Virtual Hosted PBX Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z 

 


A

ADSL – Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Link (ADSL) is a service provider technique for connecting broadband internet connectivity over existing customer (local loop) copper wire telephone connections via digital subscriber link technology (DSL). It is termed asynchronous as it has different upload and download data rates, which makes it ideal for customer internet broadband. Read more…

Asynchronous Communication – This is the technique whereby a host system sends data as a stream of bit without a synchronizing clock. The recipient is able to determine the meaningful bits by parsing the start and stop bits from the stream. Read more…

Audio Menu – An audio menu gives callers instructions or offer choices when used in conjunction with an auto attendant, or IVR system. The caller typically responds using verbal commands or key presses on touch phones. Read more…

Auto-attendantan auto-attendant is a feature that will automatically answer any incoming calls. The features core value is it will always answer incoming calls, regardless of the status of the line, for example busy, to make sure no calls go unanswered. Furthermore, the auto-attendant can act as an auto-receptionist. In this mode, the auto-attendant will greet the caller with a customized message and provide the caller with a menu of choices via an IVR. In the case of a line being busy, the auto-attendant can queue the calls or forward to voice-mail. The caller experience is that they feel they are dealing with a large company’s PBX. Read more…

 


B

Bandwidth – This is the measurement of the volume of data that can be transmitted over a communications link. In digital networks, bandwidth is measured in bits per second (bps) or Bytes per second (Bps). In analogue communications it is measures in Hertz (HZ). Read more…

B-ISDN – This is the consumer two-channel version of ISDN known as Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network.  Read more…

 


C

Cable Modem – this is the device used to connect to the high speed data networks run by the cable networks. The connection is normally through a standard RJ45 Ethernet connector. Cable modem tend to be on shared segments of the cable network I.E. you share the same bandwidth with neighbors so performance is not always predictable. Read more…

Codec – stands for Compression-Decompression these are algorithms used to improve quality and efficiency over low bandwidth links. Read more…

Conference Bridge – These are devices used in PBX’s to sum and balance the energy levels between  parties. Read more…

Call Duration – this is the time from when the call was initiated, taken off hook, to the time it was ended. Read more…

Call Hunt Group – this is a PBX configuration whereby each extension in a group will be tried until a free one can be found, used a lot in sales and call centers. Read more…

Call Blast Group – This is a PBX configuration whereby every extension in a group will ring at the same time, the first one to answer takes the call. This feature is configured in emergency or fast reaction centers where a call must be answered quickly. Read more…

Call Setup – This is the time, measured in seconds, which it takes to setup a call between parties. This is a key KPI in circuit-based, mobile and VoIP networks. Read More…

 


D

Data Compression – This is the technique used to transport and store data more efficiently by compressing the raw data. Data compression and codec are often used in VoIP. Read more…

DHCP  – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is used in networks to dynamically configure hosts joining a network with an IP address, Subnet mask, default gateway and typically primary and secondary DNS servers. DHCP greatly reduces the burden of network administration on IP networks. Read more…

Digital Subscriber Line (xDSL) – Technology that uses the local loop copper wire to deliver fast digital signals from the Telecom (CO) to the subscriber. xDSL tends to have higher bandwidth downstream towards the subscriber than upstream towards the CO. Read more…

DNS – Domain Name Service – translates IP addresses into Domain Names and vice versa. Read more…

 


E

E1 Line – This is the Primary line rate for ISDN in Europe at 2.048Mbps. It consists of 30 bearer channels and 2 signal channels (15 & 31). Read more…

 


F

Fax-Server – On VoIP networks Fax-Servers are usually part of the IP-PBX functionality whereby they accept a document from a user in much the same way as a network printer will provide a queue for input. The Fax-Server will then bridge to the PSTN and make a call over the landlines to the recipient’s Fax. Read more…

Find me/ Follow me – This is a method used to find a person where ever they are by ringing  their mobile, desk phone and home number simultaneously. VoiP IP-PBX do not need to do this they can follow the user seamlessly by using DNS/IP tracking so the phone can physically be anywhere and it will ring. Read more…

