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Are there benefits to using VoIP over ATM and frame relay?

Can you tell me if I use VOIP in a situation where ATM and frame relay are already used as WAN protocol with pvc too, will there be much benefit to my company? My company has many organization around the world and voice, data and videoconferencing is very important to them, so can you tell me if I use VoIP how good will it benefit the company.
Sure, lots of people use VoIP (or other voice over data technology) over ATM and frame relay. The real question to figure out whether it's worthwhile to make this migration is getting information about your current invoices for voice service:

  • Do you spend a lot of money each month on traditional voice services?
  • Is most of your voice service on-net (i.e. going between sites which are already connected to your ATM/frame relay service provider?
  • Do your data connections have good speeds (i.e. your sites are not 56 kbps frame relay)?

    If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should look into migrating some or all of the voice to your data network. If the answers are no, then is probably not worth it.

    The primary reason people use VoIP is to save money. There are still a lot of places where making long distances calls are expensive and VOIP provides a way to reduce those costs because VoIP 1) uses the Internet which is not sensitive to distance and 2) can many times bypass expensive access charges from monopoly phone companies.

    Another way VoIP can save you money is that it can reduce the number of local loops (circuits) that you need to bring into your building. For example, you may have 1 T1 for data traffic and 1 T1 for voice. You may be able to combine voice and data traffic onto 1 T1 to cut local circuit costs in half.

    Since you indicate that your company has a lot of offices around the world, I suspect you'll find that you will save a lot of money using VoIP or putting your voice over an existing data network. You may also find that you can save even more by migrating off frame relay (or ATM) to an IP VPN.

This was last published in July 2003

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