- IPv6 -
The transition to IPv6, a close reality
The depletion of IPv4 and the arrival of IPv6 imply a significant risk for the business continuity of those companies that require contacting their customers directly through Internet applications. A customer may want to check his account balance from a smartphone from any part of the world, or to make a hotel reservation in India from a computer at home, or even continue sending email to any other user in the world.
The growth of Internet applications and users is unstoppable
For years, Internet applications have not stopped growing in quantity and complexity, creating the Internet 2.0 we now know. The number of Internet users has also grown, mainly due to the adoption of smartphones, the development of Wi-Fi/3G/LTE networks, universal band.
Finally, in February 2011, IANA (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) reported the IPv4 address space exhaustion, now managed locally through Regional Internet Registries (RIR) in collaboration with the different telecommunications carriers.
Mobile connections determine the change to IPv6
About 250 million new mobile connections are estimated globally, with 5.6 billon currently at an 11% annual growth, according to Gartner.
Of all these connections, the majority are physical individuals with one or more mobile devices. For 2015, nonetheless, it is estimated that the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) market will make up a demand equivalent to 25 billion mobile connections. This is 5 times the total worldwide connections we have today.
Therefore, if there are no more IPv4 addresses available, the question is: What would all users in Asia and Latin America, who now demand more Internet connections through their smartphones, Wi-Fi connections, etc. to access online banking, online gaming, social networking, etc. do? How is this emerging M2M market going to grow?
This is no longer about using NAT techniques or any other technique attempting to increase the efficiency of the IPv4 protocol. This is a deeper problem related to economic development in the world, population, and the access to Internet, which compromises the business model created around the Internet.
The opening of the Asian market triggers the end of IPv4
And things look worse in Asia, the geographical area with the most significant economic development thanks to China and India.
The impact of hundreds of millions of people in China and India adopting the consumption habits of developed countries can be huge. And the ITC industry will not be foreign to this, as shown by the significant impact the incorporation of these markets has been having, and its acceleration of the end of IPv4 addresses.
IPv6 implies more benefits in addition to the huge new address space:
Mobility: IPv6 provides technical solutions that would allow roaming between networks. Thus, users would be able to stay connected regardless of the network they are in. This will be very advantageous to carriers and customers alike when providing connectivity services on different means of transportation (car, rail, etc.).
IPSec: All devices that support IPv6 will have to support IPSec. This is an advantage over the current situation, where not all devices with IPv4 support IPSec. We can expect an increase in secure connections with the use of IPv6. Having all IPv6 nodes implement IPSec natively will probably enhance secure end-to-end communications.
Anycast: IPv4 has Unicast and Multicast. But IPv6 adds a new kind: Anycast. With this new kind, we can expect video streaming services to benefit a lot, because the Anycast traffic will allow streaming servers to be closer to users.
Performance enhancement: QoS, Jumbograms, etc. These advantages in the design of IPv6 will allow manufacturers of network equipment to build more powerful devices, with a higher traffic-processing capacity, thus making networks faster, more efficient, etc. All of this will have a positive impact for end users.