THE RIPE NCC THROWS LIGHT ON THE CURRENT STATE OF INTERNET IN THE GCC COUNTRIES , YEMEN AND IRAQ
The RIPE NCC previously published a series of Internet country reports on Saudi Arabia , Russia , Germany , Southeast Europe and Central Asia . The latest report in this series examines the Internet landscape in eight countries in the Gulf region , focusing on the Internet landscape in the GCC countries , Yemen and Iraq , as part of an on-going effort to support Internet development through the service region by making the data and insights available to local technical communities and decision makers .
The report gives a detailed outlook on the market development , infrastructure and Internet routing within the region as well as the available Internet address resources in the following countries : Bahrain , Iraq , Kuwait , Oman , Qatar , Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Yemen . The analyses and results are based on data collected by the RIPE NCC measurements tools and a few external data sources .
The report reaches several conclusions on what is needed in the region from a technical and regulatory standpoint in order to facilitate Internet development and future growth .
Growth in Local Internet Registries ( LIRs )
The report shows that Iraq , Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates and even Kuwait have shown significant growth over the past decade in establishing local networks . The report indicates that Iraq overtook the GCC countries with the most Local Internet Registries ( LIRs ). On the other hand , Bahrain , Oman , Qatar and Yemen have experienced far less growth , with some even decreasing their number of LIRs .
The number of private networks ( ASNs ) in a given country is one indication of market maturity . These networks encourage interconnection , offer security and increase resiliency in the market .
Demand for connectivity and depletion of IPv4
Mobile Internet connectivity has had a faster growth and penetration rate than fixed broadband in the Gulf , given the region ’ s high reliance on mobile access . The region has some of the highest mobile subscriptions per capita in the world in many of the Gulf countries .
As more and more organisations scrambled to get access to Internet networks , demand for IPv4 in the region increased with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates , and other countries acquiring more IPv4 addresses from the secondary market .
Need for IPv6 deployment
Despite IPv4 ’ s dwindling availability and its increasing cost on the secondary market , many countries in the Gulf region continue to struggle with IPv6 deployment . Although Iraq , Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have substantially increased their IPv6 holdings in recent years , there are vast differences when it comes to actual deployment rates . The UAE leads the region in IPv6 deployment followed by Saudi Arabia .
Dependency on International Internet exchange points ( IXPs )
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of Internet exchange points ( IXPs ) in the Gulf region with Bahrain , Kuwait , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each having at least one operational IXP .
While some Gulf countries lead the world in indicators such as mobile penetration and Internet speeds , the region lags far behind , with most traffic being sent far outside the region . These detours generally increase costs for the network operator and , more importantly , the additional distance travelled unnecessarily increases the risk of disruptions .
Protecting data and networks
Routing security could be greatly improved in the region by adopting the Resource Public Key Infrastructure ( RPKI ), a digital certificate that helps network operators make more secure routing decisions . x