India is leading the way in IPv6 end users, thanks to one ISP turning on v6 last year and showing the world that it is possible to deploy IPv6 for the end user at scale, according to the latest APNIC report.
While a number of countries – most notably China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia – requested large allocations of IPv6 address space in 2016, actual real-world deployment to the end user has been much slower … except in India, which stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the APAC region thanks to Reliance deploying IPv6 to its end users at scale.
In East Asia, most of the v6 delegation is happening in China, followed by Japan and Korea. Southeast Asia has a similar trend in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand and Singapore, while Indonesia had a huge rise in the address space delegated last year.
Anna Mulingbayan, senior internet resource analyst and liaison officer for Southeast Asia at APNIC, explained that India, Bangladesh and indeed Indonesia had a combination of a large population and the expectation of more numbers of Internet users in the future.
In the Pacific Region, Australia was the largest, followed by New Zealand. Both countries are far ahead of others in terms of development and Internet usage.
But while that was the trend of the number of addresses requested and allocated by APNIC to each country, the number of users portrays a very different story. APNIC’s R&D team uses Google Analytics data so that when anyone accesses Google, they will know if they accessed it on v4 or v6.
Globally, v6 use stands at around 10% but sometime in 2016, things started to take off with v6 for the end user.
Five countries are really taking off with IPv6 – In India, 27.87% of its end users are using v6, followed by Japan (24.02%), Malaysia (16.79%), Australia (14.96%) and New Zealand (10.06%). India ranked 8th globally, sandwiched between Ireland (30.31%) and the UK (24.10%).
Southeast Asia in general is slow (2.8% to 5.7%) and Mulingbayan said that APNIC needs to encourage more operators to deploy it.
One oddity stood out in the data – China’s v6 usage stood at just 3.4% of its allocated space.
“You can notice that both China and Indonesia have large numbers of IPv6 delegations but in terms of deployment both are very low – 0.5%, and 0.1%, respectively. For China, they may be deploying it, but we cannot measure it as our measurements are from Google,” she explained.
Australia saw five ISPs decide to deploy IPv6 in 2016.
Singapore is also facing IPv4 exhaustion. Singapore has been allocated 5.7 million IPv4 addresses, and the number of Internet users is 4.7 million. This is unsustainable, as more people have more than one device. However, of the IPv6 delegation that has been allocated to Singapore, only 15% is visible and only 4% is from end users.
StarHub is leading the way in fixed line IPv6 deployment, and in mobile only StarHub and M1 are deploying it. Mulingbayan said that it was odd that Singtel was not doing much with v6 at this stage.
“Operators need to think about how they are going to sustain that growth. They either need new technology or need to deploy v6 now,” she said.
Regulators are interested in in knowing how to put up policies to deal with these changes. In India, an executive order declared that within this year all ISPs must be ready for V6.
The other key part of the equation is vendors, she added.
“We need to include the vendors in the discussion of what are the latest challenges operators face,” she said. “The vendor needs to know that so they can develop systems that actually address those problems.”