Multiprotocol Label Switching, or MPLS, is a method routers use to forward packets of data from one place, to another.

MPLS circuits link multiple sites together and are closed in nature, creating an environment similar to a local network. However, to access the internet and not just other MPLS locations, there is a specific internet breakout. This breakout is handled by a firewall and placed within the MPLS provider’s core network at their data centre. This prevents potential bandwidth issues which can be caused by one site managing every MPLS location’s data through a limited connection, and prevents high latency produced by large geographic distances between sites.

This method is very efficient as packets being sent through MPLS are tagged, meaning routers are able to forward them on without looking at the IP header and going through long routing tables; less resources are used by routing equipment and complex lookups are avoided.

Not only is MPLS faster, due to the ease of routing, depending on your provider, your MPLS solution for each site will be proactively monitored 24/7 and extreme reliability is assured. An MPLS can be delivered over any WAN technology such as ADSL however for a dependable connection, Ethernet is generally employed which can have resiliency and backup solutions built in.

Voip Unlimited are one of the rare suppliers that offer International tails on our MPLS circuits. Linking up different office sites around the world not just within the UK. For many of our clients, this means they can connect all their offices and shops across countries allowing a till & stock system to run on a central server so all the information on the database is accurate.

Security is often business-critical and MPLS is necessary for some industries

These types of solutions are most often employed for voice quality and security reasons. Voice quality when using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can be greatly affected by other types of traffic utilizing the same data connection and companies will employ measures to prioritise VoIP traffic over any other this is called Quality of Service or QoS for short.

Due to it’s nature, MPLS is a more effective quality control as it’s packets are received and shipped off without the router having to unpack the IP layer, which is where QoS is actioned.

There can even be different labels within an MPLS to denote priority. Security is often business-critical and MPLS is necessary for some industries to achieve complete privacy for their phones or for their data. Examples are multiple office companies e.g. Estate Agencies and Retail chains who require their POS systems and stock management to operate from a central database.

“SACO have been a customer of Voip Unlimited for around 5 years. Voip Unlimited have provided business internet connections connecting our various sites on an MPLS network. This has allowed for cost savings within our network as well as reduced maintenance as all traffic is routed via a central firewall hosted in a data centre. This has allowed us to invest more into this single device and means we only have one point to manage and monitor.

The low latency of the network allows us to run VoIP telephony across all our sites with great call quality and low jitter. Voip Unlimited have a flexible approach and can assist creating a bespoke solution utilising a combination of ADSL, EFM and Leased Line connections to form the MPLS network.

Finally, dealing with Voip Unlimited, both in terms of account management and technical support is a pleasure increasingly rare in this industry!”

  • SACO, the serviced apartment company