The internet, the number of internet users, the volume of mobile devices, and the number of constantly connected devices have been growing at a tremendous rate, a trend which is set to continue far beyond the original growth expectations for which the network is designed.
The continued adoption of mobile broadband and increase in the number of internet users, as well as the amount of devices per user, are hastening the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses. IPv6 was designed to use a much larger address space (2^128 addresses), in addition to providing other benefits. The financial and business impact of address exhaustion will affect telecom operators and service providers. The absence of available IPv4 addresses will prevent subscriber growth and will become a threat to business continuity. In short, migration to IPv6 is vital.
Immediate deployment of IPv6 is recommended, starting with the evaluation of the impact of deploying the protocol. The move to IPv6 will be gradual, and co existence with IPv4 will be necessary. The primary means to transition to IPv6 from IPv4 is the dual stack transition mechanism. The introduction of IPv6 will enable several new business streams that utilize the resulting end-to-end addressing and reach of the terminals. IPv6 will reduce costs for acquiring address space since IPv6 addresses are far more abundant than IPv4 addresses. It will also lead to simpler network nodes and hence lower capital expenditure.
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