On the 7th of June 2020, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) explained the need for new Internet Protocol (IP) and for stakeholders to embrace the Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6).
Mr. Rudman, who also is the Chairman, IPv6 Council Nigeria/President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), gave this insight at the 2020 Digital Rights Series webinar on Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable, hosted by ITREALMS in collaboration with DigitalSENSE Africa Media with the theme ‘Role of IP in 5G v COVID-19 Debate’.
Mr Rudman, whose paper was on the “Role of IPv6 in 5G v Covid-19”, noted that every device connecting to the Internet needs a unique number, known as an IP address, divided into two categories of addresses, namely the IPv4 and IPv6.
At the inception of the Internet when connectivity to the commercial Internet was in its infancy, the pool of around 4 billion IPv4 addresses seemed huge. No one could have predicted the impact the Internet would have on human lives and It has become clear that the pool of IPv4 addresses were not sufficient for all the devices connecting to the Internet. Mr. Rudman stated that “IPv6 was developed as the solution to the shortage of IPv4 addresses. The pool of IPv6 addresses contains 2 128 IPv6 addresses or roughly 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses.”
IPv6 features, Rudman said include scalability of 340 trillion, trillion, trillion, improved security, real-time application, auto-configuration, mobility, addressing and routing and extensibility to mention but a few.
On the link between IPv6 and Fifth Generation (5G), the Chairman pointed out that with the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with Unique Identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Currently leading the pack in the deployment of 5G, he said, is South Korea with coverage in 85 cities. China takes second place with 57 cities, followed by the United States of America (US) with 50 and the United Kingdom (UK) with 31. While the remaining countries in the top 10 for 5G are Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Australia, Germany, and Romania.
“Nigeria, in November 2019, became the first country in West Africa to test-run 5G technology and applications, thus has not deployed 5G.
Mr. Rudman emphasised that 5G technology entails beamforming, dedicated radio signal towards the user; a 4G signal is typically spread across a wide area, which enabled by massive Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology, identifies most efficient signal path, whereas improving connection reliability, it reduces interference(unwanted signals) and boosts efficient use of spectrum and power thereby allowing for more simultaneous data streams.
On the electromagnetic spectrum, Mr. Rudman said that all radiation falls into two classifications – ionising and non-ionising, as such does not have implication connected to 5G, which does not fall into that spectrum.