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With the ongoing adoption and promotion of SD-WAN, MPLS-based VPN services are now evolving from primary enterprise private WAN to becoming part of the enterprise networking mix.


  • Ovum believes that MPLS still has life remaining in its role with major WAN deployments for the large enterprise market, but this may only last for a few more years before revenue declines accelerate. Providers need to plan accordingly, and lead the migration to become part of the future solutions.
  • Most large network providers still see stable, single-digit-percent growth in MPLS services with growth in ports and bandwidth. But revenue is a different story.
  • Enterprise customers currently have multiyear, long-term agreements for MPLS services that will slow down any large-scale replacement.

Features and Benefits

  • Predicts the life cycle of MPLS-based services and how long they will last.
  • Explains how MPLS will be affected by SD-WAN services.

Key questions answered

  • What is the current trend for MPLS in terms of volume and revenue?
  • How should providers prepare for the decline and replacement of MPLS services?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises with MPLS services
  • Recommendations for enterprises without MPLS services
  • Recommendations for service providers with an MPLS service
  • Recommendations for service providers without an MPLS service

What the future of MPLS looks like

  • Ovum's IP VPN forecast as a reference
  • Insight from global carriers with MPLS
  • Observations from the competitive challengers

MPLS's long lifecycle has some years left

  • Large enterprises will continue to keep MPLS in the mix for now
  • MPLS's performance will keep it around for many years


  • Forecasts show that MPLS is years away from full tailspin
  • Some factors may act as catalysts in the MPLS lifecycle


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author