China's plan to put the internet Protocol version 6-based network into large-scale use will boost the development of the internet industry and facilitate the application of digital technologies in industrial sectors, analysts said on Monday.
Wei Leping, a telecom expert and former chief engineer at China Telecommunications Corp, the third largest telecom carrier by subscribers, said: "The efforts to promote the application of IPv6 are just like removing unnecessary checkpoints in China's information highway, which will significantly boost network performance in the country."
China unveiled an action plan on Sunday which details efforts to have 200 million active users of IPv6 by the end of 2018, and over 500 million users by 2020.
By the end of 2025, China will build the world's largest IPv6-based network, with applications and terminal devices fully supporting the adoption of the IP standards, according to the plan.
Computers, mobile phones, electronic devices and sensors that are connected to the internet need a unique internet protocol address to identify themselves and communicate with each other.
The addresses used predominantly on the internet are based on a communication standard known as IPv4, whose supply of addresses is running out.
This is the first time that China has launched detailed plans on IPv6-based network, which has a much higher theoretical limit on the number of IP addresses than the current IPv4 system, since IPv6 was first introduced to the nation in 1998.
"Globally speaking, China is one of the first countries to promote the application of IPv6. But very little progress has been made in the past decade, with companies failing to realize the urgency of upgrading their network infrastructure," said Wei
Official data show that only 0.5 percent of China's data traffic goes through IPv6-enabled network architecture, far lower than the global average of 15.3 percent.
In Belgium, which is ranked as a country with highest proportion of IPv6 data traffic, the number is more than 50 percent.
Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry website Cctime, said: "The action plan will benefit enterprises, because when it comes to the internet of things era, the demand for IP addresses will surge. IPv6-based network can allow them to build a real-time network which can track and analyze their products on assembly lines."