node.
- This document strongly recommends the 3GPP operators to deploy
basic IPv6 support in their GPRS networks as soon as possible.
That makes it possible to lessen the transition effects in the
- A tunneling mechanism in the UE may be needed during the early
phases of the IPv6 transition process. A lightweight,
automatic tunneling mechanism should be standardized in the
IETF. See [zeroconf] for more details.
- Tunneling mechanisms can be used in 3GPP networks, and only
generic recommendations are given in this document. More
details can be found, for example, in [ISP-sa].
- We recommend that a detailed solution for the general
SIP/SDP/media IPv4/IPv6 transition problem will be specified
as soon as possible as a task within the SIP related WGs in
the IETF.
7. Security Considerations
Deploying IPv6 has some generic security considerations one should
be aware of [V6SEC]; however, these are not specific to 3GPP
transition, and are therefore out of the scope of this memo.
This memo recommends the use of a relatively small number of
techniques. Each technique has its own security considerations,
- native upstream access or tunneling by the 3GPP network
- use of routing protocols to ensure redundancy,
- use of locally-deployed specific-purpose protocol relays and
application proxies to reach IPv4(-only) nodes from IPv6-only
UEs, or
- a specific mechanism for SIP signalling and media translation
The threats of configured tunneling are described in [RFC2893-bis].
Attacks against routing protocols are described in the respective
documents and in general in [ROUTESEC]. Threats related to protocol
relays have been described in [RFC3142]. The security properties of
SIP internetworking are to be specified when the mechanism is
In particular, this memo does not recommend the following technique
which has security issues, not further analyzed here:
- NAT-PT or other translator as a general-purpose transition
8. References
8.1 Normative
[RFC2663] Srisuresh, P., Holdrege, M.: IP Network Address
Translator (NAT) Terminology and Considerations, August 1999.
[RFC2765] Nordmark, E.: Stateless IP/ICMP Translation Algorithm
(SIIT), February 2000.
[RFC2766] Tsirtsis, G., Srisuresh, P.: Network Address Translation
- Protocol Translation (NAT-PT), February 2000.
[RFC3261] Rosenberg, J., et al.: SIP: Session Initiation Protocol,
June 2002.
[RFC3574] Soininen, J. (editor): Transition Scenarios for 3GPP
Networks, August 2003.
[RFC3667] Bradner, S.: IETF Rights in Contributions, February 2004.
[RFC3668] Bradner, S.: Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
Technology, February 2004.
[RFC2893-bis] Nordmark, E. and Gilligan, R. E.: "Basic Transition
Mechanisms for IPv6 Hosts and Routers", September 2004, draft-ietf-
v6ops-mech-v2-06.txt, work in progress.
[3GPP-23.060] 3GPP TS 23.060 V5.4.0, "General Packet Radio Service
(GPRS); Service description; Stage 2 (Release 5)", December 2002.
[3GPP 23.221] 3GPP TS 23.221 V5.7.0, "Architectural requirements
(Release 5)", December 2002.
[3GPP-23.228] 3GPP TS 23.228 V5.7.0, "IP Multimedia Subsystem
(IMS); Stage 2 (Release 5)", December 2002.
[3GPP 24.228] 3GPP TS 24.228 V5.3.0, "Signalling flows for the IP
multimedia call control based on SIP and SDP; Stage 3 (Release 5)",
December 2002.
[3GPP 24.229] 3GPP TS 24.229 V5.3.0, "IP Multimedia Call Control
Protocol based on SIP and SDP; Stage 3 (Release 5)", December 2002.
8.2 Informative
[RFC2327] Handley, M., Jacobson, V.: SDP: Session Description
Protocol, April 1998.
[RFC3142] Hagino, J., Yamamoto, K.: An IPv6-to-IPv4 Transport Relay
Translator, June 2001.
[RFC3266] Olson, S., Camarillo, G., Roach, A. B.: Support for IPv6
in Session Description Protocol (SDP), June 2002.
[RFC3314] Wasserman, M. (editor): Recommendations for IPv6 in 3GPP
Standards, September 2002.
[RFC3315] Droms, R. et al.: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for
IPv6 (DHCPv6), July 2003.
[RFC3319] Schulzrinne, H., Volz, B.: Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol (DHCPv6) Options for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
Servers, July 2003.
[RFC3646] Droms, R. (ed.): DNS Configuration options for DHCPv6,
December 2003.
[RFC3736] Droms, R.: Stateless Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP) Service for IPv6, April 2004.
[RFC3901] Durand, A. and Ihren, J.: DNS IPv6 Transport Operational
Guidelines, September 2004.
[ISATAP] Templin, F., Gleeson, T., Talwar, M. and Thaler, D.:
"Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP)", April
2004, draft-ietf-ngtrans-isatap-22.txt, work in progress.
[ISP-sa] Lind, M., Ksinant, V., Park, D. and Baudot, A.: "Scenarios
and Analysis for Introducing IPv6 into ISP Networks", June 2004,
draft-ietf-v6ops-isp-scenarios-analysis-03.txt, work in progress.
[NATPTappl] Satapati, S., Sivakumar, S., Barany, P., Okazaki, S.
and Wang, H.: "NAT-PT Applicability", October 2003, draft-satapati-
v6ops-natpt-applicability-00.txt, work in progress, the draft has
[NATPTdep] Aoun, C. and Davies, E.: "Reasons to Deprecate NAT-PT",
September 2004, draft-aoun-v6ops-natpt-deprecate-00.txt, work in
[ROUTESEC] Barbir, A., Murphy, S. and Yang, Y.: "Generic Threats to
Routing Protocols", April 2004, draft-ietf-rpsec-routing-threats-
06.txt, work in progress.
