This technology puts labels in each packet that identify the specific path for the packet, thus saving the time needed for a router to look up the address to the next node to forward the packet to. The "multiprotocol" in its name refers to the fact that it works with the Internet Protocol (IP), Asynchronous Transport Mode (ATM), and Frame Relay network protocols.
MPLS is a widely supported method of speeding up data communication over combined IP/ATM networks. This improves the speed of packet processing and enhances performance of the network.
MPLS is a routing technology that allows data to be prioritized as it moves through a network. This ensures applications (such as high-quality videoconferencing or Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) do not degrade in quality because of data loss or delays.