Industry Specification Group (ISG) IPv6 Integration (IPE) Activity Report 2020

Chair: Latif Ladid, IPv6 Forum, Université de Luxembourg

Established to define best practices, gather support and create awareness of the impact of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

In the era of 5G and the cloud, the number of nodes connected to the Internet is anticipated to exceed 100 billion. As IP (Internet Protocol) networks continue to scale rapidly, IP Version 6 (IPv6) provides a tremendous number of IP addresses plus wider options for IP packet forwarding, creating new opportunities to support improved network services.

The capacity, efficiency and security of IPv6 are key enablers for the upgrading of legacy IP broadband networks, and for the cloud and industrial IoT (Internet of Things), with wireless links replacing thousands or millions of cabled connections in a factory or industrial facility. The adoption of IPv6 is outstripping IPv4 in all metrics including user numbers, traffic levels and share of content: today over 1,2 billion Internet citizens are using IPv6 without even knowing it.

In 2020 our Industry Specification Group (ISG IP6) published two Group Reports. The first [GR IP6 031] explores the integration of IPv6-based 5G in Vehicular Networking (V2X) systems. The second [GR IP6 031] examines cybersecurity issues in relation to IPv6, including use of blockchain/distributed ledger technologies.

In August several ISG IP6 members contributed to ETSI White Paper #35 titled ‘IPv6 Best Practices, Benefits, Transition Challenges and the Way Forward’. Offering recommendations to ease the adoption of IPv6 and to motivate industry for the imminent large-scale deployment of IoT and 4G/5G, the paper illustrates how cloud service providers and operators have successfully deployed IPv6, with practical guidelines and use cases. It also argues that applications such as autonomous vehicles, smart grid, industrial factory automation, process control and building automation will greatly benefit from IPv6-enabled M2M communications.

A successful ETSI webinar in September explored global IPv6 status with discussions on deployment, industrial applications, transition solutions and progress on standardization. To date the recorded event has attracted over 560 online views from SDOs, operators, vendors, governments, universities and research institutions.

ISG IP6 activities closed at the end of 2020. To address rising market needs, ETSI subsequently launched a new Industry Specification Group on IPv6 Enhanced innovation (ISG IPE). The group aims to drive full connectivity of IPv6 on everything and to facilitate the business success of this technology.