As shown on Reddit, some T-Mobile and Verizon users are having trouble playing Pokemon Go. The reason? It might have to do with IPv6, the latest in the internet protocol suite.
Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, is a communications protocol that provides a form of identification as well as location for devices connected to networks, and routes traffic across the internet. Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), IPv6 is meant to replace the older IPv4.
All devices connected to the internet are given an IP address to identify that particular device and define its location. An IP address using the IPv4 protocol looks something like this: 192.168.1.1, while an IPv6 address would look like this: 2001:0DB8:AC10:FE01.
The IPv4 system, based on 32-bit, can only provide addresses for about 4.3 billion devices, after which it will run out. The IPv6 system is 128-bit and can provide about 3.4 x 10^38 devices.
Fast forward to Pokemon Go, where T-Mobile customers are having troubles. According to this thread on Reddit, “a number of T-Mobile users have noticed the app crashing or not loading considerably more often on their phones than their friends. It appears this is due to T-Mobile’s recent activation of IPv6 (an important advancement in the Internet protocol).” The good news is that there is a device-based fix, and it requires turning off IPv6.
- Android users can edit their APN settings by going to Settings > More Networks… > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names > (Select the fast.t-mobile.com APN) > Edit > APN Protocol > IPv4 (save the settings if possible).
- iPhone users just need to turn off LTE by going to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE > “Off”.
Note that if you have any connectivity issues, you’ll need to switch back to using IPv4. The two suites don’t have much interoperability.