China ramp up IPv6 to tackle deficit IP addresses

Chinese researchers have put forward a new deployment plan for the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)-based network to tackle China’s shortage of IP addresses.

China ramp up IPv6 to tackle deficit IP addresses

Designed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the deployment plan will help bridge the transition from the IPv4 to IPv6 network through protocol exchange, improving China’s IPv6 application level.

Computers, mobile phones, electronic devices and sensors that are connected to the internet need IP addresses to identify themselves and communicate with each other. IP addresses originating from the existing IPv4 network are nearly exhausted while the IPv6 network offers much higher numbers of IP addresses, which allows almost everything online.

China is in urgent need of a more developed IPv6 network to support the fast development of its internet industry, including industrial Internet, the Internet of things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

However, the adoption rate of the IPv6 network in China is less than one percent, far lower than the global average.

According to experts from the CASIC, the deployment of the IPv6 network has encountered several obstacles in China, such as difficulty in transformation, long upgrade periods and the lack of a profit model.

Ma Jie, with the CASIC Second Academy, which developed the deployment plan, said their technology could help realize the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 and gradually phase out the IPv4 network. IPv4 network-based cellphones can be updated to the IPv6 network through software installation.

“We have also used China-developed software and hardware to strengthen the IPv6 network security system,” Ma said.

The deployment plan has been implemented by Guangzhou Broadcasting Network. It is also adopted in many places including Beijing, and provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Hebei.

China in 2017 issued a plan to encourage large-scale adoption of IPv6 network. According to the plan, by the end of 2025, network and terminal devices will fully support the adoption of IPv6 in China, and it will have the largest number of IPv6 users in the world by the end of 2025.