Pssst. What Does Your Network Configuration Look Like?

By Greg BryanJun 13, 2024


Enterprises have embraced hybrid networks.

The expansion of SD-WAN, the benefits of having local internet breakouts for cloud services, and the evolution of network security tools have led more enterprises to employ multiple underlay products. 

Our WAN Manager Survey respondents continue to trade out MPLS for DIA, with many reporting that they intend to continue moving toward an internet-first strategy.

Today we're sharing additional insight on our newest network configuration findings from our latest survey efforts. And while I have your attention— Our new WAN Manager Survey findings are now available to all of our Cloud and WAN Research Service subscribers. Get it while it's hot.

Average Product Mix

While MPLS is still fairly common at an average of 41% of sites, DIA is now the most prominent underlay product at 49% of sites.

Broadband remains a distant third, at an average of only 15% of sites. While broadband can be a very affordable alternative to DIA where available, many enterprises still don’t trust it as a primary connectivity option.

Point-to-point (P2P) service usage varies considerably by respondent but averages roughly one in 10 sites. Wireless services–especially satellite–still appear to be connectivity options of last resort, coming in at only 8% of sites for fixed wireless access (FWA) and 1% for satellite.

Network Services Distribution

In the late 2010s, TeleGeography and many market observers predicted that MPLS would decline as the core WAN connectivity choice. While no one could have predicted COVID or its impact on network transformations, we have indeed seen MPLS use wane.

Across the three core underlay products of MPLS, DIA, and broadband, 2023 was the first year since we started tracking that MPLS was not at the largest percentage of respondent sites.

We'll let the charts do the talking for us.

What is the average product mix of your WAN sites? (2018-2023)

Avg product mix of WAN sites 18-23

  • MPLS has declined from being at an average of 82% of respondent sites in 2018 to just 41% by 2023.
  • MPLS has largely been replaced by DIA. Though DIA prevalence has grown unevenly over the years, it has had a steady general trend line toward being at more sites in the average network, from one-third in 2018 to almost half in 2023.
  • Business broadband has remained relatively unpopular compared to MPLS and DIA and even declined a bit over the years. This is perhaps due to the limited availability of quality internet in many global locations. 

Bandwidth Distribution by Product

Especially post-pandemic, offices have been under constant bandwidth pressure, with hybrid and remote workers on frequent video calls with those in-office.

Demand for smaller port/circuit sizes decreased across the board, while enterprises opted for faster speeds. We asked WAN managers about their bandwidth distribution for key underlay products: MPLS, DIA, and business broadband.

What percentage of your global ports fall within each port size/bandwidth range? (2023)

percentage of your global ports fall within each port sizebandwidth range 18-23

  • For DIA and MPLS, 101-500 Mbps was the most popular bandwidth range, while 51-100 was slightly more popular for broadband.
  • MPLS, the most expensive service, skews the most toward the lower bandwidths, with 11-50 Mbps at about one in five sites.
  • At very large bandwidths, internet is generally more popular than MLPS.
  • Broadband was most common for GigE (1,000 Mbps) and above, indicating that various high-speed broadband services, such as FTTx, are now often available.

Bandwidth demand has increased fairly dramatically since we began tracking it in 2018.

We expect it to continue to grow as the price of underlay products at the $/Mbps level continues to decline and applications get more complicated and bandwidth-hungry.

Difference in the percentage of sites for each bandwidth range (2018-2023)

Difference in the percentage of sites for each bandwidth range18-23

  • The average percentage of sites grew for all services at the >50 Mbps ranges and shrank for all smaller speed ranges. 
  • The biggest differences in MPLS were: 
    • An increase of 15% for sites in the 101-500 Mbps range;
    • A nearly 20% decrease in sites at the 5-10 Mbps range.
  • The biggest differences in DIA were:
    • A more than 20% increase in sites at the 101-500 Mbps range;
    • A huge 28% decrease in sites that fell under the 11-50 Mbps range.
  • Broadband demand particularly grew in the higher speeds, with a 21% increase for 101-500 Mbps and a 14% increase in GigE and above.


Download the free executive summary for a closer look at our latest survey results.


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Greg Bryan

Greg Bryan

Greg is Senior Manager, Enterprise Research at TeleGeography. He's spent the last decade and a half at TeleGeography developing many of our pricing products and reports about enterprise networks. He is a frequent speaker at conferences about corporate wide area networks and enterprise telecom services. He also hosts our podcast, TeleGeography Explains the Internet.

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