Saturday, 2 February 2013

The next IPv6 CPE challenge

For some years I have been almost campaigning to get some IPv6 capable, cheap, and usable broadband routers.

Finally their time has come - many manufacturers have finally seen the writing on the wall, and made sensibly priced consumer ADSL and PPPoE (for FTTC) CPE that does IPv6. We see Technicolor and Zoom as the leaders, with Zyxel following, but they are not alone. We currently ship the Technicolor kit at A&A. IPv6 is standard for all new customers, even home users.

Well done.

The next challenge and campaign is simple, good, cheap IPv6 VoIP phones.

This is much the same as we were a couple of years ago with DSL routers. There are some, yes. There are special IPv6 versions of code for some phones. Snom is our VoIP phone of choice, but their IPv6 code simply did not work and they told us they were doing no more work on it. WTF?

We have been able to test IPv6 SIP. We coded this in to the FB2500 and FB2700, and were able to test on one make of phone, with test s/w, which mostly worked. It actually had an odd delay answering the initial ring, but otherwise is fine. It needs finishing.

We have the challenge of finishing the second phase of VoIP code in FireBrick. The next phase is the large scale VoIP server based on the FB6000, as opposed to the very capable PABX functions in the FB2500 and FB2700. This will allow A&A to change over to a new call server. Even so, IPv6 is built in from the start, as you would expect.

But until we find sensible, cheap, usable IPv6 phones, we are a tad stuck.

So - lets see it... We'll do our bit - we'll test and develop the call server with back to back IPv4 to/from IPv6 RDP gateway routing. As an ISP we'll work on suitable firewall settings for IPv6 VoIP via the IPv6 CPE like the Technicolor.

With the right CPE (phones) we can make a VoIP phone a common and standard offering with broadband, finally killing the old fashioned copper pair based analogue voice for home users.

Update: We're going to test the SNOM m9, but that is not quite the low end basic phone I am after really.

Update: The snom m9, err, just works, with a FireBrick as VoIP gateway. Yay!

15 comments:

  1. Having been battering Snom for IPv6 code for some time, I simply couldn't understand ther announcement that, sorry, but they shant' be doing IPv6 any more.

    WTF? Have they suddenly jumped in the tardis and travelled back 20 years?

    There must, surely, be some sensible business rationale, but quite frankly I'll be buggered if I can see it.

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    1. I am glad it is not me that could not understand that. One of the biggest issues we ever see with NAT is VoIP/SIP. It is the killer app that *needs* proper routed IP and for which IPv6 is *the* answer. What planet are SNOM on exactly?

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    2. The main reason for coding a SIP VoIP PABX in to the FB2500 and FB2700 was because NAT and VoIP are such an issue. We coded a complete SIP implementation (IPv4 and IPv6). SNOM could at least finish their IPv6 code.

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  2. I can only Guess that Snom are expecting to only sell phones into companies that have an internal PBX and thus probably expect the phones to sit on some kind of "Voice" Vlan that only uses Private IPv4 Addressing which direct routing to the PBX.

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  3. I wouldn't be surprised if the chinese manufacturers are first to market with decent IPv6 phones. Grandstream perhaps. Because they certainly aren't spending their R&D on nice plastic shapes or usable web interfaces...

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  4. I've got an Aastra phone - no sign of IPv6 for it yet, but if it happens (and works when tested) I'll let you know.

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  5. Is there an IPV6 address I can register my Asterisk box to?
    I'm thinking of using asterisk as an IPV4 to 6 sip gateway. (IP4 network with phones>-<[IP4 Network]-Asterisk Box with no-reinvite set-[IP6 Network]>--(Internet)-<AASIP)
    I think the sip client on my smartphone works with IP6

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    1. We can set up a test connection for IPv6 if you need, catch me during the day!

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  6. Forgive my ignorance, but what is required for a VoIP phone to support IPv6 other than an IPv6-compatible network stack?

    Is there any special things that a phone would need to suport to run over IPv6 that, say, my tablet/iPhone wouldn't beed to support?

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    1. One of the issues with VoIP, and why it has problems with NAT, is that IP addresses are quoted in the text of the SIP headers and RDP negotiation. It is a different syntax slightly, and means application level support of the IPv6. SIP itself allows separate negotiation of the control and the media which can be IPv4 and IPv6 independently even. Then there is the whole issue with the configuration settings, and logging and all sorts where the IP addresses take more space and have a different syntax.

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  7. GLaDOS:~ tez$ host www.firebrick.co.uk
    www.firebrick.co.uk has address 193.17.12.1

    C'mon RevK... IPv6-enable the FireBrick website... you know you wanna ;-)

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  8. Snom's current statement on IPv6 is here http://wiki.snom.com/Networking/IPv6 - it certainly doesn't say that they've given up on it in general, just for the 300 series - that doesn't seem completely unreasonable.

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    1. If Snom intend replacing the 3xx series, then fair enough. The problem I have is that we have many many many 300s on site we'd like to run IPv6 on and Snom had previously stated that this would be possible. They then pulled all IPv6 support and said "tough". Ho hum.

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    2. @Nicholas - the 710 is cheaper than the 300, so I guess it's intended as a replacement - but I can see why you might feel you've suffered a bait-and-switch.

      People (who weren't there in person) might find this interesting:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB6BBVUR0us

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  9. is there any sensible home user zyxel ipv6 kit yet?

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