China has built the first pure IPv6 network in the world and has linked telecom operators China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, China Tietong with partner equipment providers ZTE, Tsinghua Unisplendor and Tsinghua Tongfang to the network.

IPv6 is short for "Internet Protocol Version 6". IPv6 is the "next generation" protocol designed by the IETF to replace the current version Internet Protocol, IP Version 4 (IPv4). IPv6 fixes a number of problems in IPv4, such as the limited number of available IPv4 addresses. It also adds many improvements to IPv4 in areas such as routing and network autoconfiguration. IPv6 is expected to gradually replace IPv4, with the two coexisting for a number of years during a transition period.

Ni Yong, from Everbright Securities, said at the China Next Generation Internet Demonstrative Network held at Tsinghua University that the core network has adopted routers from ZTE and Huawei. Though this initial phase has not involved much investment, the partners estimate that in the next five years up to CNY15 billion will be invested.

Ni told local media that it will take about ten years to transfer from IPV4 to IPV6.

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