Can cable aggregated wide area data network ("WAN") really replace an MPLS network for a multi-location business? Yes...
For years the business phone companies have been telling business owners and IT directors that using any sort of cable Internet solution in a business environment is a bad idea because cable does not have any quality of service ("QoS") and is an inherently "shared" resource meaning a business would never get the data throughput they were promised.
Well that argument is certainly still being waived around by the telcos but after experiencing the successful use of cable Internet in their homes, few business owners or IT directors have a problem with the idea of taking a serious look at replacing their expensive MPLS data network with a professionally aggregated mix of coax cable providers.
But since all the cable companies have different service areas across the country, most businesses are hesitant to try an aggregated cable dat network solution because of the problem of having to do all the aggregation in-house and then keeping track of individual cable company invoices.
Fortunately there are cable aggregation companies available to businesses that want to try an aggregated cable solution to replace their expensive MPLS wide area network or "WAN". Of all the cable aggregation companies to choose from, few have the "one stop shop" success that has been found by Bandwave Systems out of Philadelphia.
To learn just how a coax cable solution works when backing up or aggregating an MPLS network we recently interviewed Tom Azelby, Managing Director of Bandwave.
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Dan Baldwin: Today I'm speaking with Tom Azelby, the founder and managing partner of Bandwave Systems, a nationwide business broadband provider that integrates and aggregates all carriers and cable operators and technologies, DSL, T-1, cable, fiber, Ethernet, wireless and so on, so that businesses with multiple locations are provided a complete nationwide network solution with just a single point of contact. Tom, thanks for speaking with our audience today.
Tom Azelby: Thanks for having me, Dan.
DB: Tom, IT directors for multi-location businesses are looking for alternatives to the classic MPLS network because they need to save money, get more bandwidth for the money they're spending or other reasons. When typing "MPLS Alternative" into their favorite search engine, IT directors are finding Bandwave Systems.
Question #1: Can you please share what Bandwave does and what your MPLS alternative solution looks like?
TA: Dan, our recommendation or our alternative is an IP VPN using cable coax connections. We drive down the network costs, and we increase the bandwidth dramatically for our customers. As companies continue to move to the cloud they're going to need increased bandwidth, and the high bandwidth MPLS is very expensive. That's why we recommend an IP VPN using cable coax connections.
As a cable aggregator, we provide cable Internet services for over 45 cable providers. Enterprise clients in the past with multiple locations and a national footprint might not have wanted to engage all the different cable providers, Today the can call Bandwave if they have 5 locations or 1,000 locations we can build a cable Nationwide Secure VPN for them.
Question #2: Can you share with us a couple case studies where a client choose Bandwave's solution instead of, or to replace a carrier MPLS network?
TA: One client we have is a large distributor of HVAC equipment and parts. They have a national footprint, and they took a close look at the CAPEX “capital expenditure”) over 5 years for the 3.0 meg MPLS versus a Bandwave cable connect VPN. Quite frankly it was an easy decision for the IT director to get the CFO to sign off on it, it was driven by price.
Another opportunity, we won with our Cable Connect VPN was a 60-site health care provider with 90% of their locations being outside tier 1 markets. They were having some difficulty finding a tier 1 MPLS carrier to service all their sites at a reasonable price. We went after that business with our Cable Connect VPN, it met all the HIPAA requirements, they received more bandwidth and they got savings!
We're finding that clients who have an existing VPN appliance in place, that have made the firewall investment and have 1.5 meg bandwidth are looking to replace it with our Coax Cable VPN. They look at what they're paying on a tier 1.5 meg VPN, the additional cost and effort to migrate to an MPLS and realize a Bandwave Cable Connect VPN is the best solution.
We lower the MRC , they already have the VPN appliances in place, and we increase their bandwidth. More Bandwidth and more savings.
Question #3: What are the ballpark cost comparisons? How much more bandwidth can a company get with your solution compared to straight MPLS, or conversely how much can they save?
