Q. What is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)?

A. Every device connected to the network requires a unique identification ie IP address, Internet Protocol standards are developed as a universal communication language in the Internet world. Today, IPv4 is the foundation for most Internet communications, which uses 32bit addresses, which is capable of supporting 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses. As the number of devices and users with Internet connectivity increases, more IP addresses are required and IPv4 will eventually be exhausted. IPv6 is developed to resolve this issue of shortage of IP addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, and it supports 2128(approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4×1038) addresses.

Q. Is IPv6 compatible with IPv4?

A. IPv6 and IPv4 are two completely separate protocols. IPv6 is not compatible with IPv4, such that IPv4 hosts and routers will not be able to communicate directly with IPv6 end point (and vice versa). However, there are transition technologies that support the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6, such as tunneling IPv6 in IPv4 and dual-stack, which runs IPv4 and IPv6 over the same physical interface.

Q. When is IPv6 going to replace IPv4 eventually?

A. For a long period of time, majority of the organisations are going to continue dealing with a mixture of network with two protocols.

Q. We have sufficient IP address today, is IPv6 still relevant to our business? What are the other reasons for businesses to adopt IPv6?

A. IPv6 is an important part of ensuring continued growth and accessibility of your services to the rest of the Internet and emerging markets in particular. As the Internet progressively becomes a dual IPv4/IPv6 network, ensuring that you are IPv6 enabled will be critical for retaining universal Internet connectivity for your clients, users, subscribers, business partners and suppliers. Indeed, as the difficulty and cost of obtaining IPv4 address space increases, it is inevitable that some sites will only support IPv6. Connectivity with such sites (and customers) will require IPv6.

It is also worth considering what services and devices may need to be supported over the next few years as the remaining IPv4 pool become depleted. Your existing address allocations may be insufficient to support a sudden increase in the number of connected devices per person (as many organisations experienced with the rapid deployment of IP-enabled wireless handheld products and similar devices a few years ago)

Q. Which organisation is in charge of issuing IPv6 address? Does the IPv6 address belong to our company?

A. Just like how you get IPv4 static IP address, Internet Service Providers like SingNet will assign a block of IPv6 addresses for your organisation if you are subscribing to SingNet Internet access service. The IP address however belongs to the Internet Service Provider, and it will be taken back later if organisation switches to another service provider. If your organisation is already a registered member of APNIC, the regional IP registrar, you can apply IPv6 resource directly from them.

Q. How do I enable our website to support IPv6 users?

A. First, you must ensure that your server's Internetwork Operating System is IPv6 compatible. Next, check with your Internet Service Provider if the Internet Connectivity is IPv6 ready, and obtain IPv6 address from them if you do not have any. In addition, you also need to check with existing DNS (domain name server) provider whether they are IPv6 compatible.

Q. How does my organisation transit from IPv4 to IPv6? Can Singtel help us?

A. There are many factors to plan in such transition, which involves networking equipment, operating systems, network infrastructure and connectivity and so on. Singtel's strategy is based on dual-stack approach. We have many years of experience in IT consultation and implementation. We offer professional consulting services to assist enterprise transit smoothly.

Q. Besides the broadband access, will there be any impact for existing IP based applications?

A. Application or service providers that rely on Internet Protocol have their own roadmap for IPv6 adoption, which may not take place at the same time. By transiting the broadband access to IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack platform, your existing IPv4-compatiable services can continue running without any disruption.

Q. Is IPv6 only applicable for Public Internet? My company's private VPN network is also using IPv4 address. How does the transition affect my business?

A. Singtel's IP VPN is a fully managed private IP network solution based on Multi-Protocol Label Switch platform. With this, Singtel is able to assign private IP addresses according to our customers' needs. We have also reserved a pool of IPv4 addresses which is sufficient to support the network growth in the next few years. Hence, customer will not face the issue of exhaustion of public IPv4 address. If customers would like to opt for IPv6 native or dual-stack addressing scheme, we will be able to provide this as our backbone is IPv6 ready.

Q. How do we sign up for IPv6 trial?

A. You can click on the Contact Us banner on the top of the right panel.

Q. Will my current Internet access be affected?

A. No, the existing IPv4 service and IPv4 network will continue to work as per normal.

Q. Do I need a new router for IPv6?

A. There is no need for a new router as long as the firmware can be upgraded to support IPv6.

Q. Will it improve my Internet connection?

A. No. IPv4 and IPv6 are just a protocol stack for addressing for the devices on the internet.

Q. Will the transition to IPv6 be transparent for most people?

A. Yes. Users will still access the Internet by simply typing in the URL address. It is the application or underlying operation system (OS) process that translates the URL into the IP address. The application or OS will take care of the end-to-end connection (either IPv4 or IPv6).

Q. Will it affect the software and hardware that manage Internet traffic designed with IPv4?

A. IPv4 and IPv6 are two different protocol stacks. Software or hardware designed to work with IPv4 will continue to work on IPv4 traffic. However, it will not be able to understand IPv6 traffic.

Q. Do all mobile handsets and mobile broadband dongles support IPv6?

A. Not all mobile handsets and dongles support IPv6 today.

Q. Is IPv6 going to affect my current mobile data bundle?

A. No.

Q. How is IPv6 going to affect my call quality?

A. There is no impact on call quality.

Q. Why is IPv6 important to service providers?

A. For Internet service operators, content providers and other entities that rely on Internet numbering allocations, it will become increasingly difficult and expensive (and eventually prohibitively so) to obtain new IPv4 address space to grow their networks. The cost and complexity associated with keeping track of and managing remaining IPv4 address space efficiently will also increase. Therefore, network operators and enterprises will need to implement IPv6 in order to ensure long-term network growth and global connectivity.

Q. What are the possible implementation methods for service providers?

A. There are a few options practiced globally. The first option is dual-stack model, which allows both IPv4 and IPv6 via a single port and co-exist in the network. The second option is native IPv6 model, i.e. the service port is dedicated to IPv6 traffic and it carries none of the IPv4 traffic. The third option is tunneling model, which encapsulates IPv6 packets in existing IPv4 infrastructure.