Mikrotik IPv6 configuration

In this topic, it is described how to configure Mikrotik router to act as PPPoE server with IPv6 enabled. The configuration of IPv6 in general is described in article – https://splynx.com/5665/splynx-ipv6-support/ and IPv6 Home routers configuration you can find here – https://splynx.com/5747/ipv6-cpe-and-home-routers-support/

The first tests were started with ROUTER OS Version 6.42.6, however, unfortunately, version prior to 6.43 doesn’t support Radius Delegated IPv6 attribute at all, in 6.43 it doesn’t support DHCPv6 accounting, so please upgrade at least to 6.46.1 or later RouterOS version.

When the router is upgraded, we can work on PPPoE server configuration.

As the first step, Mikrotik PPPoE server with Radius authentication should be created. Below is the screenshot of PPPoE server configuration on RouterOS.

Please note, that IPv6 pool should be selected and this is important. It is an IPv6 network that we use on PPPoE server. Customers should receive IPv6 delegated prefixes from this pool. At the moment (version 6.46 of Mikrotik), Radius server is not able to assign Delegated-IPv6 network to the PPPoE customer.
That’s why it’s needed to define the pool in IPv6 pool and then, when the customer is online, Splynx grabs used IPv6 network from Radius accounting packets and stores information in own database.

Below is a link to petition that asks Mikrotik to support Delegated-IPv6-Prefix correctly.
Currently, the attribute can be sent from Radius to Mikrotik PPPoE server in the Access accept message, but it is ignored by the router.
In case, when IPv6 prefix is delegated by the IP pool inside Mikrotik PPPoE settings, then attribute Delegated-IPv6-Prefix is sent back to Radius in Accounting packets, informing that customer got certain IPv6 delegated pool.

https://www.change.org/p/wisp-the-implementation-of-radius-delegated-ipv6-prefix-for-mikrotik-pppoe-servers

Unfortunately, there is no way to assign public IPv6 to WAN PPPoE interface of the customer via Radius server. Lack of this feature is not that crucial, because PPPoE works well on local link addresses, but we think that it should be also available on Mikrotik Radius implementation.

Regarding Splynx configuration – the Internet service of customer should be configured with empty IPv6 and Delegated IPv6 fields. The IPv6 appears in online session of customers and is stored to the logs and statistics. Radius based simple queues are applied to the pppoe tunnel and there is no additional queue needed for IPv6 traffic. Below is a screenshot of such sessions

 

 

Another option how to check IPv6 prefixes that were assigned to CPE devices – check the DHCPv6 server leases in Mikrotik.
Below is an example of DHCPv6 active leases

Next question is – how to block IPv6 traffic? Usually, IPv4 traffic is blocked when customer’s IP address is put to the address list and traffic is redirected. The other option is to assign to customer the IP address from special pool for blocked subscribers. This configuration cannot be achieved with IPv6, because currently Radius cannot assign the special pool or manipulate anyhow with IPv6 of the end user.

The only possible option is to have several Profiles configured in Mikrotik PPPoE server. Profile can be sent from Radius to Mikrotik PPPoE router via attribute Mikrotik-Group. Here is a description of the attribute from Mikrotik website :
Mikrotik-Group – Router local user group name (defines in /user group) for local users; HotSpot default profile for HotSpot users; PPP default profile name for PPP users.

In this case, we will define two profiles – default and block, with two different IPv6 pools. Default profile is used for authenticated users and block profile we assign to locked or non-authenticated customers.
These two profiles should be defined in Splynx Radius blocking attributes, please follow the screenshot below.

Second option how to block customers, is to use Mikrotik-Delegated-IPv6-Pool attribute, instead of choosing and configuring the different profiles, it’s possible to set name of Pool that should be used for blocked customer. For example, customer that is active will get IP from pool “default” and in case of blocking – he will get IPv6 from pool “blocked”

 

Mikrotik as CPE or home router with IPv6
Mikrotik can act as a home router or CPE with IPv6 support enabled. First of all, we need to activate IPv6 package that is always disabled by default.

