Experts call for move to new Web protocol

Updated: 2012-06-07 13:32

By Gao Yuan (China Daily)

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Experts call for move to new Web protocol

China should move to quickly adopt Internet Protocol version 6, which will offer trillions more of the IP addresses that China badly needs, experts said on Tuesday, the day the new protocol was introduced globally.

"The development of Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, has been very slow in recent years because previous protocol makers had many IP addresses they could use and were reluctant to draw up new rules," said Xiang Ligang, an Internet expert and CEO of, a Chinese telecommunications Internet portal.

"But developing economies, such as China, have a huge demand for new IP addresses."

The current protocol, IPv4, has room for only about 4 billion addresses. IPv6 will help to ensure China has a nearly inexhaustible source of IP addresses - enough, some experts say, to assign one to every grain of sand in the ocean.

Adding more IP addresses to the Internet will make it possible to give an individual identity to all devices that connect to the Web and thus greatly reduce the chance of different devices interfering with each other.

Some Chinese companies have made plans to adopt the new protocol before it is officially introduced.

China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest telecom operator measured by subscriber numbers, said it plans to adopt IPv6 before 2016.

"China Mobile will try IPv6 out this year, and that will help us increase the number of users of the protocol," Li Zhengmao, an executive vice-president at China Mobile, said at an Internet conference this month.

The company estimated it could have 3 million IPv6 users by the end of next year, according to the online media company

"The proliferation of devices, mobile access to resources and business-to-customer applications are driving customers to support IPv6," said Mike Sapien, principal analyst at Ovum, an IT and telecom consultant company.

It will take several years to bring about a complete migration from Ipv4 to Ipv6, Sapien predicted.

The latest Internet protocol plays a large part in the government's plans to give the nation's economy a boost through the Internet industry.

In May, the country began to allow people to again apply to register domain names ending either in ".cn" or in the Chinese characters for ".China".

The first day that was allowed, more than 100,000 domain names were claimed, estimated HiChina Group Ltd, a company that registers the names.

That number was more than 20 times greater than the average number had been before the new rule was adopted, the company said.