Telecommunication Terms

A
A device that converts IP to analog signaling, allowing devices like fax machines and fire alarms to send calls over your internet connection.

A set of code-based functions and procedures that allows software to interact with other operating systems or applications.

A process in which service providers sign each outbound call with an attestation level. Think of it like a friend vouching for you; the provider attests to their relationship with the caller and validates their right to use the number.

For more info: Basics of STIR/SHAKEN

A call feature that routes callers to an option menu so they can select a specific department or extension.

A business continuity feature that redirects calls automatically to another phone number upon failure to connect the call to the original number.

A calling feature that shows a caller’s address, mostly commonly used through E911 to direct emergency dispatch to the correct location.

For more info: The 411 on E911

A calling feature that shows the call receiver the telephone number of the incoming call.

For more info: The 411 on E911

B
A device that converts IP to analog signaling, allowing devices like fax machines and fire alarms to send calls over your internet connection.
The capacity of an organization or system to maintain acceptable levels of operation during an outage or degradation of service.
C

A department or organization that manages incoming calls from new and existing customers on behalf of an organization or client.

For more info: The Difference Between a Call Center and a Contact Center

 

A calling feature that enables you to automatically forward a call to another phone number.

A telephone service that transmits a caller’s telephone number to the recipient’s telephone screen. This sometimes includes the name associated with the calling number as well.

 

A delivery service used in U.S.-based telephone networks to provide name identification of the calling party. The CNAM information is often displayed in the caller ID as the caller or company’s name.

The prioritization of certain traffic mediums, such as voice or video, over others in order to enhance the quality of your most important traffic.

A digital network of servers, usually hosted in a data center. Short for cloud computing, the cloud is where you can store and access data over the internet, rather than your computer’s hard drive.

An IP-based phone system that routes all calls digitally, through the cloud. Also known as a Hosted PBX, this type of phone system lives in the cloud, rather than at each individual customer premise.

For more info: What is Cloud PBX?

A type of electrical cable that transmits voice, telephone and internet signals.

For more info: What is Coax Cable Internet?

A device or program used to improve the speed of information processing. A codec encodes (or compresses) information when transmitting data or signals and decodes (or decompresses) certain data or signals once it’s received.

A data center solution in which you host your servers (and other network equipment) at a third-party facility, but are still responsible for management and maintenance of the equipment. Colocation usually includes: rack, power and bandwidth.

For more info: What is a Data Center?

An organization that provides communication services (like cloud communications, internet, cable, etc.) to other businesses or residents. TelNet is considered a CSP as a telecommunications carrier.

The integration of computer and telephone systems to manage voice calls through a computer. When a contact center agent uses CTI, incoming calls are displayed as a popup window detailing the customer’s information on the screen.

An entity that handles inbound and outbound calls (as well as other communication methods such as SMS, email and chat) for an organization. While some contact centers are managed internally, others are outsourced (and frequently referred to as a “BPO,” short for business process outsourcing).

For more info: What is a Contact Center?

D

A specially-designed facility that securely houses an organization’s IT operations, data and equipment.

For more info: What is a Data Center?

A method of electronically sending and receiving a fax document over the internet.

For more info: What is Digital Fax?

The process of ditching analog technology to digital, or cloud-based systems.

For more info: The Digital Transformation Guide

A telecommunication service that connects a segment of telephone numbers to your organization’s PBX to deliver incoming calls. DID can be used with local and toll-free numbers.


A telecommunication service that allows users to dial out and directly connect with outside lines from their PBX.

A telecommunications service that enables SIP calling through Microsoft Teams. It allows users to make and receive calls through the PSTN while using the application.

For more info: What is Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams?

A state in which a network or piece of equipment is out of order or unavailable for use. 

A type of SIP registration that sends all traffic to one PBX to a single, assigned IP address.

For more info: What is a SIP Server?

E

A ten-digit phone number that contains an Automatic Location Identifier (ALI) for emergency response.

For more info: The 411 on E911

An approximate geographic coordinate where emergency services may send dispatch to.

For more info: The 411 on E911

An E911 service that connects companies and organizations to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) for emergency response.

For more info: The 411 on E911

A service that provides a caller’s location and call-back number to emergency response services.

For more info: The 411 on E911

A telephony feature that allows companies to customize an automated phone system for incoming callers to gain information easily. Just by speaking into the phone or using a keypad, customers can get questions answered easily and efficiently.

F

A business continuity function that ensures network redundancy in the event of an outage. If one of your connections becomes degraded or goes offline, data transmission will continue uninterrupted because traffic will be automatically redirected to another available link.

H

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed in 1996 that requires the confidentiality of medical information. Whenever something is HIPAA-compliant, it is in regulation with the Act, guaranteeing the protection of sensitive medical information.

A phone system feature that distributes calls coming into a single phone number to a group of numbers within the organization. So when someone calls your company’s main line, it’ll ring a predetermined group of employees.

