Microsoft has offered to pay $7.5m (£4.7m) for net addresses from bankrupt telecoms firm Nortel.
The 666,624 IP version 4 (IPv4) net addresses were put up for auction as part of the sell-off of Nortel‘s assets.
Blocks of IPv4 are valuable because the pool of this generation of address is close to running dry.
It was predicted that a market in IPv4 would appear among companies facing a costly migration to the newer IPv6.
Details of the sale were contained in papers filed to a Delaware bankruptcy court and show that Microsoft‘s bid was the highest of the 80 firms asked if they wanted to make an offer for the IP addresses.
The deal is yet to be approved by that court and anyone who objects to it can file their comments before 4 April.
IP addresses are used to identify individual computing devices on the internet and private networks.
IPv4 allows for a maximum of approximately 4.3 billion devices.
That number seemed enough in the early 1980s when the standard was first proposed, however the rapid growth in personal computers, smartphones and other internet connected devices means that addresses have been rapidly running out.
The last big blocks of IPv4 addresses were handed out in February and all of them are expected to be used up by late 2011.
Net firms are in the process of moving to version 6 of the IP addressing scheme, which offers more than 3 undecillion individual numbers (3 with 38 noughts)
However, the migration is happening very slowly.
In the interim, it is expected that IPv4 addresses will become increasingly valuable.
The Microsoft–Nortel deal values the IPv4 address blocks at $11.25 (£7) each, higher than the price many firms charge for a .com domain. This was indicative, said experts, that the market for IPv4 addresses was heating up.
Registries that oversee the allocation of net addresses are also working on plans for a re-circulation system that takes IPv4 addresses from firms that are using IPv6 and releases them for use by others.
KAME Project 從大學時期玩 FreeBSD 我開始碰，一直 run 到 2006 功成身退，現在都 2011 了竟然 M$ 還是寧願花錢買 IPv4 addresses（平均每個位址近 16 美元），該說 IPv6 搞得太失敗嗎…？可以想像一個全球性的系統成型後，要 migrate 到下一代需要付出多少代價，如果這個代價太大，大家還寧願回頭爭搶舊東西…？想想電信產業的世代交替似乎也有類似的狀況，頻譜（spectrum）就跟這個新聞中的 IPv4 addresses 一樣（都是稀有財，配置出去後就固定有人在用了，無法拓展亦無法增生），不但先花鉅資買執照，還要再灑錢替 infrastructure 升級，這些 Capex 加上後續的 Opex 在業者心中都是無不想著該怎樣來打平回收的。
連中國都改口喊 TD-LTE 服務要推遲到 2014 年才大規模部署營運：No 4G services until 2014
Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei has stated that China won’t launch commercial 4G mobile services nationwide until 2014.
Mobile operators worldwide are upgrading to 4G networks to fuel growth. 4G services offer faster data speeds and higher revenue per user than the more widely available 3G services.
According to Miao, China will need three to five years to start large-scale commercial use of 4G services, slowed by the country’s promotion of a 4G technology called TD-LTE that isn’t yet fully mature. Local operator China Mobile Ltd. is likely to adopt the TD-LTE standard for 4G services but China may also allow carriers to adopt a different standard. It is also obvious that the Chinese government doesn’t want to adopt a 4G service too soon as that would disrupt the carriers’ efforts to develop 3G services further.
As per reports, China’s government and its three big mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., invested billions of Yuan to build 3G networks after China launched 3G services in 2009.
這是條漫漫長路… Player 們應該好好想辦法把氣拉長跑全馬才是上策。