In telecommunication, a cell relay is a statistically multiplexed interface protocol for packet switched data communications that uses fixed-length packets, i.e. cells, to transport data.

Note 1: Cell relay transmission rates usually are between 56 kb/s and 1.544 Mb/s, i.e., the data rate of a DS1 signal.

Note 2: Cell relay protocols (a) have neither flow control nor error correction capability, (b) are information-content independent, and (c) correspond only to layers one and two of the ISO Open Systems Interconnection--Reference Model.

Note 3: Cell relay systems enclose variable-length user packets in fixed-length packets, i.e. cells, that add addressing and verification information. Frame length is fixed in hardware, based on time delay and user packet-length considerations. One user data message may be segmented over many cells.

Note 4: Cell relay is an implementation of fast packet technology that is used in (a) connection-oriented broadband integrated services digital networks (B-ISDN, and its better-known supporting technology ATM) and (b) connectionless IEEE 802.6, switched multi-megabit data service (SMDS).

Note 5: Cell relay is used for time-sensitive traffic such as voice and video.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C