IP addressing, transition and security in 5G networks

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The number of devices on the Internet is always increasing and there is need for reliable IP addressing. 5G network will be built on two main technologies; SDN and NFV which will make it elastic and agile compared to its predecessors. Elasticity will ensure that additional devices can always be added to the network. IPv4 addresses are already depleted and cannot support the expansion of the Internet to ensure the realization of future networks. IPv6 addressing has been proposed to support 5G networking because of the sufficient number of addresses that the protocol provides. However, IPv4 addressing will still be used concurrently with IPv6 addressing in networks until they become fully IPv6 based. The structure of IPv4 header is different from IPv6 header hence the two protocols are incompatible. There is need for seamless intercommunication between devices running IPv4 and IPv6 in future networks. Three technologies namely; Dual Stack, Tunneling and Translation have been proposed to ensure that there is smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6 protocol. This dissertation demonstrates Tunneling of IPv6 over IPv4. Also, this research work reviews network security threats of past networks that are likely to be experienced in 5G networks. To counter them, reliable IP security strategies used in current networks are proposed for use in next generation networks. This dissertation evaluates and analyzes IPv4, IPv6 network and Tunneling models in an SDN network environment. The performance of an IPv4 only network is compared to the IPv6 only network. Also, devices addressed with both protocols are connected. The results obtained illustrate that IPv4 and IPv6 devices can effectively communicate in a 5G network environment. In addition, a tunnel is used to run IPv6 protocol over an IPv4 network. The devices on both ends of the tunnel could communicate with each other effectively.