Frame Relay

CenturyLink Frame Relay Service

Proven and reliable access for your enterprise

Today's business environment requires extending your reach beyond physical boundaries while controlling your costs. Stay competitive in today's global economy by using the right network to transmit all your mission-critical and non-mission-critical information. CenturyLink Frame Relay Service delivers a cost-effective, high-speed and high-security network with the ability to expand as your business changes or grows.


CenturyLink Frame Relay is a network transport service that allows customers to deliver data, images, voice and Internet access over a highly reliable, scalable and secure network. It uses a high-speed networking technology to bundle information into packets, called frames. Rather than assigning fixed channels to specific applications, frame relay uses statistical multiplexing to allow customer allocation of circuit bandwidth to priority applications as needed. Frame Relay Service supports many different business applications within a network, prioritizing each application based on bandwidth needs. It supports physical layer connections from 56 Kbps to 45 Mbp based on traditional digital hierarchy services. A frame relay network can be IP-enabled using optional Smart permanent virtual circuit (PVC) technology. Smart PVC offers network-based IP-enabled functionality that provides efficient, scalable, high-performance any-toany connectivity.

Frame Relay Service requires the use of customer premises equipment (CPE) that functions as a multiplexer, router, hub or frame relay switch. CPE is purchased separately from Frame Relay Service and must conform to industry standards for physical digital hierarchy and frame relay logical termination.


  • Delivered over a redundant, secure and scalable network
  • Connectivity to over 60 countries
  • Flexible quality of service (QoS) objectives: VFR-rt, VFR-nrt, UFR
  • Scalable port speeds: 56 Kbps, 1.544 Mbps, fractional 1.544 Mbps and 45 Mbps
  • Inter-working with CenturyLink ATM and CenturyLink IQ Networking® services
  • Competitive service level agreements (SLAs)
  • IP-enabled Smart PVC
  • Web-based customer tools:
    • Control Center for instant access to statistics, alarms management and configurations (based on configuration and location)
    • E-Care for entering and monitoring your trouble tickets (based on configuration and location)


  • Cost effective and reliable technology
  • Proactive monitoring and network maintenance 24/7
  • Delivered over redundant and secure network
  • Easy to increase bandwidth
  • Ability to prioritize traffic based on application requirements
  • Ability to burst to port speed
  • Smart PVCs offer simplified, any-to-any connectivity provided via a single enterprise PVC at each customer location (based on configuration and location)

How it works

Customer equipment sends the information from the local area network (LAN) in a frame relay format (frames) suitable for transmission over the CenturyLink Frame Relay Service network. The frames travel across a single physical access link connecting your facilities to the corresponding frame relay port. CenturyLink Frame Relay Service offers physical layer access speeds of DS-O, DS-1 and DS-3. At the frame relay port, information is sent across virtual logical connections (PVCs) to multiple destinations. The frame relay port speeds are 56/64 Kbps, fractional DS-1 (where available), 1.544 Mbps and 44.736 Mbps. The PVCs are logical as they are defined in switch software. You may send data to any designated location using pre-established PVCs. Multiple PVCs can be provisioned on your single frame relay access link.