China is going to build the largest commercial IPv6 network worldwide in 5 to 10 years, according to the Plan of Action for Taking Forward the IPv6 Deployment recently published by the General Office of the State Council, which calls for all localities and departments migrating from IPv4 to IPv6 network for an increased IP address resources.
Specifically, China expects active IPv6 user count to exceed 20% of general internet users, reaching 200 million by 2018; and lifts the proportion to 50% by 2020. With large-scale deployment of IPv6 network, the country aims to realize the deep fusion application of next-generation internet to different economic and social sectors, ultimately becoming a leading force for development of Internet.
IPv6, formally known as Internet Protocol version 6, is the future resolution to handle the long-standing problem that the current Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address is getting exhausted.
With the upcoming era of IoT (Internet of Things), there will be more and more devices connected to the Internet. In order to have a successful communication, every device should come with a unique IP address. As well, only with the IP destination address in packet, can the routers forward it to receivers.
China goes quite ahead of the world in terms of IPv6 deployment. IPv6, for many years, has been regarded as an important part of the national strategy by Chinese government. The country kept offering funding as well as policy support for developing the next generation of Internet. Meanwhile, Chinese ISPs and content providers also made heavy investment in upgrading IPv6 networks and setting up IPv6 application pilots, along with Chinese researchers and engineers from vendors and universities actively participating in IETF IPv6-related working groups. However, unfortunately, the general availability of IPv6 network is still a problem, reflecting on the IPv6 adoption rate remaining below 2%.
This is in a sharp contrast to the IPv6 boom across the globe and the APNIC region. IPv6 protocol is widely deployed around the world, especially in western developed countries, with more than 9 million domain names and 23% of all networks advertising IPv6 connectivity. Notably, American mobile virtual network operators, including Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have been accelerating commercial IPv6 network; Apple announced supporting IPv6-only networks; and American mainstream websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Youtube all are available over IPv6.
Plus, the world is facing the IPv4 address shorate problem. It will become even serious for China as the economy is rapidly moving toward to Industry 4.0, in which the manufacturing and services are heavily dependent on the Internet.
It is imperative that China should get on board with IPv6. It will not only stengthen its competitive advantage, but also help save operational costs.