Even with SD-WAN, companies often find they still need some multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) circuits, if only for delivering voice and other key applications, in locations with high latency from their data-centers. Which sort of begs the question, what should you be looking for in an MPLS price quote?

MPLS has its own language and there are a wide variety of pricing models used by the different carriers.  This makes it a bit more complicated to compare the carrier offerings. With some pricing models, seemingly minor network changes will alter your monthly cost. The different pricing models are as follows:

  1. Port and loop pricing with no charge for Class of Service (CoS).  This gives you the most flexibility, with access to all Classes of Service at no extra charge.
  2. Port and loop pricing, plus a different price for each different level of CoS, based on the bandwidth allocated for each CoS.  There is nothing wrong with this approach.  Just understand if you increase your bandwidth allocation for a higher priced CoS (e.g. VoIP), your monthly cost will increase.
  3. Port and loop pricing, plus a single CoS price.  This is basically option 1, plus a fixed fee for Class of Service, without regard to how you allocate the different CoS levels.
  4. Port and loop pricing, with “best effort” CoS included at no charge, plus additional charges for additional Classes of Service, if you need them.  For instance, if you use VoIP and video, this CoS would be charged as an additional amount.

Understand that international MPLS prices may also include a line item for “International Bandwidth” which reserves your contracted amount of bandwidth “across the pond” so to speak.  By the same token, other carriers will bundle this charge amongst the other charges in their quotation.

As you can see, it takes some thought to analyze your MPLS price quotations. It’s worth it though. If we can help, give us a call.