Goodbye IPv4

Paul Wilson
23 Mar 2012

The last 12 months have marked a critical turning point in the history of the internet. This time last year, the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were allocated from the global pool at the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) to the Regional Internet address Registries (RIRs). This was effectively the green light for businesses and providers across the globe to start deploying IPv6.

One year on, what challenges are businesses facing as they jump on the IPv6 bandwagon? And what lessons can be learnt from Asia Pacific as businesses worldwide prepare for this new internet era?

Last April Asia Pacific became the first region to run out of IPv4 addresses for internet infrastructure deployments, due to huge demand for IP addresses from high-growth economies. China received 53.1 million IPv4 addresses in 2011, representing a 26% of the total IPv4 address allocations from the last 12 months. It was closely followed by Japan (16.91 million), South Korea (7.68 million), Indonesia (7.09 million) and India (6.01 million). That means APAC accounted for five of the top ten countries asking for IPv4 address allocations.

So what's spurring internet growth across the region? For one, there are so many different devices now connected to the internet, from laptops and PCs to smartphones and tablets. Add to that a convergence of services and you can see that the internet is transforming from a communications platform to a critical modern infrastructure.

Just look at China where there are nearly half a billion people using the internet, while close to a billion own mobile devices. The rise in smartphone use in particular is fuelling increased use of the internet and web services across the country. We're also seeing huge operator turnover as they upgrade customers to the latest and greatest internet-enabled handsets.

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