13 Feb

Indian IPv6 deployment

I had calls with a couple of friends over this week and somehow discussion IPv6 deployment came up. “How much has been IPv6 deployment in India now in 2020” is a very interesting question. It’s often added with – “how much of my traffic will flow over IPv6 once it is enabled“?

Game of numbers

There is a drastic difference in IPv6 deployment depending on which statistic we are looking at here in India. There can be a bunch of factors based on which we can try to judge IPv6 deployment:

  1. How many operators are offering IPv6 to end users?
  2. How many end-users are on IPv6?
  3. How’s the content available on IPv6 in terms of a number of IPv6 enabled websites?
  4. How’s the content available on IPv6 in terms of traffic volume over IPv6?

First two and last two points are related and point towards from vertically opposite ends. (Call it good or bad) the fact of high centralisation. There has been an ongoing centralisation of mobile operators and in-country like ours they connect a very large number of end-users. The number of fixed-line networks has increased considerably but at the same time in proportion to a number of mobile users they user base growth has been much lower.

On the content side like everywhere else in the world, there’s a lot more centralisation of content. Many of my Indian ISP friends tell me that Google + Akamai + Microsoft + Netflix + Facebook + Cloudflare is way over 75% of their traffic. Think about it, that’s just 6 AS number out of 68000+ odd networks in the world as per BGP routing table. Thus by traffic profile, we are looking at 0.0014% networks serving 75% of content traffic. The reason for such centralisation is actually beyond network and more around the success of products of these organisations followed by factors like the winner (or top 3) gets it all in most of these domains.

For eyeball traffic APNIC IPv6 stats for India (source here) as well as Hurricane Electric’s IPv6 progress report (source here) give us some numbers:

  1. Very few fixed-line operators are offering IPv6 but on the mobile side – a large number of mobile networks are offering IPv6. Jio was on IPv6 since launch and as traffic increased, Airtel as well as Vodafone + IDEA also significantly increased their deployment. On fixed line, it’s just Jio + ACT broadband with any sizable IPv6 footprint. BSNL + Airtel have virtually no deployment. There might be some other network in the list but it’s off the radar.
  2. There are a lot more end users on IPv6 than despite the small number of networks offering it because of the large mobile user base. On Jio 80%+ user base, on Airtel, it’s 45%, on Vodafone & IDEA (merged company but still separate ASNs) it’s close to 50%. That’s the number of users who are connecting over IPv6 when given option of IPv4 and IPv6 as tested by APNIC. That number is huge!
  3. Around 98.5% of TLDs (top-level domain names like .com, .net etc) are IPv6 enabled. For .com & .net domains, only 7% of the domains have an AAAA record (compared to ones having an A record). Most of the numbers are much lower if we look at the content side of IPv6 (ignoring the traffic volume).
  4. If we look at the content players with IPv6 and include the traffic volume numbers then it’s way higher. It is estimated that globally somewhere between 20-30 top ASNs carry 90%+ traffic and almost all of those top 20 are IPv6 enabled.

What do all these numbers actually mean?

  1. If you are an eyeball network in India and you deploy IPv6, you can expect way over 70-80% traffic (by volume) on IPv6.
  2. If you are a content network/datacenter in India and application is targetting to home fixed-line / enterprise network, expect a rather low amount of IPv6 traffic but would be rapidly increasing as more fixed-line networks deploy.
  3. If you are a content network/datacenter in India and content hosted at your end attracts mobile traffic, you can expect way over 50%-60% of that mobile traffic over IPv6.

Some additional reasons to consider deploying IPv6

  1. In India, ISPs need to maintain carrier-grade NAT logs of the translations. If one is doing dual-stack, a large part of traffic will flow over IPv6 saving on those logging requirements.
  2. For ISPs, it will save you from significant strain on CGNAT device.
  3. For content network/webmaster/datacenter – IPv6 will help in delivering your traffic outside of (often) congested CGNAT paths.

Happy IPv6ing! 🙂

26 Aug

Facebook FNA Nodes Updates

Earlier this year after APRICOT 2018, I posted a list of visible Facebook FNA (CDN caching) nodes across the world with IPv4, IPv6 and the AS name. I got quite a few mails in following months about people mentioning that they installed nodes but do not see their names in the list (and that was normal since list was static). 

I re-ran my script to see emailslatest status of nodes. During last check I saw 1689  nodes (3rd March). Now on 26th Aug i.e after close to 6 months, the total number of nodes has increased to 2204.