A working group operating from different locations. Hybrid work structures are gaining popularity, allowing flexible arrangements where employees can work on location or remotely.

I

A phone menu system that routes incoming callers to a specific department based on their responses.

The network of physical devices that are connected to the internet.

A standard set of rules for sending and receiving data over the internet.

A telephone switching system that connects phone extensions to the public switched telephone network. It’s basically a business phone system that communicates over the internet or dedicated IP connection.

An IP-based voice solution that provides a PRI handoff to a legacy PBX. It allows you to customize how many channels you have, rather than being locked into increments of 23.

For more info: What is IP-PRI?

An organization that provides network services for residents and businesses.

The ability of computerized systems to connect and communicate with one another.

J

The delay of data packets over your network connection. Jitter can negatively impact phone calls and video conferencing, and is often caused by network congestion.

K

Requires that the MLTS locations in the U.S. let users dial 911 directly, without being hindered by an additional digit, code or prefix, such as “9,” to reach an external line.

For more info: Kari’s Law: Everything You Need to Know

L

The delay between a web request from sender to receiver.

A process that analyzes, selects and directs inbound and outbound communication traffic down the least expensive path.

A legacy system is any hardware, software or application that is built upon outdated or earlier generation technology, but is still vital to business operations.

For more info: It’s Time to Modernize Your Legacy Phone System

A computer network that connects devices within a limited area, such as a school or office building.

M

A data center solution in which your servers are hosted, monitored and managed by a vendor.

For more info: What is a Data Center?

A web-based platform for service management, which can be accessed via desktop, laptop or mobile device.

For more info: 7 Top Qualities to Look for in a Self-Service VoIP Portal

A wildly popular communication and collaboration platform by Microsoft that allows users to work and communicate more efficiently.

For more info: 6 Tips for Getting Started with Microsoft Teams

A telecom network routing technique that increases the speed and manages the flow of traffic based on short path labels rather than network addresses.

N

A redundant system to safe proof operations by having a power backup in place.

A central point of operations where an organization supports its computer network and telecommunications infrastructure.

For more info: What is a Network Operations Center?

O

A communication method that provides a continuous customer experience across multiple platforms. It allows customers to interact with agents via different channels such as voice, text, email and chat.

For more info: What is a Contact Center?

A pricing model in which an organization will pay per concurrent call path, rather than per user. (Contrasted with a one-to-one model, where organizations will pay for each and every user to have access to PSTN calling.)

For more info: Direct Routing vs. Calling Plans for Microsoft Teams

P

A security standard for credit cards to help protect against fraud and unauthorized transactions.

An on-premise or cloud-based business telephone system that routes all calls.

For more info: What is Cloud PBX?

An analog voice solution that is connected via copper wire, also commonly known as a landline. These also have their own power source so can be used in fail-oc

A feature where ethernet cable can carry electrical power. The advantage of a PoE is that power can be delivered without having to deal with AC power.

PRI is a traditional phone line made up of 23 voice channels.

For more info: Upgrading Your PRI

A service that lets users update their location information for 911 emergency services.

For more info: The 411 on E911

A call center that handles calls for emergency response such as police, firefighters and ambulance services.

For more info: The 411 on E911

A hardwire network of phone routing areas for landline phones that provides infrastructure and services for public telecommunication.

Q

A strategy that allows you to prioritize your most important applications over less sensitive traffic. You can assign priority layers within your network to ensure consistent delivery and eliminate latency, jitter and packet-loss problems. Everything is prioritized by class and other customizable criteria based on your business’ needs.

For more info: 6 Ways SD-WAN Can Improve Your Network Experience

R

An act that requires a “dispatchable location” must be conveyed to the PSAP in the case of a 911 call.

For more info: RAY BAUM’s Act: What It Means for Your Organization

A process in which additional or alternate equipment is installed in the network infrastructure to protect against downtime.

The act of making a call with a computerized auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message (as if from a robot). Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcements.

For more info: TelNet Worldwide to Implement STIR/SHAKEN Robocall Mitigation Plan

S

Refers to both a standardization working group and the labeling of technology that adds cryptographic signatures to call signaling requests. It prevents a caller from providing a calling number to the receiving party that they’re not authorized to use.

For more info: What You Need to Know About STIR/SHAKEN

A promised level of service between a service provider and a customer.

A device used in VoIP communications that controls the signaling that initiates, conducts and concludes a voice call, and sometimes other interactive media communications. By connecting two endpoints to each other, it acts as a techy crossing guard, facilitating the exchange of data.

For more info: Session Border Controller 101

A signaling protocol that allows users to make, receive, update and end a multimedia session in real-time. Sessions can include voice calls, video conferences, messaging and other multimedia exchanges.

For more info: What is SIP?

An industry standard that defines how voice service providers should implement the STIR technology to ensure that outbound calls are not being spoofed on their networks.

