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Frame Relay and ATM Switch Market Growth Due to Bandwidth Demands

International Data Corp. (IDC, Framingham, Mass., www.idc.com) predicts that the increasing importance of data traffic in the public network and the limitations of current router-based technology bode well for the frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and WAN switch markets.

The report, ATM and Frame Relay Switching Market Review and Forecast, 1997-2000, states that the worldwide frame relay and ATM switch market will extend beyond $7.6 billion by 2002.

Frame relay, and especially ATM, are positioned well to capitalize on an increasing demand for rapidly growing and greater bandwidth-efficient data networks which can be used to piggyback existing voice traffic. Viewed as a novelty when first introduced, frame relay service is now a trusted and widely accepted WAN technology.

ATM, on the other hand, has great promise in providing voice service more efficiently by employing such technologies as silence suppression, voice compression, and statistical multiplexing.

Another factor shaping the ATM market is figuring out how to better support the exploding amount of IP traffic generated by the continuing growth of the Internet. Today, building a bridge between the connectionless IP world and ATM's connection-oriented, quality-of-service switching has become a front-burner issue. Overall, IP and ATM will remain complementary networking technologies, sometimes being used together, other times playing independent roles. – Thomas Sullivan, Staff Reporter, Reviews Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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