Lexicon - VoIP.ms Wiki

Lexicon

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You can find here a lexicon that was built in order to facilitate understanding of the terms specific to the world of telecommunications. This lexicon doesn't replace any wiki article and we invite you to consult the other articles of the wiki to deepen the notions exposed here.


ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) :

It's a system that distributes incoming calls to a specific group of terminals used by agents.


ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) :

It's a technology that allows large amounts of information to be sent to computers very quickly using ordinary phone lines.


ATA (Analog Telephone Adaptor) :

It's a device used to connect a standard telephone to a computer or network so that the user can make calls over the Internet.


Bandwidth :

It is the capacity of a wired or wireless network communications link to transmit the maximum amount of data from one point to another over a computer network or internet connection in a given amount of time -- usually one second.


Broadband Connection :

It is the most used form of Internet access, it is offered in four different forms: DSL, fiber-optic, cable, and also satellite.


Caller ID :

It's a facility that identifies and displays the telephone numbers of incoming calls made to a particular line. (For more details: Caller ID)


Calling queue :

It’s the time it takes before a customer gets an answer from a rep, so it is an important metric in call centers. (For more details: Calling Queues)


CDR (Call Detail Record) :

It is a data record produced by a telephone exchange or other telecommunications equipment that documents the details of a telephone call or other telecommunications transaction (e.g., text message). (For more details: CDR)


Cloud computing :

It is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.


CNAM (Caller ID Name) :

It's a feature that displays your name or company name on the Caller ID display of the party you are calling. (For more details: Caller ID)


Codec :

It's a device or computer program for encoding or decoding a digital data stream (audio or video) or signal. (For more details: Detailed specifications)


Crosstalk :

It refers to any phenomenon by which a signal transmitted on one circuit/channel of a transmission system creates an undesired effect in another one. It is usually caused by undesired capacitive, inductive, or conductive coupling from one circuit or channel to another.


CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) :

It describe any technology that enables computers to interact with telephones. This term is mainly used in call centers.


Data :

These are the quantities, characters or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on recording media.


DIA (Dedicated Internet Access) :

It's a communications connection or other hardware resource dedicated to a certain application or use. This is different than a shared connection such as a telephone network or the Internet.


DID (Direct Inward Dialing) :

It is a telephone number without a directly associated telephone line. Usually these numbers are programmed to forward incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers, chosen by the client: fixed, mobile or VoIP. (For more details: Order DID or Manage DID)


DISA (Direct Inward System Access) :

It allows a user to get access to internal PBX features for placing outgoing calls, even if the caller isn't close to any device where registering account or sub account. (For more details: DISA)


Downstream :

It refers to the transmission of data to an end user or toward an end user from a central server or point of origin. The term download is often used to refer to this kind of transmission.


DCR (Dropped-Call Rate) :

It's the fraction of the telephone calls which, due to technical reasons, were cut off before the speaking parties had finished their conversation and before one of them had hung up (dropped calls).


DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) :

It is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines.


DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency) :

These are signals/tones that are sent when you press a telephone's touch keys. These tones (or data signals) are used to access voicemail (passwords) and navigate IVRs or attendants for large companies like banks.


Ethernet Connection :

This is the standard network technology that connects computers to each other and to the Internet via cables.


Failover :

It is a backup operational mode in which the functions of a system component (such as a processor, server, network, or database) are assumed by secondary system components when the primary component becomes unavailable through either failure or scheduled down time.


FAS (False Answer Supervision) :

It refers to incorrect extra billing of calls, when the billing starts earlier than the called party actually picks up the phone. (For more details: FAS)


Firewall :

It is a software used to maintain the security of a private network by blocking unauthorized access. (For more details: Firewall)


Firmware :

It is a software program permanently etched into a hardware device. It is programmed to give permanent instructions to communicate with other devices and perform functions like basic input/output tasks.


FOC (Fiber-Optic Communication) :

It's a technologie that transmit telephone signals, Internet communication and cable television signals with much lower attenuation and interference.


Gain :

It's an electronic measure of the ability of a two-port circuit (often an amplifier) to increase the power or amplitude of a signal from the input to the output port by adding energy converted from some power supply to the signal.


Gateway :

It is a hardware device (router, firewall, server, or other that enables traffic to flow in and out of the network) that acts as a "gate" between two networks .


Hosted VOIP/PBX :

It stands for a hardware and a PBX that are hosted at an off-site location from where the VoIP phone service is being used.


IAX protocol (Inter-Asterisk eXchange) :

It's a communications protocol native to the Asterisk private branch exchange (PBX) software that can be used for transporting VoIP telephony sessions between servers and to terminal devices.


iNums :

It's a global area code for IP Communications services. These numbers are free for qualifying service providers.


IP (Internet Protocol) :

It's a set of rules governing the format of data sent over the Internet or other network.


IP Telephony :

This is the technology that allows individuals to communicate with each other over a distance, carried out over the internet.


ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) :

It's a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network.


ISP (Internet Service Provider) :

It refers to an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet.


IVR (Interactive Voice Response or Digital Receptionist) :

It is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via a keypad. (For more details: IVR)


Jitter :

It is the fluctuation phenomenon of a signal and a significant, usually undesired, factor in the design of almost all communications links.


