‘IPv6 by next year, but won’t see mass usage in India’

By : |October 21, 2011 0

[image_library_tag 479/13479, align=”left” title=”” height=”215″ alt=”” hspace=”7″ width=”150″ vspace=”7″ border=”1″ ,default]BANGALORE, INDIA: “Today, the rate at which mobile and fixed line subscribers are growing in India, who in turn are going to consume a whole lot of data services over the network, does not sync with the number of IPv4 addresses allotted for the region. So, any company which is doing business over the Internet, which wants to maintain the services, will have to move on to IPv6, as IPv4 is fast exhausting,” says Truman Boyes, leader of the network architects that comprise Juniper Network’s Asia Pacific professional services consultancy team.

He was speaking to Deepa Damodaran of CIOL during an interview, recently. Excerpts:

CIOL: How is the adoption of IPv6 happening in APAC, especially India?

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Truman: We notice that APAC is very aggressive in deploying IPv6 in production. India is leading the charge and we have a few projects that we are working currently.

When IPv4 addresses were allocated to different geographic regions, during the mid 1990s, Asia Pacific got a small handout of addresses, compared to other regions, particularly America, which got a substantially large address block

India today has 850-900 million mobile subscribers and adds about 11 million subscribers every month, we have never seen anything like this in other part of the world. So in order to sustain this growth, we need to have unique addressing for them .

So there is big push to stack IPv6 and IPv4 deployments. Some providers in India have even asked us about providing IPv6 networks.

There are other more cautious providers who are looking to have both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.

With the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses in APAC, some providers are just looking to procure IPv6 and then provide some translation mechanism to connect the rest of the Internet for IPv4. So the actual consumer will get only IPv6 content in their mobile devices.

CIOL: So by when will the IPv6 content delivery and network deployment really happen in India?

Truman: Especially with the Indian Government mandate that all telecom service providers should have IPv6 network by March 2012, we are going to see a substantial uptake for IPv6 in India next year.
However, it will mean that only the networks will support IPv6, but not all consumers will have native IPv6 in their handset.

The growth rate is phenomenal. The deployment is happening and equipment is there. Most of the large providers have already deployed some kind of IPv6 capable network and the fact that the government is getting behind, this is a good sign. The US government placed pressure on everyone who does business with the government to provide equipments that are IPv6 compatible

And we are seeing the same happening in India and it is a good sign that the government and the whole industry is taking it seriously.

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CIOL: So will India really move on to IPv6 withing six months?
Truman:
There is going to be an interpretation of IPv6 compatible network by March. Within next year you will see an adoption of IPv6 in India.

However, I do not think that is going to have a huge effect on the content providers because majority of the consumers will still have IPv4 addresses. So will the servers and clients also, because there is no big push for them to move to IPv6.

IPv6 will be more seen in mobile industry or mobile subscriber handsets because those devices have very less variability. Whether it is an Apple IOS software, or an Android phone, almost all of its manufacturers have come down to two operating system as against the PC world, where it used to be only one, whether it is MAC or Windows.

Many consumers do not understand whether they are on IPv4 or IPv6 while they use Facebook or Google.
The uptake of IPv6 will be very small. As of now less than one per cent of the total Internet traffic runs on IPv6.

However, the growth rate in the last couple of years have been substantial.

Cost of IPv6 addresses is an interesting factor. APNIC which allots IP addresses in APAC does not allow the sale of IP addresses. Every organisation has to justify the growth of their organisation to get additional IP addresses allocated. The last of such IPv4 addresses for APAC have pretty much over.

So they are trying to create a free market system to sell IPv4 addresses. Going forward, there will be many more providers who will start looking at reducing cost and not incurring that cost by moving to IPv6.

The adoption of IPv6 though was talked about for the past 10 years, it has not taken off until recently because there were still IPv4 addresses and companies wanted to wait until it became a serious issue.

We have seen companies run out of IPv4 addresses in unplanned situations and had difficulty in getting additional IPv4 addresses. One will not want to be in that position because it is a very costly exercise to have services that is not functioning.

Asia is going to lead the way. India, China and Japan will lead the way in adopting IPv6 because they are going to run out of IP addresses first.

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