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The Next Revolution in VPNs

Frame relay can do most things that the new network-based VPNs' can do. But NB-VPNs' reduced pricing structure -- they reduce the number of circuits and are easier to budget

What are NB-VPNs' other selling points? Most NB-VPNs provide direct connectivity between all sites as a fully meshed WAN, which makes them a great match for flattened network topologies. Companies doing voice or video convergence need to eliminate network hops to reduce latency and loss, which NB-VPNs do quite nicely. For large-scale networks, NB-VPNs simplify administration by reducing the number of circuits, both real and virtual, that fan out of data-center locations. But except for reducing the circuit count, frame relay can do all of these things.

Frame relay buyers won't even have to change anything to reap the benefit of NB-VPNs. Those carriers that don't have a strong NB-VPN story will adopt the new pricing model in frame relay. WorldCom's Bundled Frame Relay Pricing Service offering is a good example. Others will heavily discount frame relay PVC charges to get the same effect. So as a buyer of WAN services, you'll find it doesn't matter whether you choose NB-VPNs or frame relay. You can win either way.

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