How can MPLS help in VoIP implementation between a parent company and its branch offices?
Because MPLS is a "managed service," your chances for success improve by using MPLS as a means to connect the parent company and the branch offices. Be sure to purchase and negotiate the proper level of services needed to keep the business running smoothly. For example, Verizon's Gold CAR (Committed Access Rate) is a must have for VoIP networks, otherwise you are gambling and in the case of Verizon, you must purchase the Gold CAR service for QoS (Quality of Service). The network or connections between the sites are virtual, not point-to-point, since the T1's terminate in the cloud managed by the service provider.
The MPLS provider needs to know what's residing on your network (IP-PBXs, PBXs, gateways) and information such as Diffserv values so that they can plan and implement the routers at all locations and establish adequate QoS parameters. So in short, your connection to the cloud is minimized (distance, cost) and connectivity is provided to all company locations through the managed service and services -- such as security and QoS -- ensure your network reliability.
This doesn't mean that you just plug your network into MPLS -- far from it. While the burden of providing a consistent, reliable and robust network is shifted to the provider of MPLS, the user company is still responsible for a lot of legwork. In fact, finding and gathering the details from company vendors, staff and other resources to ensure that the MPLS network fits and that the service level agreements are adequate in addressing the company's operational needs.
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