Nigeria currently ranks 8th position in the global rank of internet users, and the industry regulator has called for the speedy adoption of Internet Protocol version Six, (IPv6).
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) made the call at the 2017 International Workshop on IPv6 in Lagos organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ( ATCON) in collaboration with AFRINIC.
According to the Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, who spoke on “The strategic and economic relevance of IPv6 to drive the next frontier of Nigeria ICT Industry and the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) policy direction towards its implementation” noted that IPv4 addresses is obsolete, and the immediate adoption of IPv6 will sustain Internet growth in Nigeria.
The EVC of the NCC who was represented by the Commission’s Director New Media, Engr. Haru Alhassan explained that the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses is a phenomenon that is going on globally, stressing that the adoption of IPv6 is more critical to Nigeria, considering its position as the fastest growing ICT ecosystem in Africa.
“IPv6 will enable an enormous increase in the number of Internet addresses currently available under IPv4.
It is the next frontier of Nigeria’s ICT industry following the tremendous growth, from just 200 Internet Users in 2002 to over 93 Million in 2017”.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Internet World Stats, Nigeria currently ranks 8th in the statistics of global Internet users, with 48.8% penetration as at March 2017.
The NCC boss said, “With these growth comes the challenge of sustaining the development to ensure that the industry maintains global relevance and contends with problems of low Internet penetration, quality of service, cyber security incidents with their attendant security implications as well as issues with the Nation’s perception index amongst others.”
“In view of the strategic and economic relevance of IPv6 Implementation, and the NCC’s plan to boost Internet infrastructure, the Commission as the main driver of IPv6 migration will: Develop regulatory guideline for IPv6 deployment over the ISPs and MNOs networks; Develop a policy framework/roadmap for network migration; Prepare detailed plans, strategies and guidelines as a result of this Roadmap to enable implementation at all levels;
Conduct awareness training and national workshop about IPv6 network migration; Implement migration plan for ISPs and MNOs; Assist government agencies and private organizations in migrating to IPv6; Recommend to council/taskforce of any incentives that shall be provided to ISPs and MNOs to encourage their network migration; Measure IPv6 readiness;
Type approve the IPv6 enabled devices and arrange for IPv6 certification; Regularly audit the ISPs and MNOs network to achieve the policy and roadmap implementation; Support the activities of the Nigeria IPv6 Council; and Monitor the migration process and recommend new target in the roadmap. (Babu R D et al, 2015).”
“The need to migrate to IPv6 is long overdue,” says ATCON President, Olusola Teniola in his welcome address.
“Majority of ATCON members networks are not IPv6 compatible yet, and this poses a threat to Nigerian ICT development.”
According to Teniola, the Nigerian ICT sector can no longer afford to take the back seat in the global ICT development, stating that to leapfrog the adoption of IPv6, the Association has taken a further step to involve the two key primary stakeholders.
“The direct implication of this proposed move by ATCON is to widen the market and accelerate the adoption and implementation of IPv6 for the product of the industry.
The pervasive dividend broadband may be farfetched if as an industry or a country we are not working towards the broadband meeting with technology.”
“As we all know that when Internet of Things (IoTs) take their place in our country, an individual may need more than ten IP addresses to enjoy the benefits that come with IoTs.
Other reasons why ATCON has invested and is still investing heavily in the adoption of IPv6 are as follows: To increase the productivity and contribution level of our network engineers in the implementation and deployment of IPv6 for Nigerian ICT/Telecoms development.
The need to enhance the performance of our Network Engineers on network management with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainable growth of the Nigerian Telecom Industry is second to none globally.”