IPv6 deployment worldwide is becoming a reality now with some countries achieving more than 10% user penetration and Belgium and Switzerland reaching double digit v6 coverage according to Google IPv6 statistics.

The USA remains by far the biggest adopter of IPv6 with over 18 million users followed by Germany, Japan and China with some five million users. Worldwide IPv6 deployment has passed the 3% bar doubling every six months. If this trend continues, we should achieve 50% by 2017 which would be the inflection point whenthe full roll-out of IPv6 becomes a strategic plumbing decision for the networks, a situation that has been avoided so far because of numerous strategic and resource issues (top management decision-making, lack of v6 skilled engineers and v6 deployment best practices, very limited ISP v6 access deployment, ...). The Middle East has seen many activities in this field with the creation of IPv6 Forum chapters ( Saudi IPv6 Task Force, UAE IPv6 Task Force, Oman IPv6, Egyptian and Jordanian IPv6 Task Forces to name a few). The telecom regulators Saudi CICT, UAE TRAI, and Oman TRAI have been very proactive in organising events to promote the adoption of IPv6. New topics are now in the limelight such as Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, SDN, NFV, and 5G. However, these fields are taking IP networking for granted, designing them on IPv4/NAT building non-scalable and non-end to end solutions.

The IPv6 Forum is driving new initiatives to garner support and create awareness in these areas with initiatives such as the IEEE Comsoc IoT, SDN-NFV and5G Emerging Technical Subcommittees: http://www.comsoc.org/about/committees/emerging%20 High level representatives from the Middle East and North African IPv6 communities present status reports on progress and debate the hurdles that need to be taken down to manage a smooth transition to IPv6.

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