IP [Internet Protocol] will prevail as the universal networking platform in the years to come despite quality of service issues at the moment, according to the Meta Group.
Paul Ventura, program director at Meta Group, said IP "has not quite made it" as the single protocol for organisations, but post-2002, the technology will come head to head with ATM.
"[The fact] IP has become the de facto protocol is no surprise . . . given [its] Internet and ease of access [capabilities]," Ventura said.
However, "IP lacks an inherent quality of service . . and is therefore unsuitable for convergence," he said.
Ventura said IP also lacks the ability to prioritise application traffic, a key element for converged traffic.
"IP can't do traffic segmentation," Ventura said.
"It's not suitable for running voice and the service provision isn't there."
In comparison, the high bandwidth capabilities and functionalities of ATM are driving its growth in the hub and WAN, Ventura said.
"ATM is certainly experiencing explosive growth in the WAN.
"This is driven by carriers wanting to differentiate themselves in what services they can offer," he said.
According to Ventura, once IP develops inherent quality of service through a traffic management mechanisms and products, it will challenge ATM and eventually dominate.
"IP will ultimately dominate due to its scalability and ubiquity, especially for e-commerce applications," Ventura said.
"When that happens, [organisations] will move to IP native networks - one single technology used across an entire network is simpler to deploy," he said.