ITU’s first IPv6 Test Bed in Africa launched in Côte d’Ivoire
The International Telecommunication Union is partnering with L’Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications de Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI) for the implementation of an IPv6 test bed.
The test bed allows engineers to undertake IPv6 networks simulations to verify the quality of service and interoperability in different environments before deployment in corporate networks.
It was launched in December 2014 at ARTCI headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Mr Bilé Diéméléou, ARTCI Director General presided over the launch in the presence of Mr Ali Drissa Badiel, ITU Representative for West Africa, and Mr André Apété, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Posts and ICTs.
Welcoming the launch, Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau said the Union is committed to facilitating Member States and Sector Members undertake a smooth transition to the new IP address system. “The unlimited capacity offered by IPv6 is an opportunity for countries to offer better and increased internet connectivity, needed to enhance the growth of the digital economy,” he added.
IPv6 is the latest and most advanced internet addressing system. It is expected to replace the current IPv4 system whose capacity of four billion IP addresses is almost exhausted. IPv6 has a capacity that exceeds 340 trillion, trillion, trillion (or 340 undecillion addresses). To give a more tangible idea of the scale, some have compared the number of available IPv6 addresses to the number of grains of sand on the planet.
This is the first time that an IPv6 test bed has been installed in Africa by the ITU. Two similar test beds are scheduled to be implemented this year in East and Southern Africa.
The launch of the IPv6 test bed was preceded by a week-long training session organized by ITU for telecommunication engineers drawn from Côte d’Ivoire’s telecom operators, internet service providers, academia, ARTCI and the Ministry of Posts and ICTs.
At the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in Busan, South Korea in 2014, Member States adopted a resolution calling on the Organization to collaborate with relevant international partners in policy review, human capacity building and research, in order to encourage Member States to transition to IPv6.