X.25 and Frame Relay

Computer NetworkComputer EngineeringMCA


X.25 is a protocol suite defined by ITU-T for packet switched communications over WAN (Wide Area Network). It was originally designed for use in the 1970s and became very popular in 1980s. Presently, it is used for networks for ATMs and credit card verification. It allows multiple logical channels to use the same physical line. It also permits data exchange between terminals with different communication speeds.

X.25 has three protocol layers

  •  Physical Layer: It lays out the physical, electrical and functional characteristics that interface between the computer terminal and the link to the packet switched node. X.21 physical implementer is commonly used for the linking.
  • Data Link Layer: It comprises the link access procedures for exchanging data over the link. Here, control information for transmission over the link is attached to the packets from the packet layer to form the LAPB frame (Link Access Procedure Balanced). This service ensures a bit-oriented, error-free, and ordered delivery of frames.
  • Packet Layer: This layer defines the format of data packets and the procedures for control and transmission of the data packets. It provides external virtual circuit service. Virtual circuits may be of two types: virtual call and permanent virtual circuit. The virtual call is established dynamically when needed through call set up procedure, and the circuit is relinquished through call clearing procedure. Permanent virtual circuit, on the other hand, is fixed and network assigned.

Equipment used

  • X.21 implementer
  • DTE − Data Terminal Equipmen
  • DCTE − Data Circuit Terminating Equipment

Frame Relay

Frame Relay is a packet switched communication service from LANs (Local Area Network) to backbone networks and WANs. It operates at two layers: physical layer and data link layer. It supports all standard physical layer protocols. It is mostly implemented at the data link layer.

Frame Relay uses virtual circuits to connect a single router to multiple remote sites. In most cases, permanent virtual circuits are used, i.e. a fixed network-assigned circuit is used through which the user sees a continuous uninterrupted line. However, switched virtual circuits may also be used.

Frame relay is a fast packet technology based on X.25. Data is transmitted by encapsulating them in multiple sized frames. The protocol does not attempt to correct errors and so it is faster. Error correction is handled by the endpoints, which are responsible for retransmission of dropped frames

Frame Relay Devices are

  • DTE − Data Terminal Equipment
  • DCTE: − Data Circuit Terminating Equipment
Updated on 17-Jun-2020 15:04:06