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Nigeria may miss launch of IoTs platform over IPv6


Mohammed Rudman, managing director of IXPN and the chairman, IPv6 Council

Mohammed Rudman, managing director of IXPN and the chairman, IPv6 Council

The benefits of the launch of internet of things (IoTs) may elude Nigeria as most networks in the country are reluctant to migrate to Internet Protocol version 66 (IPv6).

IPv6 is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that the networks that are presently using the latest version of Internet protocol include, Globacom, IPNX, Internet Solution, Ngren, FBN Capital and MainOne.

These operators represent 5.88% of the number of networks that have acquired the Internet Protocol.It was also gathered that 32 networks which are made up of telecommunications operators, internet service providers, universities, banks, oil companies among other organisations have acquired IPv6.

Mohammed Rudman, managing director of IXPN and the chairman, IPv6 Council Nigeria, explained that the low migration of telecommunications networks in the country to IPv6 will make it difficult for the country to launch into Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

“We are losing out in the migration as most other regions have migrated to IPv6 which has huge number of IP address compared to IPv4. You cannot launch IoTs on IPv4 which is near exhaustion in Africa, IoT requires a lot of IP address as devices, cars and equipment will be given IP address,” he said.

He attributed the slow rate of migration to lack of economic benefit to telecommunications networks, ‘there is no increase in revenue for telcos in migrating to IPv6 which is part of the reasons they are not taking it seriously. However, it is something that must be done, if we don’t do it now, we will experience learning curve challenge when the need arises.’

He frowns at the situation in Nigeria where she ranks high as number one in Africa in the use of internet and ranks low in the consumption of IP address because networks in the country use network address translation (NAT).

These according to him, negates the launch of IoTs in the country and that the IPv6 council is involved in advocacy to all IP centric organisations, government and Higher Educational Institutions for IPv6 deployment in their networks. The council is also working towards the development of IPV6 Master Plan for Nigeria and to ensure that the country does not face the problem of catch up when other countries in the region have migrated.

Lanre Ajayi, president, Association Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said that there is no reason for any telecommunications network not to migrate because it is inevitable as global networks have done so, the earlier networks migrate the better.

“There are penalty for not migrating which include losing out in internet of things launch among others. This is why ATCON has invested in offering training to network engineers of telecommunications operators for swift migration. It is only in Africa that IPv4 is still remaining and will be exhausted in the next few years. Most other regions have exhausted their IPV4 are now using IPv6,” he said.

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