Full-Duplex – A techniques of data communications where both parties can send/receive data simultaneously, this is opposed to half-duplex where only one party can send, whilst the other receives. Read more…

 


H

High Availability – the measure of reliability usually described as a number of nines, for example 5 nines, this is the percentage of up time during an agreed service period. Techniques to assist in HA are server clustering and master/slave configurations for fast failover. Read more…

 


I

IDS/IPS – Intrusion Detection Systems/Intrusion Protection Systems are signature based or behavior anomaly detection devices used in security to counteract network threats. IDS simply detects and raises alerts to perceived threats whereas IPS takes action to prevent the threat from materializing by disconnecting the session and dropping the traffic. Read more…

ICE NAT Traversal – Intrusion Detection Systems/Intrusion Protection Systems are signature based or behavior anomaly detection devices used in security to counteract network threats. IDS simply detects and raises alerts to perceived threats whereas IPS takes action to prevent the threat from materializing by disconnecting the session and dropping the traffic. Read more…

IM (Instant messaging) – is an application that allows users who are signed into the application at the same time to communicate in real time sending short chat messages. Examples are Google chat, Yahoo Messanger and Mobile phone apps such as Line and Blackberry’s messenger. Read more…

IVR – Interactive Voice Response is a technique used to allow the user to communicate with the host system typically an IP-PBX via inputing key presses or voice commands in response to instructions. An example of an IVR in action would be in telephone banking, where the user inputs account numbers, amounts etc using their phone in response to the systems instructions. Read more…

Internet – Today the internet comprises a vast network of independent autonomous systems (AS’s) or privately owned IP networks. These AS’s exchanging IP routing information with one another using the protocol BGP. By a combination of BGP and DNS (Domain Name Service) computers are able to find each other and communicate using TCP/IP (internet protocol). Read more…

IP – Internet Protocol is the software language that computers use to communicate over LAN (local Area Networks) and WAN (Wide Area Networks). IPv4 consists of a 32bit address which is unique to each device on the network. IP Addresses are assigned by an administrator or by an automatic addressing protocol such as DHCP with an address local to their sub-network. Hosts can only talk to other hosts within that subnet, to communicate with a host on another subnet the packets must pass through a router. Read more…

Internet Telephony – Any method that allows telephone calls to be carried across the internet. Popular computer-to-computer programs such as Skype use the internet to transport voice packets from one computer to another. Other services are based on VoIP Service Providers who will take calls from any device IP or PSTN and then route them across the internet. There are many techniques and methods but with one goal to avoid Telecom long distance charges by utilizing the free internet transport mechanisms. Read more…

IMS – stands for IP Multimedia System and is part of the architecture in 3G mobile networks. However it is used in many other fields as it is a general purpose open standard. It is used in VoIP and many video applications as it is based on SIP. Read more…

IEFT standard protocol – The IETF (International Engineering Task Force) standards protocol is the task force that governs internet standards in particular those that comprise the IP/TCP internet protocol suite. Their aim is “to make the Internet work better.” Read more…

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A business that provides subscriber based access to the internet. Read more…

 


J

Jitter – this is a KPI used in network performance testing. Jitter is the variation in latency between arriving packets travelling across the network and can be an indicator of network congestion. Jitter becomes noticeable and an issue on VoIP networks at around 30ms or above. Read more…

 


L

Latency –  A KPI used in network performance testing. This is the standard delay over a communication link. This can be in nanoseconds on a LAN but in high milliseconds over satellite links. Read more…

Lan – Local Area Network is a term used to describe computers that are locally connected via hubs or switches. Host devices are connected directly via wired or wireless switched connections and have IP addresses in the same subnet. Read more…

M

Messaging – This can include voice-mail, chat or other forms of live broadcasting of text messages across the network. Read more…

Modem – Modulator/Demodulator modulates digital signals onto analogue signals and vice versa. When a digital signal from a computer needs to travel across the telephone network, which is analogue, a modem is required to convert and then modulate the digital signal into an analogue wave or tone that can then traverse the telephone network. Read more…

