IPV6 (Next Generation Internet): Skelton for Cross-Linked ICT Developments
Focus: Iraq

(1) Background:
 
 In the Internet operation environment, every single connected node (Website, devices, mobile phones, etc) must have a unique node identifier, called IP (Internet Protocol). As a similarly, IP is like a unique telephone number that is assigned to any subscriber. The current operational Internet is based on a legacy IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4), designed originally to accommodate about 4 Billion nodes. Due to the huge exponential growth of Internet, the International main IP v4 supply, which is subsequently supplied to the regional & local IPv4 communities worldwide, have been exhausted in February 2011. After that IPv4 main source exhaustion, the regional communities have been left to deal with their remaining stock of IPv4, which again started to deplete (differently according to the region) from 2011 to 2015 worldwide. The ONLY remaining IPv4 availability in the world is in the Africa region, due to low-stats of Internet access there, where it is expected to deplete in 2019.
 
To overcome the IPv4 limitations, prepare &  extend the Internet operation for the huge & high-tides technological IP-Hungry demanding trends, the world have started to move to the next generation protocol, IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6), designed to accommodate "340 Trilion Trillion Trillion" nodes. IPv6 is the ONLY viable key-enabler for taking the current Internet to boundless horizons so that to accommodate the huge potential of the foreseen Tsunami wave of  IoT (Internet of Things) services, nodes & applications. IoT landscape simply means: Connecting everything to the Internet. It is expected that 50-100 Billion nodes to be connected  in the IoT environment during 2020-2025. Obviously, a huge demand of IPs is needed for IoT coming-wave, a case that can only be achieved with the adoption of IPv6 as an Internet operational backbone that replaces the depleted & insufficient IPV4. On a global level, it became impossible to uptake these technological trends flux without "IPv6-Adoption" as a core-component in mind.

 
(2) The current global IPv6 Radar image:
 
  • IPv6 has surpassed the uncertainty and reluctance phases and it is NO more an "If Option". It is the ONLY & MUST way-ahead process that will rescue & re-scale the current Internet. For late-comers, the time for IPv6 is really now and there is NO way to escape and / or hide from it. IPv6 deployment takes time & resources. It is NOT a short term process. Depending on enterprise size & budget, it may takes years for IPv6 migration. So the sooner the better in terms of IPV6 start-plans, preparedness, training, practice & deployment.  
  
  • The Worldwide average IPv6 deployment, as of today, is around 10% bar and it is doubling every 6 months. With this IPv6 steady growth figures, the world is expected to achieve 50 % IPv6 traffic by mid 2017, & 100 % IPV6 traffic by 2020, a situation which would be a very critical moment for IPV6-Late-Comers, as they will face a compulsory IPV6-path to avoid "Internet-Isolation" (IPv4 networks blind-seeing when IPv6 networks & services is fully operational by 2020 on a global level).IPv4 survival believers / IPv6-Late-Adopters has avoided IPv6 migration so far because of numerous major barriers & challenges, e.g. Top management decision-making reluctance, lack of awareness, lack of national strategic plans, immature business case models, clients needs ignorance, counting on IPv4 survival, & lack of IPv6 skilled training & workers. 
  • IPv4 Non-Viable Counting on "Prosthesis & Extend-the-life" solutions will NOT extend the  Internet scale & operational life-cycle for many enterprise. It is a kind of "The final breath". Some of these known prosthesis solutions are:
    • Bulk legal regional transfer (mainly Africa-Other Regions & Inter-Regions),
    • Black market Merchandize (buying & selling IPv4 surplus among enterprises),
    • NAT (Sharing many users into single IP)

 
(3) Iraq Case:
 
For the Arab Region generally, the best IPv6 adoption rate is 0.01% for KSA & UAE, while it ranges 0%-0.01% for all other Arab countries. Arab Region (equally with African countries) are in the bottom list rate on a global level. A major reason behind this poor Arab-Region rate is the reluctance & uncertainty about IPv6-coming, mainly by Gov. & ISPs, and accordingly the lack of time-lined enforced strategic plans. The Arab Region IPv6-image briefly is: Very slow, uncertainty, reluctance & intermittent IPv6 rollout. However, the Author continuous many-past-year's tours & updates among Pan-Arab region, is witnessing some startup & promising plans in Sudan & Tunisia, yet there is a long way to go to have them as success stories.
 
For Iraq, a fragile country torn due to many successive wars & security instability, additional drawbacks yields a bad image: The Internet / Telecoms infrastructures is one of the poorest & outdated in the region, even when compared to other Arab region courtiers, with NO solid work to upgrade. For this, IPv6 is NOT on the national agenda despite that the author have done successive steps since 2010 to lead his home country in this domain. These steps came in the form of various capacities IPv6-Startup landscape works & initiatives summarized in the following table:
 
Capacity & Affiliations  IPV6 Cross-Linked Works & Deliverables 
(Self & Affiliated)
Self-capacity
  • Personal ICT Ministerial Advices & High Level Engagements 
  • Establishing a local Iraqi chapter & Task force;
  • Certified training for engineers & policy makers;
  • Iraqi Roadmap & national strategy drafting;
  • Linkage of Iraqi stakeholders-Regional / International key players & Technological Best Practices & What-Works Transfer
  • Many Awareness & High-Level Gov. executives workshops
ITU
(International Telecommunication Union)
IPV6 Forum
RIPE NCC
 
 On the ground NOTHING have been accomplished due to many reasons summarized herby:
  
  • Bad political & state sectarian regime, Gov. executives are completely unqualified. Gov. leaders are a key.
  • Security instability and diverse continuous terrorism attacks & deterioration    
  • Highly Gov. corruption rate, Iraq is one of the worst global corruption index
  • Disengagement of visionary technocrat  & qualified personnel in key national projects planning, decision making & implementations, where national projects are specified according to political parties self-interests ONLY
  • State Monopoly on the Internet services: An old centralized system with the lack of modern Telecom / Internet sector decentralization, privatization & competition
  • Absence of a "National ICT strategy", a key enabler for ICT developments
  • Complete Lack of real PPP (Public Private Partnerships), namely with the 3 private Mobile operators,  collaboration works,  & consensus for national beneficial ICT projects generally, & IPv6 namely.
  • 3 Mobile Operators are dominated by political parties for the later self-interest with very basic services.  


 
AlaaAldin AlRadhiBSC, MSC, PHD: IPv6 & IoT Emerging Technologies Landscape: Strategist, Guru, Mentor, Capacity Builder and Certified (Gold) Engineer / Trainer/ Administrator
Different Capacities Affiliations: ICANN, IETF, ITU, Internet Society, AICTO, ALECSO, ESCWA, AIGF, TERENA, HIVOS, EU, IPv6 Forum, RIPE, MENOG, UNESCO, FTTH ME, Internet 2, ASREN, Swiss Cyber Storm, TAG Foundation, Academia, ICT Stakeholders, PIR (.Org)