Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Steep challenges ahead as China moves to IPv6
China, like the rest of the world, is preparing itself for the arduous task of migrating to the new internet protocol, IPv6. However, as the largest country in the world, China is expected to face challenges that no other nation will experience.
"China must move to IPv6," Wu Jianping, director of the Chinese Educational and Research Network, said, according to a recent Economic Times report. "In the U.S., some people don't believe it's urgent, but we believe it's urgent."
The news provider noted that China has nearly twice as many internet users as the United States. Smartphone and tablet adoption are on the rise as well, and with the virtual nonexistence of spare IPv4 addresses to go around, the pressure to make the move sooner than later is being felt throughout the nation.
However, the sheer size of China's population could be problematic, as some citizens may be slower to make the transition than others. Furthermore, China's strict internet regulations could prove to be yet another obstacle for the migration process.
Despite these challenges, others believe the transition to IPv6 could actually prove advantageous for China. If the country, with its sprawling computer and consumer electronics industries, manages to stay ahead of the curve, its IT infrastructure could leap to the forefront of market, according to the Economic Times, possibly leading the next generation of computing.
Clyde Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute, told the news provider that innovation in China, while it takes a different shape than that in the United States, is very much an element of the nation's technology industry. Prestowitz noted that China doesn't have its own Steve Jobs, per se, but the industry as a whole has a focus on consistent progress.
"There is another kind of innovation that results in constant improvement that we are not good at - and they are," Prestowitz said, according to the Economic Times.
China's strong workforce could also contribute to its position as an industry leader in the post-IPv4 world. As the Economic Times reported, the country is "producing waves of amazing hardware engineers and software programmers." While the news may be intimidating to competitors, its benefits for China are evident.
In 2004, China launched what was then the largest IPv6 network in the world, giving it a significant head start on the rest of the world. As the pool of available IPv4 addresses runs dry, China's determination to be a pioneer into IPv6 may prove to have not only immediate benefits, but long-term ones as well.
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