Frame Relay over MPLS (FRoMPLS): Today, Tomorrow and the Future
by Mike Walsh on behalf of the Frame Relay Forum




Today’s telecom marketplace is perhaps more interesting than ever. The fast and wild days of unbridled optimism in the 1990’s have passed, but the job of providing for growing data communication needs remains. It is at this critical moment in time that we find ourselves increasingly considering the relationship of the established technology of frame relay to the emerging technology of MPLS.


Often this discussion is framed in terms of a contest, frame relay vs. MPLS. Similarities have even been drawn to the old arguments of connection-less (IP) vs. connection-oriented (frame relay, ATM) technologies with the two sides represented by the “Bell-heads” on one side and the “Net-heads” on the other. However, as this paper will make clear, frame relay and MPLS are closely related (not opposed) in terms of operation and objectives. Moreover, much like family relatives, there are more similarities between generations than differences.


Through this paper, we will explore the backgrounds of frame relay and MPLS, the advantages of each, how they can combine synergistically, current FRoMPLS implementation shortcomings, the evolution of FRoMPLS in standards work, and how this pairing of technologies will provide significant advantage.


About the Author: Mike Walsh, President, Razor Sharp Consulting


Mike Walsh is the president and founder of Razor Sharp Consulting. As a product strategy and marketing expert, Mr. Walsh brings extensive international and domestic experience in the data communications and telecommunications industries to his clients. Mr. Walsh has also worked with a number of industry forums and standards bodies including the Frame Relay Forum, ATM Forum, MPLS Forum, ITU and the IETF. He currently serves as President Emeritus of the Frame Relay Forum, where he previously worked as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chair of Market Development and Education. Frequently consulted as an industry expert, Mr. Walsh has been interviewed by such leading magazines as Network World, Communications Week International Business Communications Review, and Telecommunications International. He has also spoken at major domestic and international trade shows including VPNcon, NetWorld+Interop, a number of private conferences, and many Web broadcast sessions.



Download paper

Approx. 400 kB


Click here for help with .pdf downloads. 


Related papers:

Frame Relay + MPLS, Rob Downing on behalf of the Frame Relay Forum


Frame Relay and MPLS, Harman Hopkins on behalf of the Frame Relay Forum


Return to Network Access and Infrastructure menu

This article is supplied via special arrangement with our partner, the Frame Relay Forum


Please note: By downloading this information, you acknowledge that the sponsor(s) of this information may contact you, providing that they give you the option of opting out of further communications from them concerning this information.  Also, by your downloading this information, you agree that the information is for your personal use only and that this information may not be retransmitted to others or reposted on another web site.  Please encourage colleagues to download their own copy after registering at