Network convergence combines support for multimedia, telephone, and data on a single network. Network convergence primarily serves large, complex organizations where mobile and Internet connections are regulated behind the same firewalls or sign-on credentials. With network convergence, registered users access their Internet, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and mobile connections through a single network that supports everything from email, VoIP, and web browsing to text messaging.
- Consistent performance on the same network: Network convergence allows all network services—voice, data, video—to be delivered over the same network with consistent performance.
- Universal security: Network convergence also allows large corporate, government, and university IT departments to apply firewall rules, automated anti-virus and malware scanning, and other security measures, universally across all data connections.
- Many services across many devices: Running all of a company’s communications and cloud-based services over a converged network requires that IT teams carefully manage the dynamic bandwidth requirements of different services across many types of devices.
- If a cybercriminal breaches security, greater risk: If a cybercriminal is able to penetrate the security measures for a converged network, all parts of the network may potentially be vulnerable, not just one siloed area.
- Constraint due to competing standards: Legislation regulating different spectrum bandwidths or frequencies for specific technologies has historically constrained converged network solutions. Currently, there are competing standards for networking that organizations must adhere to. Fiber connections, broadband, DSL, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, WAN/SAN, vWAN/vSAN, SD-WAN, and mobile can all have different requirements for video, text, data, and voice transmissions.
Convergence in networking occurs when one network provider delivers networking services for voice, data, and video in a single network offering, instead of providing a separate network for each of these services. This allows a business to use one network from one provider for all communication and cloud-based services. It also allows businesses to balance bandwidth needs more easily among the services that use the network.
One type of network convergence involves the convergence of communication services and systems, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, mobile, and VoIP. This makes it possible for a company to use a single converged network from one telecommunications provider for all of these types of communications and services. And it means businesses that used to offer these services separately now have the opportunity to offer many more networking-based services over the same network.