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WorldCom Releases Stripped-Down Frame Relay Services

Bundled Frame Relay includes packages of ports, circuits, and hardware, and Economy Frame Relay combines local access with low-bandwidth links for customers who need to connect many remote locations for applications such as E-mail and point-of-sale transactions.

WorldCom put a fresh spin on a data-networking mainstay Wednesday by launching two frame relay services that have been stripped to the essentials and could lead to savings of up to 30% compared with conventional frame relay, company execs say.

WorldCom Bundled Frame Relay includes packages of ports, circuits, and hardware, and WorldCom Economy Frame Relay combines local access with low-bandwidth links for customers who need to connect many remote locations for applications such as E-mail and point-of-sale transactions.

The Bundled Frame Relay service provides customers with as many frame relay circuits as they need, up to double the capacity of the frame relay port at their central sites, so "there was a savings associated with the service because there's no charge" on circuits, says customer John Campanella, CFO of financial news and information provider Market News International Inc. in New York.

Market News International just started using the WorldCom service for internal data traffic between its New York, Chicago, and Washington offices and estimates that it's paying no more for the service than it paid its previous provider, while getting twice the bandwidth, Campanella says.

The main features of the Bundled Frame Relay Service are short one- or two-year service contracts, an unlimited number of circuits, a port speed of up to 1.5 Mbps at a customer's central site, and all the necessary equipment. In a typical configuration, it can cost as much as 25% less than conventional frame relay offerings, company execs say.

The Economy Frame Relay Service features one-, two-, and three-year contracts, bandwidth up to 56 Kbps at each site, local access, and end-to-end management. It can save customers as much as 30% compared with conventional frame relay, execs say.

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