Movistar enables IPv6 on its mobile network, what does it mean?

Finally we have IPv6 on Spain's Movistar mobile network, which was the first operator to make the jump to this new protocol. Throughout 2023, it plans for all of its mobile clients to switch from the current IPv4 to the new IPv6, a transition that will be easy for users thanks to the Dual Stack mode.

When we explained what the TCP/IP protocol was, we pointed out that its initial design from the 1980s failed on several aspects, including that IP addresses (now known as IPv4) were limited to more than 4 billion, and many were not. .they put it to good use.


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IPv6, now adopted by Movistar, was developed with that in mind expand the number of addressesi.e. the number of devices that can connect to the Internet, with nearly unlimited capacity in practice thanks to the new format:

  1. IPv4:
  2. IPv6:2001:0DB8:0000:0000:0000:0000:1428:57ab
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Movistar was the first to adopt IPv6 in its mobile network in Spain even though the protocol was created in the late 90s. The cost of adapting network infrastructure was high, and operators resorted to technical tricks to provide access to the Internet with the IP addresses they already had.

Movistar confirmed it will speed up connections to large Internet companies (Google, Meta, Amazon or Microsoft, for example), which already support IPv6 traffic, because the mechanisms that store IP addresses are avoided. In addition, this means certain optimizations for security and mobility.

In principle, Movistar will offer IPv6 to 600,000 customers with Android phones and by 2023 it will reach all, including iOS. They will also start apply immediately on O2, Movistar low-cost operator. In both companies this is an automated process, and repairs do not cost anything.

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Of course, we have to check whether the APN of the operator "" to use IPv6, which is done on most Android smartphones in a manner similar to the following, depending on the manufacturer:

Settings -> mobile network -> [Elegir SIM] -> Access Point Name

Settings -> Connections -> Mobile network -> Access Point Names

The transition should be easy, because Movistar uses a Dual Stack mode providing both IPv4 and IPv6. If we wish, it is possible to disable IPv6 from the cellular connection settings, although it is not necessary.

If we are unsure which to use, Movistar recommends the service to find out my IP, as the differences are very easy to spot. IPv4 uses up to 12 digits, in 4 groups separated by dots, whereas IPv6 uses up to 64 characters (numbers and letters), divided into 8 groups.

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After the recent increase in the price of Movistar, the arrival of this technology is welcome news. Although not very visible, in the medium term IPv6 will enhance the Movistar networkand will solve the problem caused by years of lack of IP address.

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