TA: Today we're designing and deploying a 12 meg by 2 meg IP VPN using cable coax, and we're provisioning that for under $200.00 a month. The customer also has the option to go up to 50 megs x 10 megs, and MPLS network pushing 3 megs to 6 megs, we estimate customer paying $600.00 to $1000.00 a month. Dan, you can see there are significant savings, and there's a significant increase in bandwidth.
Bandwave will also deliver a diverse pathway connection with DSL or 3G/4G can run anywhere between $79 and $199. All our pricing includes the quoting, the consulting, the provisioning, the monitoring, the 24/7 Helpdesk support, unified billing, that's all included in those prices. For a redundant connection or a backup connection, or for that matter a primary connection, we're definitely within the budget for most businesses.
Question #4: What are the extra IT resources needed on the part of the customer if any to support Bandwave's solutions compared to what they would get from a carrier's MPLS solution?
TA: Our goal is to reduce our client's IT resources. When Bandwave does an IP VPN using cable coax, we're going to manage it, monitor it and troubleshoot it. We hope we can take that responsibility away for the client.
I would also like to bring up that any connection, whether it's an MPLS connection or a VPN connection, a circuit can go down. One thing we do notice in our Support Trouble Ticket metrics is cable –coax connections are rock solid and very consistent. Our data shows they are more reliable than a traditional telecom circuit.
The other benefit is when there is a circuit issue, the cable providers have a lot of technical boots on the ground, they have really quick repair time. Our clients might not even have a circuit problem, but they could have a problem on their own local area network and with our logistics product, if we need to we can get a technician on the ground within two hours anywhere in North America.
Question #5: The coax cable solutions that you're installing, are they mostly replacing an existing solution where they already have the equipment in place, or are they green field opportunities where you have to order and design all the cable connections and install equipment?
TA: Dan, right now we're seeing both. It can be traditional VPN where they're using tier 1 network and they come to us where they are looking to either go to an MPLS network, or they want to stay with the VPN or they'll but they need more bandwidth on a budget. Sometimes it's a client that is a new business coming into the market. They hear a lot about MPLS, and we try to present an alternative proposal to the MPLS.
DB: And the customers that are choosing the coax cable solution, are they customers with larger IT departments that are comfortable doing their own equipment switches? Or are they needing your assistance in that area?
TA: Once again, we run into both situations. It really depends on what the client's needs are. We're capable of doing it either way for the client.
DB: But what I hear you saying as well is whereas the carrier is coming in selling MPLS, they're also trying to sell well, we've got this big knock, we're doing all this monitoring, we're doing this and we're doing that, and really Bandwave's Systems does the same thing monitoring all the coax.
TA: We do. We have a 24/7 support desk, and like we said previously when we design and deploy a cable VPN we're going to manage it, and we can coordinate with their IT team but we're responsible for any connection we put in. We might be working alongside that IT department if they want to do their own monitoring. It can go either way.
DB: Great. Today we've been speaking with Tom Azelby, Founder and Managing Partner of Bandwave System, a nationwide business broadband provider that integrates and aggregates all carriers and cable operators and technologies.
Closing: Tom, thanks for speaking with us today. Are there any other items you want to add?
TA: Dan, Our goal with Bandwave cable connect VPN versus an MPLS is giving the client a choice, more bandwidth at a lower cost. We're going to provide end-to-end security. We also have a simple failover application in the fire wall so we can provide the backup connection using DSL or 3G, 4G.. We can also get a technician on the ground in 2 hours anywhere in North America. We bring all that to the table I think if an IT director is looking at MPLS or looking to renew an MPLS contract, they should definitely give us a call .because a Bandwave cable VPN is definitely something that should be put in the mix when you're looking at building a network.
DB: Great. Thanks a lot Tom. We look forward to catching up with you and Bandwave's Systems in the future.
TA: Thank you Dan.
Learn More for a Bandwave Authorized Agent
To learn if Bandwave’s coax cable aggregation management solutions could back up or augment your MPLS network, please contact your local Bandwave Systems authorized agent. To find an authorized agent visit BandwaveSystems.com.