[STEP] Savola, P.: "Simple IPv6-in-IPv4 Tunnel Establishment
Procedure (STEP)", January 2004, draft-savola-v6ops-conftun-setup-
02.txt, work in progress, the draft has expired.
[V6SEC] Savola, P.: "IPv6 Transition/Co-existence Security
Considerations", February 2004, draft-savola-v6ops-security-
overview-02.txt, work in progress, the draft has expired.
[zeroconf] Nielsen, K., Morelli, M., Palet, J., Soininen, J. and
Wiljakka, J.: "Goals for Zero-Configuration Tunneling in 3GPP",
October 2004, draft-nielsen-v6ops-3GPP-zeroconf-goals-00.txt, work
in progress.
[3GPP-24.008] 3GPP TS 24.008 V5.8.0, "Mobile radio interface Layer
3 specification; Core network protocols; Stage 3 (Release 5)", June
[OMA-CP] OMA Client Provisioning: Provisioning Architecture
Overview Version 1.1, OMA-WAP-ProvArch-v1_1-20021112-C, Open Mobile
Alliance, 12-Nov-2002.
9. Contributors
Pekka Savola has contributed both text and his IPv6 experience to
this document. He has provided a large number of helpful comments
on the v6ops mailing list. Allison Mankin has contributed text for
IMS Scenario 1 (section 4.1).
10. Authors and Acknowledgements
This document is written by:
Alain Durand, Sun Microsystems
Karim El-Malki, Ericsson Radio Systems
Niall Richard Murphy, Enigma Consulting Limited
Hugh Shieh, AT&T Wireless
Jonne Soininen, Nokia
Hesham Soliman, Flarion
Margaret Wasserman, ThingMagic
Juha Wiljakka, Nokia
The authors would like to give special thanks to Spencer Dawkins
for proofreading.
The authors would like to thank Heikki Almay, Gabor Bajko, Ajay
Jain, Jarkko Jouppi, David Kessens, Ivan Laloux, Allison Mankin,
Jasminko Mulahusic, Janne Rinne, Andreas Schmid, Pedro Serna, Fred
Templin, Anand Thakur and Rod Van Meter for their valuable input.
11. Editor's Contact Information
Comments or questions regarding this document should be sent to the
v6ops mailing list or directly to the document editor:
Juha Wiljakka
Visiokatu 3 Phone: +358 7180 48372
FIN-33720 TAMPERE, Finland Email: juha.wiljakka@nokia.com
12. Intellectual Property Statement
The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed
to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described
in this document or the extent to which any license under such
rights might or might not be available; nor does it represent that
it has made any independent effort to identify any such rights.
Information on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC
documents can be found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.
Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use
of such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository
at http://www.ietf.org/ipr.
The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at ietf-
13. Copyright
The following copyright notice is copied from [RFC3667], Section
5.4. It describes the applicable copyright for this document.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). This document is subject
to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.
This document and the information contained herein are provided on
Appendix A - On the Use of Generic Translators in the 3GPP Networks
This appendix lists mainly 3GPP-specific arguments about generic
translators, even though the use of generic translators is
Due to the significant lack of IPv4 addresses in some domains, port
multiplexing is likely to be a necessary feature for translators
(i.e. NAPT-PT). If NAPT-PT is used, it needs to be placed on the
GGSN external (Gi) interface, typically separate from the GGSN.
NAPT-PT can be installed, for example, on the edge of the
operator's network and the public Internet. NAPT-PT will intercept
DNS requests and other applications that include IP addresses in
their payloads, translate the IP header (and payload for some
applications if necessary) and forward packets through its IPv4
NAPT-PT introduces limitations that are expected to be magnified
within the 3GPP architecture. Some of these limitations are listed
below (notice that most of them are also relevant for IPv4 NAT).
[NATPTappl] discusses the applicability of NAT-PT in more detail.
[NATPTdep] discusses the reasons to deprecate NAT-PT.
1. NAPT-PT is a single point of failure for all ongoing
2. There are additional forwarding delays due to further
processing, when compared to normal IP forwarding.
3. There are problems with source address selection due to the
inclusion of a DNS ALG on the same node [NATPT-DNS].
4. NAPT-PT does not work (without application level gateways) for
applications that embed IP addresses in their payload.
5. NAPT-PT breaks DNSSEC.
6. NAPT-PT does not scale very well in large networks.
3GPP networks are expected to handle a very large number of
subscribers on a single GGSN (default router). Each GGSN is
expected to handle hundreds of thousands of connections.
Furthermore, high reliability is expected for 3GPP networks.
Consequently, a single point of failure on the GGSN external
interface would raise concerns on the overall network reliability.
In addition, IPv6 users are expected to use delay-sensitive
applications provided by IMS. Hence, there is a need to minimize
forwarding delays within the IP backbone. Furthermore, due to the
unprecedented number of connections handled by the default routers
(GGSN) in 3GPP networks, a network design that forces traffic to go
through a single node at the edge of the network (typical NAPT-PT
configuration) is not likely to scale. Translation mechanisms
should allow for multiple translators, for load sharing and
redundancy purposes.
To minimize the problems associated with NAPT-PT, the following
actions can be recommended:
1. Separate the DNS ALG from the NAPT-PT node (in the "IPv6 to
IPv4" case).
2. Ensure (if possible) that NAPT-PT does not become a single
point of failure.
3. Allow for load sharing between different translators. That is,
it should be possible for different connections to go through
different translators. Note that load sharing alone does not
prevent NAPT-PT from becoming a single point of failure.
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