Colt Telecom is talking up the benefits of IP VPNs, claiming 700 enterprise customers across Europe are already using its alternative to leased lines.
The telco said confidence is growing in outsourced network security.
"A few years ago there were questions about the security and quality of service of IP-based VPNs," said Daryl Szebesta, director of data sales and systems outsourcing at Colt. The company said a third of customers had chosen multi-protocol label switching (MPLS)-based products. MPLS, which runs over existing network infrastructures, is gradually replacing Colt's ATM and Frame Relay products.
"MPLS mixes the best features of technologies such as ATM with the flexibility of the internet," said Szebesta.
Colt sells mainly direct in the UK but said it may take on partners to sell its hosted services.
James Eibisch, EMEA research director for IP and hosting services at IDC, said there are two types of VPN product: equipment tailored for a customer's premises and VPNs hosted on a service provider's infrastructure.
He added that broadband and the benefits of MPLS have boosted corporate demand. "IP VPNs based on service providers' networks are the fastest growing and most of these use MPLS," he said.
Ian Kilpatrick, group managing director at distributor Wick Hill, said there is an opportunity for resellers with both types of IP VPN. "It's all about ensuring quality of service on the customers LAN through network products," he said.
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