Let’s imagine that we have one WAN interface with pppoe-client and Bridge configured for LAN interfaces.
After the activation of pppoe interface and setting user/password there, we should enable DHCPv6 client on pppoe-client interface. DHCPv6 client should receive the delegated prefix from PPPoE router (yes, it sounds weird, but there is a DHCP client running over PPPOE client for IPv6, because natively there is no way to provide to home router delegated prefix).
Please don’t forget to configure the pool name and then create IP address assignment with SLAAC on LAN interface. Better is just to copy and paste configuration shown on the screenshot below 🙂

 

Should you have any questions related to IPv6 configuration or you want to try Splynx in action, feel free to contact us.

Splynx IPv6 support

Starting from 3.0 version, Splynx has native IPv6 support. In this topic we will cover 3 main areas of IPv6 deployment:
1. IPv6 address management in Splynx;
2. Activation of IPv6 in ISP infrastructure;
3. IPv6 assignments to end-users.

If you want to know more about Mikrotik IPv6 configuration or Home router IPv6 configuration, please read following articles :
https://splynx.com/5684/mikrotik-ipv6-configuration/
https://splynx.com/5747/ipv6-cpe-and-home-routers-support/

IPv6 address management
In Splynx IPv6 management is similar to IPv4 network management. Under Networking there is an IPv6 networks submenu with the ability to add network, show available networks and display detail of usage of each network.

 

 

In the selected example, we have added a /32 IPv6 network. It is the network that is usually assigned to the ISP company by the local registry.

From the /32 network we can choose /48 networks to route them on certain site or PPPoE concentrator. In total, /32 network consists of 65536 /48 networks. It means that we can have up to 65k different high-sites or PPPoE/DHCP NAS routers. Each NAS or PPPoE server or DHCP server (depends on your topology and authentication method), can connect up to 65k subscribers. Always /64 network is delegated to end user’s LAN network or his CPE. Inside one /48 IPv6 network there are 65536 /64 networks.

This basic IPv6 topology design we recommend to use inside small and medium size ISP networks. Of course, there are plenty of other IPv6 planning options that can be found on the Internet, but all these IP plans are quite complicated and just bring more complexity to IPv6 address deployment.

In our example, we have received a network 2a0f:f041::/32 from RIPE NCC.
We decided to dedicate one /48 network to Infrastructure needs – 2a0f:f041:f::/48
PPPoE concentrators will assign IPs from the ranges : 2a0f:f041:1000::/48 and 2a0f:f041:2000::/48.
In case when we have more PPPoE servers, we can use IP networks like 2a0f:f041:1100::/48 or 2a0f:f041:1011::/48 or 2a0f:f041:3050::/48. Actually we used 4-5 /48 IPv6 networks to cover all our NAS routers and infrastructure. And there are still over 65k IPv6 /48 networks left.

As was mentioned above – customers receive /64 prefixes. From these prefixes CPE/home router device creates a pool (similar to IP lan pools in IPv4 world) and IPs from this pool will be assigned to end devices.

Below is an example, how IPv6 appears in Splynx IPv6 networks when a CPE got /64 prefix delegated :

 

Activation of IPv6 in infrastructure
Okay, we have designed a simple IPv6 address plan, let’s recap what should be done during the first phase of IPv6 deployment :
1. BGP peering configured on IPv6 addresses
2. IPv6 network announced to BGP and BGP filters configured
3. Internal connections between infrastructure routers is established on subnetworks from

2a0f:f041:f::/48. Actually all traffic can be routed between routers using Link-local IPv6 addresses, but we have enabled IPs from range 2a0f:f041:f::/48 on our routers to check IPv6 visibility to and from outside.
4. Static routes to 2a0f:f041:1000::/48 and 2a0f:f041:2000::/48 created from BGP infrastructure to PPPoE routers.

IPv6 assignments to the end users
When all above is working, we can start with the most tricky part of IPv6 deployment – assignments of IPv6 to the end users.
Mostly everywhere, end users have own wireless router that connects their devices to the Internet.
Below is the topology of connection of advanced home user, that have one router and two access-point bridges with many devices, such as PCs and phones.

As we can see in this topology, SOHO router has one public IPv4 on it’s WAN interface and one IPv4 from LAN range 192.168.0.0/24 that is used as a default gateway for all devices at home. It’s obvious that a router acts as a NAT server in this scenario, when all customers from home are leaving LAN network and connect to Internet from one public IP and all traffic is sent back to the network via this one single public IP address.

