We have tried to make our website as clear as possible. However the telephone world is full of technical information and confusing terminology. Click on an item below for a brief description.
ACD – Automatic Call Distributor
ADSL – Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line
ASR – Automated Speech Recognition
BSC – Base Station Controller
BTS – Base Tranceiver Station
CLI – Calling Line Identity
CoDec – Coder Decoder
CPE – Customer Premise Equipment
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
DDI – Direct Dial Inbound
DECT – Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
DPNSS – Digital Private Network Signalling System
DSL – Digital Subscriber Line
DTMF Tones – Dual Tone Multi-Frequency
EDGE – Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution
FMC – Fixed Mobile Convergence
FMC marries together the best aspects of fixed and mobile services and simultaneously alleviates the negative associations of disparate telephony services. FMC means access to traditional fixed-line services on the mobile handset, making internal and external communications more efficient, and employees more productive and responsive.
An FXO (Foreign eXchange Office) is the interface that connects to the Public Switched Telephone Network’s (PSTN) central office. In an IP environment FXO is the interface on the gateway that allows connectivity between VOIP systems and specifically analog devices such as POTS handsets or fax machines or a PSTN phone line.
In a communications network, a network node equipped for interfacing with another network that uses different protocols.
GPRS – General Packet Radio Service
General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and complements existing services such circuit-switched cellular phone connections and the Short Message Service (SMS).
Global System for Mobile communications – the standard for digital cellular phone services across the UK, Europe and many other countries.
The physical electronic system comprising one or more computers (usually referred to as servers) on which software is run to provide the service or solution required.
In the context of telephony, the term refers to the provision of a telephony service where the functions normally fulfilled by a PBX on the customers premises (see CPE) are provided by a system housed remotely, owned and managed by a service provider. The hosted service will be shared between a large number of customers.
A solution comprising a mix of different technologies, e.g. PBXs (based on TDM) and IP-PBXs (based on the Internet Protocol).
IMEI – International Mobile Equipment Identity
IMEI is a number unique to every GSM mobile phone. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen, or blocked, phone from accessing the network. It is usually found printed on the phone underneath the battery or accessed by dialing *#06# on your mobile phone.
IMSI – International Mobile Subscriber Identity
IMSI is a unique number associated with all GSM network mobile phone users. It is stored in the SIM card inside the phone and is sent by the phone to the network.
A telephone switching system that uses a signalling system based on the Internet Protocol as opposed to traditional PBXs that are based on a Time Division Multiplex (TDM) protocol.
A telephone system that operates over a data network using the Internet Protocol.
IPEI – International Personal Equipment Identity
The IPEI (International Portable Equipment Identity) is a unique 13-digit serial number, embedded into every DECT phone.
ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network
The key feature of the ISDN is that it integrates speech and data on the same lines, adding features that were not available in the ‘classic’ telephone system.
IVR – Interactive Voice Response
A system where a caller uses their telephone keypad to respond to computer generated voice prompts. The simplest form of IVR system is an Auto Attendant where the caller’s keypad choices determine the ultimate destination of their call. In the more complex form of IVR, the telephone system is connected to one or more external database. A typical example here is telephone banking, where callers are able to find out the balance in their account or even transfer funds from one account to another.
A Macro network usually refers to the larger national (or global) GSM networks such as Vodafone, O2, etc. A micro network is a smaller, private GSM network.
MSC – Mobile Switching Centre
A device (or software) that controls the BSCs and other components with a cellular network. It has overall responsibility for cell handover and end-to-end connection of calls.
MPLS – Multi Protocol Label Switching
A mechanism that allows different types of traffic along a data network. Along with other transmission mechanisms, it delivers packets of information between nodes on a network, sharing bandwidth with other network users and protocols.
A solution that incorporates functional elements from different manufacturers, e.g. a corporate telephony system comprising inter-connected PBXs from different vendors.
PBX – Private Branch eXchange
The switching system within an organisation that connects calls between internal telephones or between internal telephones and external phones connected via the Public Switched Telephone Network. Also referred to as a PABX (Private Automatic Branch eXchange) but, since all present day switching systems are automatic, the terms are now used interchangeably.
