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Vehicular communication networks, such as the 802.11p and Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) technologies, are becoming a fundamental platform for providing real-time access to safety and entertainment information. In particular, infotainment applications and, consequently, IP-based communications, are key to leverage market penetration and deployment costs of the 802.11p/WAVE network. However, the operation and performance of IP in 802.11p/WAVE are still unclear as the WAVE standard guidelines for being IP compliant are rather minimal. This paper studies the 802.11p/WAVE standard and its limitations for the support of infrastructure-based IP applications, and proposes the Vehicular IP in WAVE (VIP-WAVE) framework. VIP-WAVE defines the IP configuration for extended and non-extended IP services, and a mobility management scheme supported by Proxy Mobile IPv6 over WAVE. It also exploits multi-hop communications to improve the network performance along roads with different levels of infrastructure presence. Furthermore, an analytical model considering mobility, handoff delays, collisions, and channel conditions is developed for evaluating the performance of IP communications in WAVE. Extensive simulations are performed to demonstrate the accuracy of our analytical model and the effectiveness of VIP-WAVE in making feasible the deployment of IP applications in the vehicular network.