LAN (Local Area Network) :

It is a group of computers (and associated devices) that share a common communications line or wireless link to a server. (Usually connected to a server within a distinct geographic area such as an office or a commercial establishment)


Latency :

It refers to the delay from input into a system to desired outcome. (Example: Network latency is how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another.)


LIDB (Line Information Data Base) :

It is a database maintained by the local telephone company that contains subscriber information, such as a service profile, name and address, and credit card validation information.


LPN (Low-Power Network) :

It's a type of wireless telecommunication WAN designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects).


MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) :

It's a routing technique that directs data from one node to the next based on short path labels (rather than long network addresses), which avoids complex lookups.


National Number :

These are defined by national or regional numbering plans.


Network Switch :

It connects devices on a computer network by using packet switching to receive, process, and forward data to the destination device.


Origination :

It simply refers to incoming calling. Your number sits with your provider, so the call comes to them first, and is then routed on to you. You need a phone number to receive calls.


Packet loss :

It's the failure of transmitted packets to arrive at their destination and it can cause noticeable effects in all types of digital communications.


PBX (Private Branch eXchange) :

It is a private telephone network used within a company or organization that allows users to communicate internally and externally, using different communication channels like VoIP, ISDN or analog.


Ping test :

It is a method of checking if a device is connected to a network. It also determines the latency or delay between two devices. It is run for troubleshooting to know connectivity as well as response time.


Porting a number :

It means moving a telephone number from one provider (port out) to another (port in), and usually involves closing the old account.  It is different from call forwarding, in which the number remains assigned to that account, and calls are simply directed to another recipient. (For more details: Porting a Number)


PRI (Primary Rate Interface) :

It is a physical connection to the PSTN over a dedicated line that only serves voice transmission using a circuit switched model for making voice connections between people. PRI is considered "old-school" telephony compared to SIP (which is virtual).


PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) :

It refers to a call center responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, firefighting and ambulance services.


PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) :

It consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all interconnected by switching centers, thus allowing most telephones to communicate with each other.


QoS (Quality of Service) :

It's the description or measurement of the overall performance of a service, such as a telephony or computer network or a cloud computing service


Routing (route) :

It is a mechanism that allows calls to be transmitted from a source to a destination through a sequence of intermediate switching stations or nodes. Not all points are directly connected so the cost of completely connecting a network makes it very expensive.


Router :

It's a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks.


RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol) :

It is a network protocol for delivering audio and video over IP networks.


SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line) :

It's a DSL (digital subscriber line) that transmits digital data over the copper wires of the telephone network, where the bandwidth in the downstream direction is identical to the upstream direction.


SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) :

It is a signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining and terminating real-time sessions between different parties (often using more than one medium, to take place), that include voice, video and messaging applications. (For more details: SIP URI)


SIP Proxy (or SIP Server) :

It facilitates communications between two SIP addresses. (SIP device can still talk to another SIP device without it)


SIP-TLS (Transport Layer Security) :

It is a protocol that provides communication security between client/server applications that communicate with each other over the Internet. (For more details: Call Encryption)


SIP URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) :

It's a user’s SIP phone number and it looks similar to an e-mail address because it is written in the following format: SIP-URI = sip:x@y:Port where x=Username and y=host (domain or IP)


SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol) :

It is an extension to RTP that incorporates enhanced security features. (For more details: Call Encryption)


Termination :

It is the act of delivering your outbound calls to the numbers you’ve dialed. You don’t need a phone number to terminate (send) calls.


Toll free number :

It is a telephone number with distinct three-digit codes that can be dialed from landlines with no charge to the person placing the call. Such numbers allow callers to reach someone out of the area without being charged a long-distance fee.


Trunking (Trunk) :

It is a method for a system to provide network access to many clients by sharing a set of lines or frequencies instead of providing them individually. It can be visualized as the structure of a tree with one trunk and many branches.


Upstream :

It refers to the direction in which data can be transferred from the client to the server (uploading).


US48 :

It refers to continental US, which does not include Hawaii and Alaska, as well as other off-shore US territories like Puerto Rico.


Value and Premium route :

These are two different types of routes, they offer different qualities for the service and different rates. For more details, please go on Value vs Premium page of our wiki.


Vanity Number :

It is a local or toll-free number for which a subscriber requests an easily remembered sequence of numbers for marketing purposes. (For example: 1-800-JAZZMEN)


Virtual Number :

It is a telephone number without a directly associated telephone line. Usually these numbers are programmed to forward incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers, chosen by the client: fixed, mobile or VoIP. (It is the same thing than DID)


VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) :

It refers to the transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. VoIP historically referred to using IP to connect private branch exchanges (PBXs), but the term is now used interchangeably with IP telephony.


VOIP Phones :

It uses voice over IP technologies for placing and transmitting telephone calls over an IP network, such as the Internet, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN).


VPN (Virtual Private Network) :

It extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.


WAN (Wide Area Network) :

It is a geographically distributed private telecommunications network that interconnects multiple local area networks (LANs). Users can access to applications, services and other centrally located resources, no need to install the same application server, firewall or other resource in multiple locations.
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