Safaricom has become the first mobile operator in Africa to open up its network for Internet Protocol version 6 testing through its partnership with iHub Nairobi, an initiative aimed at bringing together application and content developers.
Safaricom has been running IPv6 on its network for the last year but had not opened the technology up for public services because it needed to better prepare internally to provide the technology and there was no demand from organizations for the service. In addition, there were few IPv6 applications developed for local use.
IPv6 was designed to address the upcoming depletion of IPv4 addresses, and among other things allows for greater efficiency and flexibility in allocating addresses and routing traffic.
With growing awareness of the technology, however, the network feels it is ready for developers to start testing applications on its IPv6 platform.
“We chose to work with iHub because we believe that by offering IPv6 services here we help in opening a whole new world of possibilities for the community here,” said Thibaud Rerolle, Safaricom’s technology director. “The concept of iHub is to spur a revolution in the technology products and services space, give the tech community a facility where they can bring their ideas to life; our partnership will be more to enable the capabilities of this facility, which (iHub) gives Safaricom that perfect environment to test new services, too.”