IP/MPLS – Internet work Protocol/ Multi protocol label switching (IP/MPLS) is a protocol developed for transporting IP over an MPLS, label switching core network. IP/MPLS is fast and configurable with traffic engineering options for optimal routing and it is typically deployed in large enterprise or service provider backbone and core networks. Read more…

 


N

Free Network Management Systems (Free NMS) – A free NMS (network management system) is typically an open source NMS base on standard network monitoring protocols such an SNMP (simple network management protocol). As they are SNMP based they can be provide all the network management and reporting functions required by network administrators. Read more…

 


P

Packet – Data in the form of computer signals in a VoIP network are encapsulated as the pay-load of frames. The frames are themselves encapsulated in turn with IP address information for source and destination and sent across the network as packets. Read more…

Packet Loss – another key KPI when measuring network performance, packet loss is an indicator of congestion on the links and switch interfaces or poor link quality. Read more…

Packet Switching – Packet switching is a highly efficient way to fast switches data in the form of packets across a network. A switch or router simply looks into the header of the packet to determine the destination IP address. It can then do a lookup either, in the switch’s ARP table or, if it is a router, then its routing table to determine the interface the packet should leave on. Read more…

PBX – Private Branch Exchange, years ago a PBX was exactly that a private exchange that was connected via a trunk or branch line to a Telecom provider. The PBX mimicked all the functionality of the main Telecom exchange to the extent that they often had an operator to handle and switch calls. Today’s PBX are fully automatic and do not require any human supervision but they still do mimic an actual Telecom companies functions. PBX’s tend to have vender proprietary software and hardware making them very expensive to buy, support and customize. Read more…

Peer-2-Peer – P2P networks are an architecture whereby two or usually a lot more computers can share files and resources over a private ad-hoc network. This was the model for P2P file sharing of music and movies, it is also the model on which Skypes VoIP service is built. Read more…

POTS – Plain Old Telephone System, this term refers to the legacy analogue telephones and their fixed line infrastructure. It is still the most common form of residential and business telephony in some parts of the world. POTS preceded digital mobile and fixed line networks, as well as the new technology of VoIP however it is still the benchmark for call quality and reliability. Read more…

PSTN – Public Service Telephone Network is the real world telephone system that covers the globe. It covers not just traditional analogue telephones but also the digital mobile and fixed line networks. When referring to the PSTN it can mean all fixed and mobile networks but not VoIP networks or infrastructure (internet). Read more…

Protocol – a protocol is a standard convention, an agreed language or procedure between two end points during data communication. Read more…

PRTGIs a network monitoring system that can monitor thousands of network devices both locally, on a LAN, or on a global WAN network. PRTG uses SNMP to collect and display data regarding the status of devices as well as traffic travelling through interfaces and it will trigger and display alarms. Read more…

 

 


Q

QoS – Quality of Service is the intention of a network to deliver packets with minimum delay and with maximum reliability by recognizing that not all packets are treated the same and applying methods and techniques to give some traffic such as voice and video priority treatment. Read more…

QoE – Quality of Experience – is a metric used by service providers to enable them to understand the total experience of the service or product from the customers or users experience. QoE is a very important metric for reducing customer churn (leaving for a competitor) and with identifying areas of a service that require improvement. Read more…

 


R

RJ45 port – The RJ45 port is the common standard for LAN Ethernet connectors on both switches and routers. Devices connect to switch RJ45 ports (female) via RJ45 connectors (male) that are commonly found on standard Ethernet cables. These plastic male connectors are very cheap, and cables and connectors are easy to wire making Ethernet cabling cheap and popular. Read more…

RTP – Real Time Protocol is the protocol used to facilitate real time applications such as VoIP, Video and data streams. RTP is a necessity in real time applications as IP and TCP/IP is unsuitable due to its reliable nature – it resends lost packets. RTP on the other hand carries voice and video as data streams and does not resend dropped or lost packets. RTP is also used in conjunction with SIP for VoIP. Read more…

 


S

SBC – A Session Border Controller is typically used in enterprise or service provider networks to initiate, manage and tear-down VoIP (SIP) calls from internal to external (internet) parties. Session Border Controllers offer security as well as control over SIP established VoIP calls in an enterprise. Read more…

