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position: EnglishChannel > Innovation China > Article

IPv6 Large-scale Deployment Accelerated

Source: 科技日報 | 2022-08-18 09:51:21 | Author: WANG Xiaoxia


Smart workshop with networked devices. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

In recent years, China has made a great leap forward in the deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), to support the application of advanced technology and boost the development of new businesses.

IPv6 is the most recent version of Internet Protocol (IP). Compared with IPv4, which is based on 32-bit addressing and limited to a total of 4.3 billion addresses, IPv6 is based on 128-bit addressing and can support 340 undecillion (340 trillion3) addresses.

As the Internet runs out of IPv4 addresses, IPv6 can provide more than enough unique IP addresses for every networked device currently on the planet.

A bigger pool of addresses brings more scalability, increased security and better quality of service, which can support the predicted growth of connected devices in IoT, manufacturing, and emerging areas like AI, cloud computing and autonomous driving.

Currently, the global transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is being fast tracked. By the end of June, IPv6 active users had accounted for more than 31 percent of global netizens, according to Wu Hequan, academician from Chinese Academy of Engineering.

China is also making comprehensive advances in the large-scale deployment and application of IPv6, with the effort of universities, institutes and telecom operators and their coordination. 

Since the start of this century, some universities and research institutes have participated in China's Next-Generation Internet (CNGI) demonstration project, and built a CERNET2 network that deploys IPv6 in 2004.

In 2021, the high-performance backbone network of experiment facilities was opened, totally based on IPv6, and its core nodes are distributed in 40 universities to demonstrate key technology of the future Internet.

As for China's three biggest telecom operators, China Telecom has built an end-to-end IPv6 "highway", and basically completed the transformation of its cloud network for end-to-end IPv6 deployment.

By the end of June, China Mobile had allocated 772 million IPv6 addresses to its mobile network and 169 million addresses to fixed broadband. Meanwhile China Unicom is deploying IPv6 in its new gigabit network and 5G network, while upgrading its existing network infrastructure for IPv6 deployment.

Since China has built the world's largest 5G network, "IPv6+5G" is empowering digital transformation of industries. For example, medical logistics robots operating on a faster 5G network deployed with IPv6, have been widely used in the renowned Ruijing Hospital in Shanghai.

At present, the number of active users on the IPv6 Internet has reached 693 million in China, and mobile network traffic accounts for more than 40 percent of the total. By the end of 2025, China will fully establish a IPv6 system that embraces technology, industry, facility, application and security, with 800 million active users and 400 million connected devices to the IoT, according to the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Editor: 王曉夏

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