PoE – Power over Ethernet
Power over Ethernet technology is a system to transmit electrical power, along with data, to remote devices over standard twisted-pair cable in an Ethernet network. This technology is useful for powering IP telephones, wireless LAN access points and other appliances where it would be inconvenient, expensive or infeasible to have a separate power supply.
POTS – Plain Old Telephone System
POTS is a term which describes the voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in most parts of the world. Sometimes known as Post Office Telephone System.
PMR – Private Mobile Radio
PMR stands for Private (or professional) Mobile Radiocommunication. In parallel to public mobile communications, usually known under the GSM standard in Europe, PMR systems address mobile communication needs of professional users including police, civil protection, customs, utilities, transports,airports, private security.
PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network
Public Switched Telephone Network, refers to the international telephone system based on copper wires carrying analog voice data. This is in contrast to newer telephone networks base on digital technologies, such as ISDN, IP, ATM and FDDI.
Telephone service carried by the PSTN is often called plain old telephone service (POTS).
An ISDN-based European signalling protocol standard similar to the UK-based DPNSS standard.
QoS – Quality of Service
Quality of Service is the ability to provide different priority to different applications, users, or data flows, or to guarantee a certain level of performance to a data flow.
SALT – Speech Application Language Tags
Speech Application Language Tags – similar to VoiceXML but used to add speech/telephony capabilities to web-based applications.
Servers / Preconfigured Servers
A computer system that, typically, runs some software to perform a specific task or set of tasks. See also Hardware Platform.
SDSL – Synchronous Digital Subscriber Line
Allows data transmission along standard telephone wires. SDSL allows the same transmission speed for both upload and download.
SIM – Subscriber Identity Module
SIM cards securely store the service-subscriber key or IMSI (see above) used to identify a subscriber. The use of SIM cards is mandatory in GSM devices.
SIP – Session Initiation Protocol
SIP is a signalling protocol used for establishing sessions in an IP network. A session could be a simple two-way telephone call or it could be a collaborative multi-media conference session.
A SIP handset is a device that uses SIP as its method of transmitting and receiving voice traffic, such as a SNOM phone.
SMS – Short Message Service
SMS is a communications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages (up to 160 characters) between mobile telephone devices.
SMSC – Short Message Service Center
SMSC is a network element in the mobile telephone network which delivers SMS messages. It is one of the components of the PMN system enabling the sending and receiving of SMS messages.
SRST – Survivable Remote Site Telephony
A backup solution where a call is maintained at a remote site even when the PBX at the main site is not available.
In the context of telephony systems, sometimes used to mean a PBX or IP-PBX (see separate entries).
TDM – Time Division Multiplex
A technique for handling a number of voice or data signals over a common medium, e.g. a single wire, by sending a small portion of each signal, one after the other, in quick succession.
TTS – Text-to-Speech
A technology that converts textual information, held in digital form, into computer-synthesised speech used, i.e. to inform callers of their current balance in telephone banking systems.
A solution that brings together different types of electronic messages (e.g. voice, fax, video, email) into a single mailbox or inbox, making it more convenient for the user to access.
URL – Uniform Resource Locator
The address of a page on a website, e.g. www.teleware.com is the URL of the home page on the TeleWare website.
A period of time at the end of a telephone call for the ‘agent’ to write notes, complete paperwork, compose themselves, etc before being presented with another call. This is commonly used in call centre environments.
In this context, virtual is used to describe a geographically dispersed group of people who, nevertheless, work together as a team.
The concept of ensuring that a telephone call can be made and received under any circumstance and is immune to abnormal conditions.
Services based on the Voice eXtensible Markup Language. VoiceXML is a standard computer software language used to develop voice-user interfaces based around advanced techniques such as voice recognition and text-to-speech.
VoIP – Voice over IP
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the transmission of voice traffic over IP-based networks. This could be publically, over the internet or privately over a managed IP network.
VPN – Virtual Private Network
A process whereby software is used to create what appears as a private network running over a public network. VPNs are typically used to extend an organisations internal computer network to off-site locations such as branch offices and to home-based employees.