Performance Analysis of IPv4 / IPv6 Protocols Over the Third Generation Mobile Network

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Currently, the IPv4 protocol is heavily used by institutions, companies and individuals, but every day there is a higher number of devices connected to the network such as home appliances, mobile phones or tablets.

Each machine or device needs to have its own IP address to communicate with other machines connected to Internet. This implies the need for multiple IP addresses for a single user and the current protocol begins to show some deficiencies due to IPv4 address space exhaustion.

Therefore, for several years experts have been working on an IP protocol update: the IPv6 128-bit version can address up to about 340 quadrillion system devices concurrently. With IPv6, today, every person on the planet could have millions of devices simultaneously connected to the Internet.

The choice of the IP protocol version affects the performance of the UMTS mobile network and the browsers as well. The aim of the project is to measure how the IPv6 protocol performs compared to the previous IPv4 protocol.

It is expected that the IPv6 protocol generates a smaller amount of signalling and less time is required to fully load a web page. We have analysed some KPIs (IP data, signalling, web load time and battery) in lab environment using Smartphones, to observe the behaviour of both, the network and the device.

The main conclusion of the thesis is that IPv6 really behaves as expected and generates savings in signalling, although the IP data generated is larger due to the size of the headers. However, there is still much work as only the most important webpages and the applications with a high level of market penetration operate well over the IPv6 protocol.
Source: KTH
Authors: Abad Camarero, Daniel

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