Issue 68/2012

P1 TO BE READY FOR IPv6 IN 2012

South East Asia’s leading 4G service provider Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (“P1”) expects to be fully IPv6 ready by end of 2012 in bracing for the depletion of IPv4 Internet addresses. The company has already completed phase two of three phases of the compliance exercise.

Michael Lai, Chief Executive Officer of P1 said, “We are quickly approaching a major milestone in the life of the Internet. Malaysia is preparing for the use of IPv6 addresses in order to keep pace with the change. As a forward-looking organization, P1’s preparations on the compliance exercise began months back. Our backend systems are already fully IPv6 compliant. The third phase is on the last mile delivery and end user devices compliance.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Since 1981, IPv4 has been the publicly used version of the Internet Protocol and it is currently the foundation for most Internet communications. There are 4.3 billion numeric IPv4 addresses. IPv6 addresses expand to a multiple leap of more than 340 trillion to support our world’s 7 billion population today.

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IPv6 is needed to support the fast pace of Internet use growth and the explosion in the use of wireless products, quality services, inbuilt security features, enhanced mobility and the need for more IP addresses to facilitate its wider use.

The Number Resource Organization, a group representing the world’s five regional Internet registries that dole out the numeric addresses has stated that the last five of eight blocks of IPv4 addresses were handed out to the registries earlier this year.

“The growth of the Internet has mandated a need for more addresses than are possible with IPv4,” said Lai. “It’s a case of basic binary math. There is not enough numbers with IPv4.”

IPv4 addresses are divided into four 8-bit chunks to make up an Internet address which is a 32-bit number. IPv6 addresses, in comparison, use four 32-bit chunks for a 128-bit number.

Lai continued, “In the very near future, the Internet will not just be used for communication from man to man. It will be man to machine and machine to machine. Just imagine 50 billion machines and 100 billion objects in the world will all require individual IP addresses.”

Lai further explained the impact of the transition on businesses and consumers. “If your business has an IPv4 connection to the Internet you won’t be able to access IPv6 websites and vice versa, unless there is a gateway device set up to handle this. Companies with websites or other Internet services must get new IPv6-based addresses for their servers and network connections to the outside world so they can handle IPv6 traffic. Consumers will eventually have to upgrade their digital subscriber lines (DSL) and cable modems because although the IPv4 network will still work, they’ll miss out on Internet services available only over IPv6.”

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