IPv6: What’s changed in five years?

By on 6 Jun 2022

Category: Tech matters

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In 2018, APNIC’s Anna Mulingbayan presented at the CommunicAsia meeting on the state of IPv6. I had a great time helping Anna with the data and was delighted when she asked me to help with a ‘then and now’ version of this talk, which has just been presented.

In light of this, and the tenth anniversary of IPv6 Launch Day, I’d like to highlight a couple of charts from this talk to give some context for a line of reasoning I think the data can clearly show — that the bulk of the heavy lifting in worldwide IPv6 is coming from the Asia Pacific Internet community.

Then and now

It’s a little hard to do a ‘before and after’ in a static blog post, but this graph shows how the worldwide IPv6 uptake has progressed since 2018 and highlights the contribution of the APNIC economies.

In 2018 (and continuing since), Asia Pacific economies are deploying well above the global average (Figure 1). I could do a microphone drop here and walk away, but let’s drill down a bit into the story.

Figure 1 — IPv6 in the Asia Pacific region and the world, then and now. The red line marks 1 January 2018.
Figure 1 — IPv6 in the Asia Pacific region and the world, then and now. The red line marks 1 January 2018.

Figure 2 shows the state of the world against the average in 2018, with a simple ‘traffic light’ signal highlighting the contribution of Asia Pacific economies. The data shows that four APNIC economies were above the world average, seven close to the average, and two on the board.

Figure 2 — World IPv6 capability in 2018 with APNIC economies highlighted.
Figure 2 — World IPv6 capability in 2018 with APNIC economies highlighted.

Figure 3 shows the same basic model but brought up to date for 2022 with a 31.8% world average. The data here shows eight APNIC economies are above average, ten are around average, and four totally different economies make it on the board.

So, not only is the Asia Pacific region doing better, but more economies within it are doing better!

Figure 3 — World IPv6 capability now with APNIC economies highlighted.
Figure 3 — World IPv6 capability now with APNIC economies highlighted.

The other view I wanted to bring to the fore is the amount Asia Pacific contributes as a region to the overall volume of IPv6 seen worldwide (Figure 4). How much of the world’s IPv6 is in the Asia Pacific region? The answer is — a lot.

Figure 4 — Contribution to the world’s IPv6 by economy, then and now.
Figure 4 — Contribution to the world’s IPv6 by economy, then and now.

At first glance, it looks like the contribution from one APNIC economy (India) has reduced, but this must be put in context; IPv6 growth in India continues unabated (Figure 5):

Figure 5 — India’s top five IPv6-capable deployments, then and now. The red line marks 1 January 2018.
Figure 5 — India’s top five IPv6-capable deployments, then and now. The red line marks 1 January 2018.

The trend we saw in 2018 of the other major ISPs playing ‘catchup’ with Reliance/Jio has continued, while Reliance saturated their IPv6-only deployment to the limit. So, this IPv6 market of 1.4B people has continued to grow.

Since 2018, a second APNIC economy (China) has emerged from the low-ranking scores and now has significant IPv6 at scale. By deploying IPv6, even at a lower intensity than in the USA, China (an economy of 1B people) has joined India to dominate the statistics. Additionally, Japan, Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Singapore have all continued their rise, so now the pie chart of IPv6 for the world is a story about deployment at scale in our region.

Read: 100% by 2025: China getting serious about IPv6

Where to from here?

In 2018, 52% of the world’s IPv6 was in Asia Pacific. Now, it’s 66%. It’s a testament to the work of all the networks that have deployed IPv6 and to all the proponents in the region. Here’s to the next five (and ten) years.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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