The planned IPv6 migration has run into some problems as far as Indian telcos are concerned. The previous version of the protocol, IPv4 has run its course and has to be replaced by the sixth revision. As you may know, IPv4 provides only 4.3 billion addresses whereas IPv6 is provides a trillion addresses. The transition is necessary but India has not made much progress even though efforts for the transition started in 2008.
Indian Telco are waiting for increasing demand to deploy these changes. Indian telecom companies are currently experiencing financial pressure due to thin margins. This is due to the fact that call rates and data services are low and usage is high in contrast. The telecom companies are finding it troublesome to invest in IPv6 migration right now because they cannot add this to their existing burdens.
Rajesh Chharia, president of Internet Service Providers Association of India says,
“Delay in adoption of IPv6 will impact the return on investments and extend the wait time for companies that are already under margin and revenue pressure due to their heavy investments in procuring spectrum and bandwidth.”
The problem with the IPv6 rollout is that telcos need to upgrade their infrastructure and network to support the new standard, which is a heavy investment activity. But if this does not happen then there is a possibility that the Internet boom in India might come to a standstill. This is a very doomsday scenario and will most probably not come to pass but there is a possibility that it might hurt the Internet growth and ecosystem prospects. Newer players are finding it easy to transition as they can set up new infrastructure. Old companies like Airtel, Vodafone and the like are in a fix because they have to upgrade their already pervasive infrastructure and that is by no means an easy task.
One possible solution to this dilemma would be that all telcos start going through a planned phasing out of IPv4. Transitioning to IPv6 is eminent and there is no way around it. Waiting for IPv6 to gather momentum is a silly thing in my opinion. Leaders in the space need to realize that planning and implementing better tech capabilities is the key to get more users to use your services. Even though the transition might be capital intensive for them, they have to follow through with this so that they might benefit from it some years down the line.
What is your take on this issue? Let us know in the comments.