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Banks risk exclusion from 4IR over low IPv6 adoption

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As Nigeria is aiming to remain competitive in the emerging fourth industrial revolution, experts have identified slow adoption of internet protocol version six (IPv6) by mobile operators as a hindrance to achieving this objective.

Nigeria communicationsweek reports that the fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Globalisation 4.0 is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality and others would dictate the pace of development among nations.

Affirming the correlation between IPv6 adoption and the country’s participation in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), Mohammed Rudman, chairman, Nigeria IPv6 Council, said that IPv6 was invented because of advent of internet of things, Artificial intelligence, smart city solutions among other technologies that are going to drive fourth industrial revolution, as the number of devices on the internet will increase astronomically and IPv4 cannot accommodate them.

“We really need more mobile operators to adopt IPv6 in the country if we are to play in the fourth industrial revolution as more devices are getting identified on the internet and you cannot use Network Address Translation (NAT) for IoT, Artificial intelligence, 5G and other smart city technologies.

“There is need for these devices to be identified on the internet and not on private IP addresses. The earlier we adopt IPv6 the better for the country in terms of learning through building technical capacity in gradual manner than adopting late that comes with a stiff learning curve,” he noted.

According to Google’s IPv6 adoption report, Nigeria is at 0.01% substantially behind South Africa at 0.4%, Zimbabwe at 6.01% and Gabon at 14.38%, Kenya at 5.67%, Togo 5.81% all well below the global average of 29.44%,

Rudman added that IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist for the next 10 years even after IPv4 has been exhausted by the regional internet registries.

NAT is a methodology of remapping one IP address space into another by modifying network address information in Internet Protocol (IP) datagram packet headers while they are in transit across a traffic routing device.

Chris Uwaje, chairman, Mobile Software Solutions, said Africa may not be globally competitive if the governments fail to adopt IPv6 on time, noting that IPv6 will one day become the absolute default Prefixes for the Internet.

“Globally, the next battlefield for sustainable development and wealth creation resides in IPv6 and IoT strategic knowledge configuration. Africa stands at the dawn of technology opportunity and will benefit immensely, if government and industry lead the advocacy to passionately promote innovation -through IPv6 adoption and IoT transmission as combined accelerator to create something and change everything,” he stated.

Stakeholders have Identified challenges fuelling lack of IPv6 adoption in Nigeria to include but not limited to absence of the requisite technical skills; core, metro and edge equipment compatibility issues; nonexistence of IPv6 upstream service providers; and lack of business case for most Internet service providers.


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