Dip in IPv4 connections attributed to Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation solutions and increased IPv6 availability

In the first quarter of 2016, Akamai saw a 0.2% quarterly decrease in the number of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to it—about 1.8 million fewer than were seen in the last quarter of 2015, noting that this latest data is consistent with Akamai’s expectations that the number of unique global IPv4 addresses will level off or decline modestly.  Akamai attributed this slight decrease to carriers making IPv6 connectivity and Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation solutions more available.

Still, data from the report supports that IPv4 is alive and well.   Although 6 of the 10 countries/regions with the most unique IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai’s network experienced decreases in unique IPv4 addresses since last quarter, 7 of these same top 10 saw overall increases compared to last year, and almost 60% of countries/regions globally saw quarter-over-quarter increases in unique IPv4 addresses.

The two strongest trends in IPv6 adoption continue to hold: cable and mobile/wireless providers account for the largest volumes of IPv6 traffic and European countries lead IPv6 adoption worldwide.