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This paper reviews some of the choices that will be available in the next few years, as the much-discussed move toward implementing voice and data integration within a single wide-area integrated private network proceeds. After the term :hp1de-area integrated private network:ehp1. has been defined, a discussion is given of requirements the network ought to satisfy for its users. Then two particularly promising approaches, fast packet switching (FPS) and hybrid switching (HS), are defined, and specimen design points for FPS and HS are postulated, so that the two can be compared. While a definitive comparison would require systematic cost and performance studies, much insight can be gained from the qualitative comparison that we present here. We assess some of the arguments that have been put forward in favor of FPS or HS and conclude that, although today both architectures have promise, and research on both should continue, FPS appears to be slightly simpler to implement and operate.
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