Data communications is an essential
concept in the creation of computer networks, providing organizations with more
efficient and effective methods of transmitting digital data. Digital data can be transmitted between nodes
through the use of mediums such as, copper wire, fiber optic cables or wireless
signals. Over time, improvements in
technology along with increased demands for data security and reliability have attributed
to the development of various types of data transmission services. Depending on an organizations structure and
business needs, data transmission services include; frame relay, asynchronous
transfer mode (ATM), multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), and standard carrier
Ethernet services. In order to determine
which data transmission service best aligns with an organization’s business objectives;
we first need to understand the differences between each service, along with
their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Frame relay is a commonly used packet-switching
protocol designed for data transmission on Wide Area Networks (WANs). Frame relay was designed to provide a more
efficient transmission scheme than traditional packet switching (Stallings
& Case, 2013).
Frame relay is based on the X.25 packet-switching technology that
was primarily used for analog data transmissions and supports access speeds of 2
Mbps to 45 Mbps. Some of the advantages
of using a frame relay are cost efficiency, compatibility with other data transmission
services (X.25, ATM, and MPLS), simplified communication processes, and
decreased data transmission delays.
However, frame relay does not attempt to correct data transmission
errors, leaving any necessary error correction up to the endpoints. Frame relay can only provide services up to 45
Mbps; therefore not ideal for businesses that require wide area access speeds
in the hundreds or thousands of Mbps. In
recent years, frame relay has decreased in popularity and is being replaced by
MPLS and Ethernet services.