IPv6 world has no NAT. It means that CPE or SOHO/Home router should route public IPv6 network instead of private range. How small home office router will know what IPv6 network it should use and route? This is the job of ISP’s equipment to tell it to CPE/Home router.
In general, ISP router assignes IPv6 address to WAN interface in the same way as it did with IPv4 address, but also it should assign a “LAN” network. This is called Delegated IPv6 network and it’s the network of mask /64. Below is an example.

In our example, Home router received one single IPv6 address 2a0f:f041:a:1::1 on pppoe-client tunnel and additionally it got a prefix, that is automatically configured on LAN interface 2a0f:f041:1000:1::/64. All IPv6 end devices will receive the IP address with ND (Neighbor discover) technology that is called SLAAC. This is a technology of stateless automatic IPv6 address configuration for end users that should be used in local area networks.

In Splynx each customer has Internet service, under settings of this service there are options to assign IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
The first option “IPv6 network” is for IPv6 assignment to the WAN interface and the second “Delegated IPv6 network” is for the network, that should be used by CPE/Home router inside LAN network.

You can also check the Mikrotik IPv6 configuration example by following this link. Should you have any questions about IPv6 support in Splynx or want to try it in action feel free to contact us.

Xero Accounting integration with Splynx

Splynx v.3.0 has brought many useful features for ISPs. After the integration of Xero accounting platform, Splynx allows Internet Service Providers to streamline and automate the accounting process. Plenty of our customers already take the benefit of this feature.

We try to briefly describe the way how this module works and what billing scenarios can be used for this integration.

The process is quite simple, first of all, we connect to the accounting platform and grab all the information that is configured there, then we match it with the configuration that we have in Splynx with the values that are in Xero. We ca highlight 2 steps in this configuration:

  1. Configuration of Xero add-on and accounting API settings.
  2. Define has the following options during the configuration: Accounting categories, Tax rates, Bank accounts.

Every provider might have a specific way of managing the accounting process, so let us review 3 types of data synchronization methods that we practice. The main difference between these scenarios is how ISPs receive their payments. 

Scenario #1. 

In this scenario, everything is stored and process inside Splynx, so we push all information, customers, and invoices to Xero with correct account numbers. There are providers that prefer to provide their customers with the possibility to pay online via credit cards. In this case, the payment gateway should be connected directly with Splynx and thereafter we synchronize those payments with Xero.

Scenario #2.

Some customers do not have any payment gateways in Splynx, and they want to process everything in Xero, they also might have bank connection with Xero to do immediate bank reconciliations. In this way, Xero will be the so-called payment system for Splynx where we will grab all the payments and link them with customers and invoices.

Scenario #3.

 This is a very rare scenario that is not yet deployed among our Xero users, however, it is possible to reach the desired result since Xero and SageOne integration are the same. There are some customers in South Africa who have their bank account connected with Sage One, however, they also want to provide the possibility to pay the invoices from the portal by Credit Card, thus they need to connect a payment gateway to Splynx. 

Check more information about SageOne integration.

In this case, all payments go to Splynx, however, it differentiates bank payments and does not push them back to SageOne.


This integration saves lots of hours of your accountant as the synchronization process is automatic. In case if you need to import / export some data immediately, there is an option to run manual synchronization that is located in Config / Integrations / Splynx Xero Accounting.

 

There are cases when ISPs afraid to start such integrations as they already have active customers in Splynx and Xero, there is a possibility to connect them and our engineers will fully assist you with this process.

Feel free to contact us if you want to integrate Xero accounting and improve your business drastically!

How to streamline customer onboarding in Splynx 3.0

In every new release, we take into consideration the suggestions and daily problems of our customers in order to automate and eliminate manual admin work drastically.

Every provider has the amount of customers who are already subscribed and also there might be hundreds of people that are wondering about the services and coverage or you are just trying to approach them to use your services. 

Splynx CRM system allows ISP providers to streamline the process of lead management by using our self-registration widget that can be easily embedded to your website, so your customers will be able to apply themselves. 

Sign Up widget is fully customizable and can be configured just in few clicks without the need for coding.

 

There is a possibility to choose the mandatory fields and form settings.  Once complete, simply copy and paste the result code to your desired web-page.

 

 

This form also creates a quote immediately based on the customer’s choice. So you can pre-set the tariff plans that are available for self-registration or even provide customers with complete bundles that will include the service, installation price etc.

