UID may double up as IP address, mobile number

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 25, 2011 20:10 hrs

R&D organisation takes up study to enable the conversion.

Your unique identity number (UID) may soon double up as your computerᅵs Internet Protocol (IP) address ᅵ a numerical label assigned to a device participating in a computer network.

The Internet is expected to run out of IP addresses – the current system, Internet Protocol version 4, was designed for a maximum of 4.3 billion addresses and launched in the 1980s – in the next one year.

Faced with the challenge, Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), a research and development organisation for the telecom sector, has taken up a study to convert the UID number to your IP address. According to sources within the organisation, C-DOT is exploring the possibility of using the 16-digit UID number as the IP address.

C-DOT is also working on a project to replace your mobile phone number with the UID number.

An IP address serves two principal functions ᅵ identifies the network and location. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255 which are separated by three dots.

The Internet Engineering Task Force , which develops and promotes Internet Standards, is exploring new technologies to expand the Internet's addressing capability because the remaining five blocks of the IPv4 was distributed in February this year and is expected to be exhausted by the year-end.

To address the problem, they have come up with the next generation internet protocol called Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), which intends to replace IPv4. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is in charge of all "unique parameters" on the Internet, including IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

The UID project was initially conceived by the Planning Commission as an initiative to provide identification for each Indian citizen. So far two million UID numbers have been issued. According to a company official, C-DOT has already made a presentation to the Telecom Regulator Authority of India (Trai) on the use of UID as oneᅵs mobile phone number.

With over 15 million subscribers being added every month, the telecom department is also faced with similar challenges with mobile phone numbers.

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