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ATM vs Frame Relay-Difference between ATM and Frame relay


Refer Following links to subtopics on this ATM tutorial:
ATM Network Architecture & Interfaces   ATM Protocol Stack  ATM services  ATM Switch  ATM Call Flow  ATM vs STM  ATM vs TDM  ATM versus Frame Relay  ATM AAL Layer Types 


This page compares ATM(Asynchronous Transfer Mode) vs Frame Relay and mention similarities and difference between ATM(Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and Frame Relay networks. Following table mention comparison between ATM and Frame relay.

Both ATM and frame relay are used to provide B-ISDN services of various kinds.


ATM-Asynchronous Transfer Mode Frame Relay
It is mainly developed for WAN , but high data rate supports have pioneered its use in LAN (Local Area Network). It is a virtual circuit WAN. It assembles and dissembles packets from different networks i.e. X.25, ATM and PPP.
It operates at layer-1 (i.e. Physical Layer) and layer-2 (i.e. Data link layer) of OSI stack. It operates at Layer-1 and Layer-2 of OSI stack.
In ATM, data is segmented and packed in ATM cells. Each ATM cell uses 5 byte header and 48 bytes of payload carrying data information. 8 bit of error control field in header part of ATM cell is used for error control. Provides flow control at user to network interface (UNI) level only. It does not provide flow control or error control. These functions must be supported by upper layers.
Carry voice, video, image and busty nature of traffic. Carry traffic in the form of data only.
Provides high speed data connection. Provides medium speed data connection.
Frame size is fixed in ATM networks. Frame size is variable in frame relay networks.
Suitable for LAN(Local Area Network) and CAN (Campus Area Network) . Not suitable for LAN and CAN.
Supports quantifiable QoS(Quality of Service). Do not support quantifiable QoS.
Supports dynamic bandwidth allocation. Supports dynamic bandwidth allocation.
Suitable for MAN and WAN network type. Suitable for MAN and WAN network type.
Refer ATM tutorial➤ for more information. Refer Frame Relay tutorial➤ for more information.

Interworking between ATM and Frame Relay have been leveraged to provide benefits of both in the data networks.

Refer ATM tutorial➤ which covers ATM network basics, ATM network architecture with interfaces, ATM protocol stack and ATM services.

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