The European Commission said Friday that a quick adoption of IP version 6 (IPv6) is crucial to the successful launch of third-generation (3G) mobile phones in Europe, due to start in June next year.
"IPv6 is a prerequisite for the success of 3G," said Per Haugaard, the Commission spokesman on telecoms and information society issues. "There needs to be sense of urgency about this, which is why we are pushing for the introduction of Ipv6."
Earlier this week, the Commission hosted the first meeting of a European industry-led task force established to develop a comprehensive action plan by the end of 2001 to ensure the timely availability of IPv6.
The Commission estimates that at current growth rates, the current Internet protocol (IPv4) will run out of Internet addresses by 2005. The launch of 3G mobile communications will multiply the number of devices requiring Internet addresses.
"Europe, in particular, must act quickly if the constraints of the existing Internet protocols (IPv4) are not to hold back realization of the Lisbon Strategy objectives," said Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society.
European heads of state said in Lisbon last year that Europe must aim to become the leading knowledge-based economy in the world, and called for initiatives and legislation in the fields of telecoms and IT to achieve this aim.
Haugaard said that technological bottlenecks such as that caused by a shortage of Internet addresses, are as big a concern to the development of 3G mobile communications as the well-publicised financial problems that have arisen from the issuing of 3G licenses. "We have to work hard to be ready by next June," he said.