The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 6, Number 2

From The Editor

Articles in The Internet Protocol Journal broadly fall into three categories. First, we have articles that explain well-established technologies or operational practices. Second, we offer tutorials on new or emerging protocols and systems, not yet deployed but on the horizon. Finally, IPJ brings you insights, lessons learned and opinions on aspects of networking that have not completely lived up to their promises. In this issue, you will find a mixture of all three.

Our first article is an example from the "nuts-and-bolts" category. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is one of the core routing protocols that is widely used in the Internet and has been around for a long time. Kris Foster explains how the BGP Community attribute can be used in service provider networks.

Efforts to provide cellular telephones with Internet access systems have produced mixed results. Japan has been leading the way in this area with widespread deployment of iMode devices or variants thereof. Having used such a system I must say I am both impressed and somewhat frustrated. It is wonderful to receive e-mail while on a busy Tokyo train, but accessing the Internet on a tiny screen (typically a 2-inch display with a resolution of 120 x 160 pixels) is not particularly rewarding. Not to mention the bandwidth limitations inherent with this technology. Another system, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) has been implemented in most countries that offer Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cell phone service. WAP is the subject of our second article. Edgar Danielyan describes the WAP architecture and looks at some of the lessons learned from its deployment.

The push for deployment of IP Version 6 (IPv6) is taking place on several fronts and we cover some of them in this issue. In the IETF, a recently formed group has been chartered to help design transition strategies from IPv4 to IPv6. We have a short overview of this effort starting on page 20. Additionally, both the U.S. and Japanese governments are promoting the use of IPv6 in various ways. The U.S. Department of Defense has recently adopted IPv6 as one of its official protocols. In Japan the "IPv6 Appli-Contest 2003" is underway in an effort to encourage development of software and applications for IPv6. See "Fragments," page for further details.

Of course, not everyone is convinced that IPv6 is such a good idea, and with that in mind we bring you an opinion piece as well as a Letter to the Editor on this topic.

—Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher
ole@cisco.com