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NTT DOCOMO gets first-mover advantage on IPv6

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NTT DOCOMO is to begin rolling out IPv6 single-stack support for selected DOCOMO devices, while Japan's other carriers continue operating with IPv4 addresses – for the time being.

DOCOMO is currently providing IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack support by assigning both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to its devices. Its shift to IPv6 single-stack saw DOCOMO use address conversion methods to ensure interoperability with IPv4.

From 1 February – Tuesday – single-stack functionality will be applied to DOCOMO models operating on its mobile network in Japan. The company's existing communication network will not be impacted, and it said users will not be inconvenienced with settings updates.

Support will be extended to 31 IPv6 models initially, and in principle, for all DOCOMO devices released in FY22, beginning this April.

DOCOMO said a "key factor" in its decision is that IPv4 addresses are now in short supply worldwide due to the take up in IoT and 5G.

DOCOMO might be the first in Japan, but over in China, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and Cyberspace Administration set out its plan for massive IPv6 adoption in July. It called for China to have 700 million active IPv6 users by 2023 and 200 million IoT devices using the protocol as, by the end of that year, new networks won't be able to use IPv4.

By the end of 2025, China wants its IPv6 network "scale, user scale, and traffic scale" to "rank first in the world".

As these announcements were being made, over in Japan DOCOMO was starting its trials, which ran until December.

Its test environment was designed to allow global developers to confirm the interoperability of their applications and content on DOCOMO devices designated for conversion to single-stack support.

Going forward, DOCOMO said it is committed to playing a leading role in the expanding adoption of IPv6 addresses, as well as the further development of 5G and IoT, "by meeting increasing demands for innovative communications equipment".

 

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