MCI Worldcom will begin cannibalising its frame relay business within a year as IP virtual private networking (VPN) services take off, a senior executive said today at Cebit.
VPNs using IP are emerging as an alternative to frame relay for connecting dispersed networks and users. IP VPNs are offered over the public Internet or over dedicated networks.
"Within a year's time, people will be making a lot of decisions re IP VPNs versus using frame relay, which is still the mainstream," said Peter Van Camp, president of MCI Worldcom's Internet business.
Van Camp said he sees IP VPNs having an impact on both its high and low end frame relay business. IP VPNs will win over frame relay not just on speed, but on reach and economics, he said.
MCI Worldcom is working with Microsoft and Cisco to develop directory services that give users greater control over their VPN, said Van Camp.
Directory enabled network services will let users set bandwidth levels, network mapping and users groups from a PC console, he said.
But Van Camp stressed that while frame relay was built with corporates in mind, IP was developed out of the educational world.
"We're putting all the pieces in place to make [IP networks] bullet proof," he said.
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