SIP – Session initiation Protocol, is one of VoIP’s most important protocols for initiating, maintaining and terminating sessions. SIP is widely used in VoIP, Gaming, Video apps and chat. Read more…

SIP Address – A SIP address is the unique identifier for a VoIP phone number. A SIP address is in text format much like an email address. By using SIP addresses VoIP or SIP, enabled devices can be contacted worldwide using the SIP protocol and the specific address. Read more…

SIP Phone – Is a device used to make SIP calls over the internet using SIP for signaling and RTP for voice & media. Read more…

SoftPhone – A piece of software that is used on a PC, laptop or tablet to work as a VoIP phone. It can work on just about any device so long as it has speakers and a microphone. Read more…

 


T

TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol is the transport layer protocol in the TCP/IP suite of protocols. TCP works by providing a robust and reliable means of transporting IP packets across the internet. TCP has many features that provide reliable transport, such as packet reorder, packet resend, and adjustable windows for transmission rate between parties. Read more…

Trunks – A trunk line is an aggregation of many single lines (links) multiplexed to work over a single line (trunk). An example is a T1/E1 telecoms trunk, which is a combination of many individual lines of 64kbps that make up a T1 or E1 trunk of 1.54Mbps or 2Mbps respectively. Read more…

T1 Line – A T1 trunk is the aggregation of 24 voice channels of 64kbps giving a total capacity of 1.544 after 8kbps is deducted for signaling and framing. T1 lines are the US standard for trunks in PBXs and local exchange aggregation. Read more…

 


U

UCaaS – Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is an evolution of the virtual IP/PBX services offered by VoIP service providers. UCaaS differs from IP/PBX in that it incorporates all communication technologies and channels such as voice, video, chat, IM, email, voice-mail, SMS and integration with mobile technologies under a single service. Read more…

 


V

Voice app – The voice app that is so common today is part of the VoIP virtual phone system. A voice app can be deployed on a smartphone to allow a user to utilize a VoIP app on their smartphone without using their expensive mobile carrier; instead, they can use voice over IP via their mobiles wireless connections. Many voice apps also use a business number as the outgoing caller ID rather than the devices own number. Read more…

Vlan – A Virtual LAN is a layer 2 switching technology that is similar to layer-3 sub-netting in so much as you can segregate broadcast domains and this prevents traffic interfering with other streams. VLANS are very important in LAN environments as they contribute to security, performance and efficiency. Read more…

Virtual PBX – A virtual PBX system is a cloud based SaaS solution that provides a business with a fully feature rich PBX system for a fraction of the price of an on-premises PBX. Virtual PBX’s also have no initial capital outlay or maintenance costs and yet they provide all the benefits, features and functions of an enterprise PBX system. Read more…

Virtual Phone System – A virtual phone system is a solution whereby a small to medium business can use a cloud based hosted telephone system to operate without having to deploy expensive hardware, software or incur on-going maintenance costs. A Virtual Phone System differs from a Virtual PBX due to its limited functions in so much as it deals with incoming call handling rather than complex call queuing and management. Read more…

Voip – Voice over IP is the technology that allows telephony to work over IP technologies such as the company LAN and the Internet. The fact that voice packets are transferred as data means that calls can be free or very cheap as they use the internet rather that the PSTN telephone network. Read more…

 


W

Wireless Protected Access (WPA) – Wireless Protection Access was the encryption format developed in order to overcome WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) in Wi-Fi networks, which was found to be very weak and easily broken. WPA used different encryption but it was also found to be weak so the industry moved to WPA2. Read more…

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) – This was the first encryption method designed to protect wireless networks however it was very weak and easily broken, WEP is now considered depreciated and not to be used. Read more…

WAN – Wide Area Network, the difference between WAN and LAN is typically the distance covered. LANs provide local coverage usually using Ethernet or short haul fiber. WAN on the other hand use long distance technologies such as, long haul and metro fiber Ethernet, SDH/SONET fiber rings, ATM and satellite, as well as microwave radio. Read more…