What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Frame Relay?

An advantage of frame relay is that is often cheaper than dedicated lines. Less hardware is required for the same number of connections, and traffic bursts are also buffered. Disadvantages of frame relay include possible traffic jams and short-term drawbacks with feasibility.

Frame relay is a type of data transmission service that is designed to be cost effective. It uses a packet-switching technique and Wide Area Networks (WANs) to achieve this result. Frame relay technology is at the point where its users can get T-1 speeds of 1.5 Mbps and T-3 speeds of 45 Mbps. The system also has flexibility, which is a major pro. This flexibility comes from the Data Link Connection Identifier number that each connection uses for identification. Any station can use this number to connect to any other station in the network with only the DLCI number and the address.

Frame relay approaches also tend to have more bandwidth, greater reliability and more resiliency than other lines that are private. The main downside to frame relay is that it is expensive to implement. The network must be in place for it to be used properly. Due to the networked nature of frame relay, another downside is that slow rates can occur if too many connections are using the same station.