“Son, are you on a long distance call?…. Can it!” These words of my cost-conscious father still ring in my ears as we continue with this series on managing “cans and string.”
In our continuing discussion on Convergence we uncover all the extra things your MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network investment can deliver. Our networks used to only deliver data between our business locations or to our customers. With the AT&T VPN (Virtual Private Network)you can also add Class of Service or COS. This is where we take advantage of Internet Protocols and prioritize network traffic.
OK, but what does that mean? Simply put, you can slice up different types of traffic, categorize them and then broadcast them by what’s most important. Typically voice traffic is the most important followed by video as you want the video-stream to play with limited or no interruption. The next would be software applications. Then other services would follow that can rebound efficiently based on availability like web surfing and email.
Let’s revisit those two cans tethered by a string. That is a conversation that is transmitted by the wavelength of any frequency signal. That is how electronic voice transmissions first evolved. A long distance phone call would tie up a single channel, typically 56Kbs per second with 8Kbs for echo cancellation. Don’t worry, I promise to keep my promise of not being technical. But the call would eat up a whole connection for the entire length of the phone call. That can be expensive and historically it was pricey.
Have you ever heard of Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP? Now voice traffic can be packetized (COS) using Internet Protocol. Instead of one conversation choking down one continuous connection, many conversations can be prioritized and sent over a single connection. With your AT&T VPN you can move from traditional long distance platforms and audio conferencing to VOIP.
AT&T can show you how to add on/bolt on emerging technologies to your existing network. These services added to your network reduce calling expenses and the number of networks to be managed. VoIP technologies should erase the old memories and budget concerns of the historically expensive traditional long distance voice call.
Dad now lives in the house where Grandma used to live. I remember visiting that house as a child and even in college. The house had a “party line” where the neighbors all shared one “Connection” and you would have to wait your turn to make a call. The “Cans” continue to evolve. Dad is more hip than he even knows. He lives in the country with satellite TV, a separate IP TV subscription via high speed, a landline, and a cell phone. Dad has more local and long distance minutes than he will ever use on his AT&T plan. But he often concludes our calls by stating, “Well this is a long distance call so we better wrap it up.” “ Love you Dad, you too son.”