LACNIC Region Experiences Organic IPv6 Growth

14/05/2021

A study led by LACNIC and conducted with the support of international consulting firm SmC+ has concluded that the sustained growth of the IPv6 protocol in Latin American and the Caribbean in recent years has been organic rather than related to business development or increased Internet traffic.

Presented at LACNIC 35, the findings of this study showed the motivations of a group of organizations and ISPs for deploying IPv6 in the LACNIC region.

“Pv6 was not a specific priority, it came about naturally. There was an organic renewal of devices and an update in technology that incorporated IPv6. It was done gradually, based on how internal networks were managed,” said Sebastián Cabello of SmC+.

The study compared the results with the findings of another study conducted by LACNIC in 2016, and Cabello noted that they had found interesting signs of evolution.

Five years ago, for example, it was difficult to compare with IPv4 markets as these had not fully matured. “Five years later these markets exist, they are more mature, and prices have become more stable. The comparison makes sense from a business point of view. If I can continue to use the existing resource, there is clearly a cut-off point when it becomes convenient for me to deploy IPv6,” he explained.

He also stressed that people are now more familiar with IPv6 and the technical staff have greater training in the protocol. “In a sense, this was the expected evolution, but it is great to see it in practice,” Cabello added.

The study detected an incentive for IPv6 deployment, namely, the growth of the Internet of Things, which goes hand in hand with 5G technology.

“In the case of the Internet of Things, projections estimate that there will be 1.2 billion connected devices by 2025. It is to be expected that, at some point, IPv6 will grow explosively, perhaps in the same way that electronic means of payment grew after their initial deployment,” Cabello observed.

One of the areas the study focused on was IPv6 deployment among small Brazilian operators, where a considerable increase in IPv6 was identified. In this sense, the study identified enabling factors such as IPv6 deployment due to a lack of IPv4 addresses in a context of customer growth, an increase strongly driven by the pandemic, the update in technology accompanying IPv6 deployment, and the economic solution represented by the migration to IPv6.

The decelerating factors that were detected include the fact that clients are not prepared for the transition, that there is still not much IPv6 traffic, the ability to serve corporate clients who have not deployed IPv6 using IPv4, and the fact that not all content is accessible over IPv6 (see image below).