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China to rule cyberspace soon with next-gen Internet project

Raja Simhan T.E.

Plans to showcase IPv6 networking at 2008 Beijing Olympics

The IPv6 environment
Next-gen Internet will transmit information 1,000 times faster at 40 GB per second speed
IPv6 supports 50 octillion and provides around 60 billion IP addresses

Chennai , Oct. 25

China may be behind India in software development, but it is likely to dominate the cyberspace in a couple of years through its next-generation Internet project launched in 2003.

The five-year plan initiated by the Chinese Government will see China an early adopter of IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6), which will provide enough addresses for each gram of matter on the Earth, said Mr Subu D. Subramanian, Senior Vice-President and Director, Satyam Computer Services.

An IP address is a unique number that devices use to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilising the Internet Protocol standard.

"China is spending millions of dollars on the project. India needs to spend a lot of money and resources to catch up with China," he told Business Line.

China plans to showcase its IPv6 networking at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Everything from the security cameras to taxis and cameras filming the Olympic events will be networked via IPv6. The events will be streamed live over the Internet, while the networked cars will be able to get a grasp on the traffic situation more readily, he said.

Next-gen Internet

It is estimated that the next-generation Internet will transmit information 1,000 times faster, and at a speed of 40 gigabytes per second. The present IPv4 supports 4.3 billion addresses that are inadequate to give even one address to every person. However, IPv6 supports 50 octillion (a billion billion billion or 1 followed by 27 zeros) and provides around 60 billion IP addresses, which would be more than enough for each of the around 7 billion people alive today.

Currently, the US has almost one-third of the maximum IPv4 addresses (about 1.2 billion), while China has more broadband Internet connections. With implementation of IPv6 China hopes to avoid this situation and to get a head start in relation to the rest of the world, he said.

"Future of companies like Google will be in China. Unless global companies upgrade their technologies, they will be left behind China. Our clients have recognised this and want to work towards IPv6. We have recognised IPv6 as an area of opportunity and threat, and started building competency," said Mr Subramaniam.

Moving towards IPv6

According to a report by the United States Government Accountability Office, regions that have limited IPv4 address space such as Asia have undertaken efforts to develop, test and implement IPv6.

Asia controls only about 9 per cent of the allocated IPv4 addresses, and yet has more than half of the world's population. As a result, the region is investing in IPv6 development, testing and implementation. IPv5 was just used as an experiment and was never used.

The Japanese Government's e-Japan Priority Policy Programme mandated the incorporation of IPv6 and upgrade systems in both the public and private sectors. In addition, major Japanese corporations in communications and consumer electronics sectors are developing IPv6 networks and products.

Taiwan is working on developing IPv6 products and services. For example, the Taiwanese Government announced that it would begin developing an IPv6-capable national information infrastructure project. The planned initiative is intended to deploy an infrastructure capable of supporting six million users by 2007.

In September 2000, public and private entities in India established the Indian IPv6 Forum to help coordinate the country's efforts to develop and implement IPv6 capabilities and services. The forum hosted an IPv6 summit in 2005, said the report.

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