There is not necessarily an advantage to this technology over another one. It depends on what the user, designer and carrier organizations are trying to accomplish. There is always a choice as they say that you can have it fast, cheap or easy but only two of these three. The same holds true with communication protocols. They can be fast & easy but not cheap. They can be easy & cheap but not fast, etc.
*Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a transfer protocol with the following characteristics:
<li>- It is scalable and flexible. It can support megabit-to-gigabit transfer speeds and is not tied to a specific physical medium. </li><li>- It efficiently transmits video, audio, and data through the implementation of several adaptation layers. </li><li>- Bandwidth can be allocated as needed, lessening the impact on and by high-bandwidth users. </li><li>- It transmits data in fixed-length packets, called cells, each of which is 53 bytes long, containing 48 bytes of payload and 5 bytes of header. </li><li>- It is asynchronous in the sense that although cells are relayed synchronously, particular users need not send data at regular intervals. </li><li>- It is connection oriented, using a virtual circuit to transmit cells that share the same source and destination over the same route. </li>
*Compare this say to Ethernet:
- Ethernet (the name commonly used for IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD) is the dominant cabling and low level data delivery technology used in local area networks (LANs). First developed in the 1970s, it was published as an open standard by DEC, Intel, and Xerox (or DIX), and later described as a formal standard by the IEEE. Following are some Ethernet features:
<li>- Ethernet transmits data at up to ten million bits per second (10Mbps). Fast Ethernet supports up to 100Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet supports up to 1000Mbps. Many buildings on the Indiana University campus are wired with Fast Ethernet and the campus backbone is Gigabit Ethernet. </li><li>- Ethernet supports networks built with twisted-pair (10BaseT), thin and thick coaxial (10Base2 and 10Base5, respectively), and fiber-optic (10BaseF) cabling. Fast Ethernets can be built with twisted-pair (100BaseT) and fiber-optic (100BaseF) cabling. Currently, 10BaseT Ethernets are the most common. </li><li>- Data is transmitted over the network in discrete packets (frames) which are between 64 and 1518 bytes in length (46 to 1500 bytes of data, plus a mandatory 18 bytes of header and CRC information). </li><li>- Each device on an Ethernet network operates independently and equally, precluding the need for a central controlling device. </li><li>- Ethernet supports a wide array of data types, including TCP/IP, AppleTalk, and IPX. </li><li>- To prevent the loss of data, when two or more devices attempt to send packets at the same time, Ethernet detects collisions. All devices immediately stop transmitting and wait a randomly determined period of time before they attempt to transmit again. </li><li>- For more information, including quick reference guides, specification overviews, and history, visit :
<a href=” http://www.ethermanage.com/ethernet/ethernet.html”>Charles Spurgeon’s Ethernet web site </a>Also read the newsgroups comp.dcom.lans.ethernet and comp.dcom.cabling.</li>
*Or to Frame Relay – a data transmission protocol used in Wide Area Networks (WAN); WAN is adjusted to a fast transfer of data; the Frame Relay connection is characterised by guaranteed CIR transmission rate parameters (Committed Information Rate) and an additional transmission rate called EIR (Excess Information Rate)</ul>