How big is the Internet?

Ian Smith I.Smith at
Wed Aug 14 23:05:15 UTC 2013


Smartphones have one or more IPs, which may or may not be IPv4/IPv6 & public or rfc1918 address space.  There is some tunnelling between the radio and the packet core, but they typically are first class Internet nodes.  You could look at them as analogous to cable modems or wifi clients.

Feature phones (eg. Motorola Razr) might be using a proxy gateway to to internetish stuff and that gateway actually owns the IP address they use similar to a campus network with a web proxy gateway. 

Older crackberries tunnel all their traffic inside udp-like encrypted datagrams back to the RIM data centers where they emerge onto the Internet like AOL dial-up subscribers of yesteryear.

LTE is IP end-to-end; 3G is IP to a radio-wire interface.

From: Larry Sheldon [LarrySheldon at]
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:50 PM
To: nanog at
Subject: Re: How big is the Internet?

On 8/14/2013 10:31 AM, Anthony Williams wrote:
>   One segment is the number of people on the planet with a mobile device
> that can connect to the Internet? Throw in laptops, workstations,
> servers, routers, toasters, etc and the number starts to get pretty big.
>   The NSA will need some more hard drives.  lol
> ** Of the 6 billion cell phones in use, only around 1.1 billion of them
> are mobile-broadband devices. **

Do "we" (meaning y'all) even know the edges look like?

My elderly crackberry does internetish stuff like email and browsing and
file transfers when there is no wiffy in sight.

So it either speaks TCP/IP with the towers (it might, I have no clue),
or there is non-TCP/IP fabric in the skirts.

Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
                                         of System Administrators:
Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
                                         learn from their mistakes.
                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)

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