A packet-switching protocol for connecting devices on a Wide Area Network (WAN). Frame Relay networks in the U.S. support data transfer rates at T-1 (1.544 Mbps) and T-3 (45 Mbps) speeds. In fact, you can think of Frame Relay as a way of utilizing existing T-1 and T-3 lines owned by a service provider. Most telephone companies now provide Frame Relay service for customers who want connections at 56 Kbps to T-1 speeds. (In Europe, Frame Relay speeds vary from 64 Kbps to 2 Mbps.
In the U.S., Frame Relay is quite popular because it is relatively inexpensive. However, it is being replaced in some areas by faster technologies, such as ATM.