MPLS and Its Role With VoIP
Keywords Tags: MPLS VoIP Voice Over IP VPN
Perhaps the biggest success thus far for MPLS is its deepening of the VoIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol), which is a leading candidate for the future of doing business via telecommunications.
VoIP essentially allows for a computer network to double as a telephone line. VoIP is typically cheaper than even the best unlimited call plans for digital telephone connections.
For the last few years, it has been expected that with the ever-increasing prevalance of WANs and VoIP networks, MPLS would provide a natural evolution toward even greater and more widespread implemenation of VoIPs.
With the MPLS network's layer 2 to layer 3 connectivity power, VoIP service providers such as leading provider Vonage, ATT, Sprint, and so on and so forth can now give the benefit of their core infrastructure over to their business VoIP clients, making their service faster, clearer, more reliable, and more robust than the kind of connection normally achieved by the public Internet.
A lot of businesses that are realizing the growing need for real-time application prioritization and end-to-end connectivity and are using VoIP are seeing how perfectly it work in concert with MPLS.
One business in particular which has already benefitted from MPLS' convergence with VoIP is the Inheritance Funding Company (IFC).
IFC currently has over 160 telephone in its business VoIP system, which it implemented two and a half years ago because "Maintenance and reliability became pressing issues. It was time to consider an alternative" to the status quo business phone system, according to IFC CIO Jim Norman.
By the middle of 2006, IFC tech saw the need to enhance the taxed VoIP with an MPLS network to make calls more robust and reliable so that there weren't transmission hiccups, dropped calls, echoes in the ear, voices suddenly going distant, and other problems.
Says Norman, "If we wanted to get the quality that we wanted, we had to go with MPLS," Norman said. "We wanted reliability, convenience and efficiency...From an administrative standpoint, we now have control of the phone system from here for all branches, and from anywhere, really."
According to Robbie Harrell of Unified Communications, an online company serving IT and business professionals, "MPLS is useful as an enabler for VoIP because it provides Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)-like capabilities with an IP network.
Unlike the expensive ATM links that would be required to support VoIP, MPLS provides guaranteed services utilizing IP quality of service on the carrier's backbone. This service and the ability to converge VoIP onto the data network present a tremendous opportunity to reduce operational costs and consolidate infrastructures."
Author: Van Theodorou