Circuit Switching in Computer Networks

Circuit Switching is a connection-oriented service that uses a dedicated path from the sender to the receiver. Before sending any data from the source to the destination, it needs to set up an end-to-end path.

Circuit switching has the minimum chance of data loss due to the dedicated circuit path, but a lot of bandwidth is wasted as a path cannot be used by other senders during a congestion.

Three Phases of Circuit Switching

Following are the three phases of circuit switching −

  • Circuit Establishment − A dedicated circuit is established between the two end-devices or from the source to the destination using the number of intermediate switching center offices. The sender from the source side and the receiver from the destination side transmit communication signals to request and ACK of circuit’s establishment. The intermediate switches are connected by the physical links.
  • Data Transfer − After a dedicated connection is established from the source to the destination. Data and voice are traveled from the source to the destination. This connection remains till the communication is the end.
  • Disconnect the circuit − when the data transfer is completed, the circuit disconnects the connection.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Circuit Switching

Following are the advantages of using circuit switching −

  • Circuit switching uses a dedicated path exists for the data to travel from source to destination.
  • It has no header overhead.
  • It has no waiting time at any switch and the data is transmitted without any delay.
  • Data always reaches the other end in order.
  • Reordering is not required.

Following are the disadvantages of using circuit switching −

  • The channel is blocked after the communication is ended.
  • Circuit switching is inefficient in terms of the utilization of system resources.
  • It needs a long time to establish the connection from the source to the destination. More
  • Bandwidth is required for the dedicated channels.
  • It is more expensive than other switching techniques.
  • Routing decisions cannot be changed once the circuit is established.

Updated on: 23-Nov-2021

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