For more info: What You Need to Know About STIR/SHAKEN

A phone system feature that lets you forward to a group of phone numbers. When that call forwards, all numbers ring at once.

A type of data center power distribution system that distributes up to 208 volts of alternating currents over two wires (an active conductor and a neutral one). These systems are ideal for customers with smaller workloads who aren’t in need of high-density capacity.

For more info: Data Center Power Distribution

A type of communication method that utilizes SIP to send and receive calls to any number.

For more info: What is SIP Calling?

A device that processes and transmits voice data from an analog device to a digital device.

For more info: What is a SIP Gateway?

A VoIP solution that utilizes the SIP signaling protocol to carry voice and data between two points in order to enable cloud calling.

For more info: What is SIP Trunking?

A software program that allows you to make phone calls over the internet, without the need for dedicated hardware (like an actual deskphone).

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
A way to manage wide area networks (WANs) through software.

For more info: What is SD-WAN?

A way to manage wide area networks (WANs) through software.

For more info: What is SD-WAN?

A set IP address assigned to a device that does not change over time. Even if the router or device is rebooted, the IP address will stay the same.

For more info: What is a SIP Server?

A communication tool, usually accessed via browser or app, that’s used to convey information about the status of service levels (as well as scheduled maintenance announcements) at any given time.

For more info: The Status Page: A Window for Service Transparency

A set of technical standards and operating procedures for implementing call authentication for calls carried over the internet. This framework will enable originating voice service providers to attest to the validity of asserted caller IDs and sign outbound calls with a secure signature or certificate that cannot be faked. The terminating service provider will use the security certificate to validate that the caller ID attestation has not been compromised.

For more info: What You Need to Know About STIR/SHAKEN

T

A piece of bipartisan legislation signed into law on December 30, 2019 to increase the enforcement against telemarketers and scammers making illegal robocalls. It requires the FCC to establish a call authentication framework and mitigation criteria aimed at preventing the ultimate delivery of fraudulent calls to end users.

For more info: TelNet Worldwide to Implement STIR/SHAKEN Robocall Mitigation Plan

A fancy name for the use of telephones. It refers to the field of technology that involves telecommunication services, like the transmission of voice, fax or data between endpoints.

A type of data center power option that distributes 208 volts over three alternating currents. Each current is shifted by a third cycle, so the power never stops.

For more info: Data Center Power Distribution

A data center classification that guarantees 99.671 percent uptime and zero redundancy.

For more info: Data Center Tiers Explained

A data center classification that guarantees 99.741 percent uptime with partial redundancy in power and cooling operations.

For more info: Data Center Tiers Explained

A data center classification that guarantees 99.982 percent uptime with N+1 redundancy.

For more info: Data Center Tiers Explained

The process of determining the origin of a call, typically starting with the receiving party and terminating voice service provider and working backward through the path to the origin of a call.

For more info: TelNet Worldwide to Implement STIR/SHAKEN Robocall Mitigation Plan

A line that carries data and can transmit up to 24 simultaneous phone calls over a single copper wire. T1s are now considered a legacy technology. This T1 circuit can also come in the form of a data connection, delivering internet connectivity.

U

A collaboration application that connects via laptop and mobile devices, that features calling, messaging and video conferencing.

For more info: What is Unified Communications?

A cloud delivery model that supports a variety of communication and collaboration applications and functions. This cohesive technology stack offers features like voice telephony, audio video conferencing, messaging and real-time presence.

For more info: UCaaS 101: Unified Communications as a Service

Battery packs with surge protection that act as a backup if the primary power source in a data center goes out.

A contact center function that places all incoming calls, chats and emails into a single waiting list. This style of call queuing brings consistency and efficiency to both customers and agents. No one gets pushed to the back of the list just because of their preferred method of communication.

A measurement of a system’s reliability, expressed as a percentage. It refers to the time that a system or machine is working and available.

V

A type of network that creates a private network from a public internet connection. It establishes secure, encrypted connections to ensure privacy and security.

A group of devices that communicate with each other as if they were part of the same local area network (LAN).

For more info: 3 Tricks You Can Do at Home for an Expert-Level Wi-Fi Network

An umbrella term for any phone calls made over the internet rather than the copper wires used by traditional analog phones. It includes any devices that transmit real-time communications data over the internet.

For more info: What is VoIP?

An encrypted link between a computer or a mobile device and a network (like a VPN server).

W

An enterprise-grade Cisco platform for video conferencing, virtual meetings and chatting. When combined with TelNet’s Cloud PBX solution, the application can serve as a mobile business phone system as well.

For more info: What is Webex and How Does It Work?

Z

A feature that allows service providers to provision and configure a device automatically, without the need for manual setup or configuration.

A cultural trend and result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a state of exhaustion and burnout related to constant digital communication (especially the use of video conferencing).

For more info: Tired of Boring Virtual Meetings?

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