Snom, one of the leading Business VoIP equipment providers has announced the support of IPv6 technology for their range of IP phones from firmware version 8.5.7 onwards.
IP addresses in the more common format (IPv4) are gradually running out, while the newer version (IPv6) is only just starting to hit the mainstream. In the coming years, the 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses will be unable to service the growing number of internet enabled devices from smartphones, PCs, tablets and, of course business VoIP telephones, therefore expansion to a much larger address space is required.
While the number of IPv4 addresses is limited, there is currently no pressure in the market for VoIP terminal equipment to make the switch over to IPv6, as VoIP equipment is mainly used in private company networks and will rarely require a public IP address. In September 2013, the percentage of users reaching Google services with IPv6 addresses reached only 2%.
Differences between IPv4 and IPv6
IPv4 addresses are made up of four number blocks separated by a decimal point, while IPv6 addresses consist of eight, four digit/letter (a-f) blocks, boosting the number of IP addresses to a huge 340 sextillion. This vast increase means that it will be no longer necessary to distinguish between private and public addresses, allowing each device its own IPv6 address.
Benefits and Drawbacks of IPv6
Some of the main benefits of IPv6 are the large address space, simplification of the rooting and the global accessibility of each address. Additionally, terminal equipment will generate its own IPv6 addresses and are instantly accessible without the need for configuration or a DHCP server.
One disadvantage of IPv6 is the address complexity, which will be prone to copying errors and will be less memorable than IPv4. Security issues within the terminal equipment will also be a big challenge, in particular for firewall providers.