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Survey: AT&T Big Winner In Providing VPN Services

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have become a basic component of business networking, with nearly 90% of companies using VPN services, and AT&T the clear winner in providing those services, according to a new survey by Forrester Research.

In "VPN Sales Are Strong, With AT&T In The Lead," Forrester vice president Maribel Lopez notes that almost 90% of the firms surveyed reported that they are using VPN services, in large part because technology has matured.

"Growth is driven by maturing carrier offerings, stabilizing standards for multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), and the introduction of new technologies like SSL VPNs," Lopez writes. "Although IPSec still dominates VPN use, firms want to use a mixture of technologies, including MPLS and SSL."

AT&T has emerged as the big winner in the VPN sweepstakes, with 22% of respondents reporting that they use the telecommunications giant's VPN services, compared to 14% for Sprint and 10% for MCI. SBC Communications has reaped the benefits of its efforts to build a national network to rank fourth, with 9% of the market.

Lopez also notes that managed services are becoming increasingly attractive to VPN users. She writes that "firms cite better economics of cheap circuits like the Internet and DSL as the main reason for wanting a carrier-managed VPN."