 

CRM feature is also connected with Ticketing and Scheduling features. Once customers agree to proceed with your services, you need to connect them. Splynx allows you to schedule a task directly on lead’s CRM profile. Also, if you use ticket communication with your client it will be linked both to lead and further converted customer profile.

 

There is a possibility to create needed task templates with full description and checklist or use the preset ones.

 

 

Starting from v.3.0 Splynx can be synchronized with Google Calendar, so all scheduled tasks are immediately visible for your installer. Our new Scheduling mobile application provides easy access to all assigned tasks and their management, it also includes the calendar and possibility to use maps to see task location and quickly build the right routes. Also, the application is supported to work in offline mode, to be always on a track.

 

 

Once your lead has accepted the quote, you can easily convert it to the customer by clicking Convert button. This menu allows instantly issue the invoice based on the quote and add the active service plan to the customer.

 

 

Various payment gateways have already been integrated with Splynx, so your customers can easily pay the invoice online by using the customer portal or mobile customer application. The mobile portal will bring your customer satisfaction to the next level as it provides the possibility to see the financial flow, pay the invoices, easily contact support, manage services, check statistics and more!

 

 

 

 

Splynx software and its CRM will definitely optimize the ISP sales department and bring customer onboarding to the next level. Should you have any questions regarding Splynx CRM features or further information is needed, please contact us.

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Can small ISPs beat big Telco operators? Yes, they can!

Today Splynx is a team of 30 specialized and dedicated staff members that help achieve great results to countless small to medium-size ISP and VoIP providers all around the world.

We work on a daily basis with more than 400 ISP companies from different regions – Europe, the Americas, South Africa and Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We must admit that in many countries the Internet and Voice providers face strong competition with large telco operators. And it’s not easy for them to succeed in this battle. Of course, how a company with 10 or even 50 employees can compete with such big companies with thousands of people and billions of dollars such as Vodacom or AT&T.

Judging from our experience we can see that these small companies compete and in many cases, they beat these huge companies. What is the key to the success of these companies?

Actually there are only two:

The first key is the selection of zone and understanding of the people’s needs in the zone.

Let’s call it your niche. Of course, it’s impossible to compete with large operators in the middle of Barcelona where fiber is everywhere, but if you drive 50 km far, the situation with coverage is not that ideal. Spain is #1 in FTTH, but there is still space, like in small towns that are below 5000, where we can take advantage and benefit.

The second key is to organize the business itself.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Are our processes good enough?“, “Can you manage your orders, connections efficiently and quickly as the big guys do it?”, “Can you set the billing correctly to charge the customers in the right form?”, “Is your network working well, is it automatic, is it redundant?” All these questions will help you to set the right processes inside your company.

Here is the check-list of steps and processes that you should сontiniously optimize and track. Splynx will perfectly help you to:

  • Define tariff plans, discounts, up/downgrade policies;
  • Manage sales, orders and connections;
  • Set the billing correctly, use the right payment options;
  • Track installs and repairs, track all issues using tickets;
  • Set your network to do everything automatically;
  • Save money by saying “NO” to a bunch of tools and subscriptions like Salesforce, Freshdesk, Zendesk, FreeRadius, Radius Manager, Mikrotik Usermanager, UBNT, WHMCS, QuickBooks, Xero accounting, PortaOne, A2Billing, Bash scripting etc.

Setting up processes, defining roles, choosing correct tools and all these tedious tasks that must be done on a daily basis. With the first step we cannot help you, because there should be involved a unique business intellect of the businessman together with good knowledge and understanding of the local environment. But this is maybe 20% of the success. 80% of your success is in building the business itself. And that’s the area where we come and help you a LOT

We provide the tools and help to build processes that all big ISPs already have, but you must have them as well and you must have them much better if you want to beat these millions and billion dollars monsters. And the best thing is all those processes can be efficiently managed withing the Splynx platform. During the configuration and deployment process we define several steps and processes together with our customers to optimize their business:

 

Step 1. Management of sales, orders and connections.

  1. Splynx has the ability to use Towercoverage to help you understand where your existing and potential clients are located. In combination with self-registration add-on, you get a winning combo that really helps to increase the customer base.
  2. In case you are not providing self-registration, you should stop losing your leads and react quickly. Our CRM allows you to manage your deals, quotas, it improves your leads tracking and communication significantly.
  3. Our customers use Splynx scheduling platform to optimize their teams to connect customers quickly and manage the work of their engineers.

