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Managing network bandwidth for voice and data

In terms of bandwidth, is it more efficient to move voice and data separately within a network or through a converged voice and data network?

In terms of bandwidth, is it more efficient to move voice and data separately within a network or through a converged voice and data network?
If we interpret "efficiency" as the maximization of performance and reliability at the lower cost, I don't think that from the perspective of bandwidth convergence will provide an "efficient" solution over purpose specific independent networks, but bandwidth is not the only component in the efficiency equation. In fact, bandwidth costs are dramatically going down, but cost of ownership is the real area of attention. When you "converge" your telecom strategy, you are also simplifying maintenance by reducing the skill set needed to manage your parallel networks, you reduce the component count by sharing devices and media diminishing maintenance and risks.

Having said that, it is true that when combining voice and data on the same network, you are able to maximize the use of available bandwidth making a more "efficient" use of that resource because of the difference in nature of voice and data (real time vs. non-real time).

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