Public-Private Sector Partnership Crucial for IPV6 Migration

L-R:Bachir Estephan,NOC Director, IHS,Osuere Peter,Group Head, Business Solutions,CyberSpace, Ayotunde, Coker, Managing Director, Rack Centre,Ogungboye Muyiwa, Managing Director,eStream Networks at IPV6 International Workshop organised by ATCON in Lagos, South West Nigeria.

STAKEHOLDERS in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology ( ICT) industry have advocated for a private-public sector collaboration in order ensuring an efficient and seamless migration from the depleting IPV4 to the more secured IPV6.
Speaking at a panel discussion which preceded an International Workshop on IPV6 and INRM and with the theme, ‘Accelerating the Adoption and Implementation of IPV6’, the stakeholders noted that collaboration between government and ICT companies in the country is vital for a smooth transition to IPV6.
The IPV6, which is the library of Internet Protocol address, has been in use in other clime since 1999, whereas Nigeria is just getting into bandwagon for the transition from IPV4 to IPV6.
The workshop, which was organised by the Association Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON in partnership with Afrinic, The Internet Numbers Registry for Africa, was designed to empower technical staff of ICT companies for the gradual migration.
According to the Managing Director of eStream Network, Mr. Ogunboye Muyiwa, the IPV6 is a reality that has come to play in the technology sphere stressing that Nigeria must not be left out in the rave.
He said that the migration from IPV4 to IPV6 requires a lot regulation from government and as such, the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) needs to be compassionate on its type approved equipment particularly for companies that have equipment across the country.
He noted that most of the IPV4 equipment needs to give way for the deployment of the IPV6 type calling for government support in terms of business continuity.
Muyiwa explained, “We don’t want government to put cap on the migration from IPV4 to IPV6 so that it does look like they are forcing us to migrate”, stressing that there should be a time-frame that operators in the industry can catch up with.
He said that government should realise that it will take more time to migrate because operators have made previous investment into IPV4, and that migration should be seamless.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Rack Cantre, Lagos, Mr. Ayotunde Coker said that the quest for collaboration by the public and private sector on the IPV6 migration has become an imperative because the world has moved to data saying that the time has now come for everyone to have devices that generate data real-time.
According to him, there are a lot wearable devices, Smart Tv, and the growth of data will exceed the technology warning that if Nigeria does not embrace IPV6 it will not be able to grow data.
“We are constrained by not having the right technology in place, which will affect our ability to grow data. We are going to be left behind”, he said.
So far, in the ranking of countries that have adopted IPV6, Nigeria is just 9% trailing behind Kenya, 13 % and South Africa 28 %, the Managing Director of Vodacom Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Kolade observed in his discussion.
He said that Vodacom cannot implement the Internet of Things, (IOT) in Nigeria without IPV6 because of the several issues around saying that soon even wristwatches would soon have IP address, and such it better that Nigeria starts early.
The need for effective training is also crucial for the migration, Managing Director of Medallion Communication, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani observed stressing that that informed the decision of his company to send its technical staff for the training.
He disclosed that Medallion has both versions because of the security challenge of IPV4, which IPV6 has helped to solve adding that the security block in IPV6 is end-to-end secured.
A representative of Afrinic, Mr. Abba Brice disclosed that most equipment are compatible with IPV6 and such there should be mninmal worry on cost of migration adding that Afrinic is ready willing to give technical support to organisations that wants to switch to IPV6.
Earlier in a remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta said that the Commission has commenced the development of the Internet Industry Code of Practice document that will guide the Commission and the Internet Industry.
The proposed Internet Code of Practice will lead ultimately to the establishment of shared principles, Norms, Rules that shape the use of the Internet in the Country.
Represented by Engr. Haru Alhassan, Director, New Media and Information Security at the NCC, he said in view of the strategic and economic relevance of IPv6 implementation, and the NCC’s plan to boost Internet infrastructure, the Commission as the main driver of IPv6 migration.
Some of which include to develop regulatory guideline for IPv6 deployment over the ISPs and MNOs networks; develop a policy framework/road-map for network migration; • Prepare detailed plans, strategies and guidelines as a result of this Roadmap to enable implementation at all levels; conduct awareness training and national workshop about IPv6 network migration; Implement migration plan for ISPs and MNOs; and assist government agencies and private organisations in migrating to IPv6.
“Nigeria needs to be mindful that the adoption of IPv6 will not be a matter of choice as other developed and developing countries are already using this, and it will make Internet of Things and broadband services more seamless and more secured”, he said.
President of ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola said the need to migrate to IPv6 is long overdue and ATCON is not particularly happy that majority of “our networks in Nigeria are not IPv6 compatible, and this poses a threat to Nigerian ICT development.”
He said the Nigerian ICT sector can no longer afford to take the back seat in the global ICT development, and that the country must leapfrog the adoption of IPv6, saying, “The dividend pervasive broadband may be farfetched if as an industry or a country we are not working towards broadband meeting with technology.
“As we all know that when Internet of Things (IoTs) take their place in our country an individual may need more than ten IP addresses to enjoy the benefits that comes with IoTs.”
By Isaiah Erhiawarien


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