 

Case Study: Wireless Nation, New Zealand.

This is what we did as the first step with our client Wireless Nation. This is an established company with years of experience that had all processes already on a high level. The main goal for them was a shift to an all-in-one solution to cover their business needs as their in-house software was not able to succeed with all the requirements. Wireless Nation reduced costs on software development in three times by using Splynx and ALL processes were moved to one platform.

 

 

  • TowerCoverage to track potential customers.
  • Self-registration with the possibility to pay instantly and get the service in a few days.
  • CRM and Ticketing platform to track all registration requests and follow-up with leads.
  • Scheduling functionality allows to track and manage all installation projects efficiently.

 

 

Step 2. Set billing, payments and accounting

  1. Splynx billing engine gives a possibility to set recurring or prepaid billing periods.
  2. ISPs can charge for Internet, VoIP , One-time services or any custom created service.
  3. Every business is about money and its collection. You are able to get payments via different channels in one place.
  4. Splynx provides the possibility to export your billing data to accounting platforms and has direct integrations with SageOne, Xero, and Holded accounting platforms.

Case Study: Fitel Network, Spain.

Slynx has helped Fitel to grow 2 times in one year. One of their requirements was to separate recurring customers from prepaid as they are located on the coast of Spain and a lot of customers use their services seasonally. 

“We had a need to separate recurring customers and prepaid. In our region, there are many clients who come for vacation and they need a fully prepaid scenario. Also, the ability to self start and stop service was very important.” Says Paul Gerhardt, CTO of Fitel Network

“Crucial for us is to process direct debit and then export all data to an accounting platform. We are using Holded.com cloud accounting software”

 

 

  • Voice and Internet services are at one place and charged simultaneously.
  • Invoice PDFs were customized per customer’s requirements. 
  • Every month all the invoices are automatically exported to Holded accounting platform.

 

Step 3. Automate your network

We provide our own RADIUS server which functions and stability are proved by hundreds of ISP networks.

Splynx helps you to:

  • Authenticaticate your  subscribers, blocking non-paying customers;
  • Control bandwidth of users with limits, FUP and contentions;
  • Understand what happens in the network with weathermaps;
  • Get central device backups;
  • Provision third party systems quickly.

We have a team of network experienced developers who work directly with MikroTik, Junipers, Cisco, LTE integrations etc. That allows our clients to make successful integrations with various custom solutions that are essential for their business.

Case Study: Skywire, South Africa

South African company Skywire uses our software to optimize their network. They have hundreds of towers, so the company uses weathermaps to display backbone links, fiber links, their usage and how good they work. Also they have IP address management and monitoring tools that are all in one place.

 

 

Step 4: Provide awesome support

Once all the above steps are completed and continuously improved, you also have to provide good support as in most cases customers prefer the services with better support experience. In our company we spend a lot of time to analyze the support tickets and processes to find the right answers and solutions to deliver 5-star customer experience. 

 

 

It is all done within Splynx platform, you do not need to use ZenDesk or Freshdesk or any other 3d party solution. We have integrated all the features that most of helpdesk companies offer you:

  • Your email connection;
  • Incoming mail configuration and parsing;
  • Assignments of tickets per agents, teams;
  • Tasks creation inside the tickets;
  • All data is connected with your customer base, so you can manage everything quickly and efficiently.

 

 

 

So considering all the facts provided above, Splynx is the best solution for:

  1. Established providers with over 10 000 subscribers;
  2. Managers of mid-size providers with 1000 to 10 000 subscribers;
  3. Owners of small providers with below 1000 subscribers;
  4. Start-up providers that have around 100 subscribers and want to grow.

You will be able to :

  1. Grow quickly and focus on the right things;
  2. Improve the overall management of the company;
  3. Become competitive to large Telco operators.

You will get rid of:

  1. Many non-connected tools where you had to continuously switch between them;
  2. Subscriptions and costs for tools that you can replace;
  3. A lot of manual work.

Splynx is more than a software. We spend a lot of time with our customers, deployments and support. We do one to one calls to make sure all requirements are met and the solution is created. Our approach allows us to deliver custom-tailored solutions, so customers always receive the software that ideally fits their needs.

Do not lose time, just click the link and start beating them now!

 

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