Innovation in MPLS-Based Services
By Jim Metzler, Kubernan
Published March 2006, Posted March 2006




MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) has garnered a lot of attention over the last few years. In particular, over that time frame the vast majority of the major carriers have implemented MPLS within their backbone networks. While there has been some discussion on the topic in the trade magazines, few carriers currently offer a service that extends MPLS all the way to the customer premise. There is also a nascent trend to have large IT organizations implement MPLS within their own private backbone networks.


This report provides the reader with a description of Layer 3 and Layer 2 MPLS-based Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). In addition, this document provides an assessment of the Layer 3 MPLS based VPNs that are available from three major carriers. Those carriers are AT&T, Sprint, as well as Verizon Business, which was recently formed by the merger of MCI and Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. This document focuses on the innovation that is contained within those Layer 3 service offerings. None of these service providers currently offers a Layer 2 MPLS-based service, although that situation may change in 2006.


Throughout this document, Verizon Business, AT&T and Sprint will be referred to as The Carriers. The assessment of VPN services that is contained in this report was based in part on a set of questions that was sent to each of The Carriers.



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