Frame relay and ATM will be the two dominant broadband technologies by the millennium, as wide area network traffic rises by 500 per cent.
This is the prediction of analysts at the Gartner Group, who claim frame relay - once viewed as an interim technology to ATM - has gained such sophistication that it will become the backbone of choice for speeds of less than 2Mbits per second.
?It will look more like ATM but at low speeds,? said Neil Rickard, a Gartner Group research director, speaking at the company's conference on European telecomms deregulation in London yesterday.
The frame relay market will rake in revenues of $1.7 billion for telecomms carriers in 2001. In Europe the technology will also become up to 40 per cent cheaper than equivalent leased line infrastructure, he predicts.
?Frame relay has become a low cost, performance enhancing replacement for SNA/legacy networks and a way to consolidate these networks with Lan interconnection requirements. This ability to meet both legacy and newer needs is fuelling the technology?s dramatic growth,? according to the research group.
European firms are also likely to replace legacy TDM networks with a combination of frame relay and virtual private networks. However, those that need ATM?s greater bandwidth are likely to turn to private, rather than public, continued Rickard. Organisations would also prefer to deal with one supplier for local and wide area ATM.
Public ATM services will be worth $1 billion in revenues for European telcos by 2001, with 70 per cent of major European enterprises to use ATM as their primary Wan connection by 2002.
By 2002 ATM will move out of the data centre and into branches and major sites and overlap slightly with frame relay which will move up to large branches connectivity.
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