Liquid Telecom warns that Africa will run out of IPv4 addresses by 2017

Liquid Telecom Kenya warns that Africa is set to run out of the old-style IPv4 addresses in 2017, causing serious setbacks to the continent’s Internet growth and security.

Africa is the last continent with available IPv4 addresses, but it is now also running short. Yet the uptake of the new IPv6 addresses is proving so slow in Africa that Liquid Telecom’s roll out in just the first two of the 12 countries it services across Africa, being Kenya and Zimbabwe, has more than doubled the use of IPv6 across the continent.

As IPv4 addresses run out, it will become increasingly difficult and more expensive for networks to add new devices and users to their networks, as well as triggering additional Internet security issues.


Liquid Telecom chief executive Ben Roberts said if Africa mismanages the transition to the new IP addresses, it would affect the ability to add any new devices, as well as cyber security, both of which are seen as vital in achieving a higher level of Internet penetration.

“Africa’s population and especially young population is growing fast, with Kenya expected to hit 62 million people by 2030. This is then multiplied by the growing number of Internet devices we are all carrying, as phones, laptops, tablets, and all these devices need an IP address,” said Mr Roberts.

Credit: CIO

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