Here is the latest sheet containing the list of nodes with ASN, network name, IPv4 and IPv6 – http://link.anuragbhatia.com/fna30aug

Summary of the data and some findings for India

  1. The number of nodes increased by 27% within the last 6 months. 

  2. On Reliance Jio network number of node increased by just 1 – which is a new node they put in Ludhiana, Punjab. 

  3. In Delhi, a number of FNA nodes went up from 16 to 21. Four new additions are ACT (AS18209), MNR Broadband (AS133648), Facebook itself (AS63293) which is worth exploring) and GEONET GEOCITY NETWORK SOLUTIONS (AS45235). This actually makes me wonder why I do not see any FNA nodes on my ex-employer Spectra AS10029 as yet.  (30 Aug 2018 Update: I missed this, please see footer below)

  4. In case of Mumbai (or Bombay as used for BOM airport code), the number went up from 17 to 21. New additions HNS (AS38457), Airtel (AS9498) and Vortex Netsol  (AS136334). 

  5. For Chennai number stayed same at 6 (4 telco – Airtel, Jio, Vodafone, IDEA) and 2 broadband ISPs (ACT and Hathway). 

  6. In Kolkata IDEA added the new FNA node. Rest all seems the same. 

  7. I see zero active nodes in Dishnet Wireless (Aircel) now. Earlier there was one in Kolkata and one in Chennai. 

  8. Still zero active nodes in India’s largest govt. incumbent operator BSNL AS9289. They clearly do not understand the value of content caching nodes. 

  9. There’s a major growth in a number of FNA nodes in Airtel from 9 (in March) to 16 (now at the end of Aug). And for IDEA number went from 6 to 12. While the number of nodes in Vodafone stays same (14). 

  10. There’s no node in any of Tata telecom companies. 

Well, that’s all about for now. Have a good Rakshabandhan. 🙂

Update: 30th Aug 2018

My friends from Spectra pointed out that they do have a node and that made me to re-look at my scripts. Due to a bug in the scripts, I was not getting all the nodes. I have fixed the bug and updated the data in this post. 

07 Jul

Indian telecom voice market and updates


Suddenly the voice market in India is becoming very interesting. Earlier it was the case of Jio (and competitors) launching unlimited voice plans and now it’s the case of Govt. of India permitting IP telephony.

IP Telephony i.e networks where telephony happens over IP (not to be confused with IP to IP calls but) where IP to PSTN interconnects happen. Till a few months ago IP telephony (or IP-PSTN) interconnection was allowed only under certain conditions like doing it inside a building only for purpose of call centres (with OSP license) or running SIP trunks over private networks. Things like termination of calls originated from the apps was not allowed (where IP-PSTN was happening within India) as well as DID or Direct Inward Dialing numbers were not allowed. There were even cases where apps/businesses had to shut down due to confusing regulation. Here’s a nice article from Medianama about it. But all those were things of past.

In May Wifi calling or calls via Wifi where wifi is used loosely and it’s essentially called via any sort of Internet connections were permitted (news here). Later after TRAI’s clarification it now has been formally allowed. While it may not look as attractive as it should have been in the age of WhatsApp calling (IP to IP, not PSTN mess involved!), it still is quite interesting and going to bring some major change.


Here some of the upcoming things we all can expect to see in the next few months:

  1. All key operators will launch native wifi call offload for flagship phones (Google Pixel, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy’s etc). This will offload a hell lot of voice traffic from the cell towards home wifi. Various fixed wired ISPs would now be carrying a significant chunk of voice traffic.
  2. All key operators will launch an app for making phone calls and it would not only be for their users but also for other users. So while at this point one has to have a SIM card from the provider, next it would be sim card as well as “virtual connection” in form of a sort of KYC followed by an app essentially making use of SIP for call routing.
  3. SIP trunks over IP networks will become common and that would be huge. In present times if someone needed 5-10 connections for official use with call haunting etc, it was either POTS analogue phones or PRIs (yuck!) or SIP trunks running over the private network. Going forward now it would be SIP trunks offered over the regular internet all would be facilitated via closed systems (apps and portals) as well as open systems based on SIP. This would help significantly to businesses which have direct customer interaction.
  4. Market of DIDs or 10 digit virtual phone numbers will become very common. Telcos would be offering it directly and various platforms like Microsoft’s Skype, Google Voice, Vonage etc would also join in and resell those.


An interesting case of above is BSNL’s recent announcement of their platform “Wings”. Though based on their usual track record of totally screwing up, I would keep my expectations low, but still offering seems interesting and gives an idea of the updated regulatory framework.