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Telecom Glossary

Second generation Wireless technology that delivers mainly voice transmission with data support at speeds from 9.6 Kbps (kilobits per second) to 19.2 Kbps
3G wireless technology transmits data at speeds between 144 Kbps (kilobits per second) and 2 Mbps (megabits per second).
911 Emergency Calls
When a person dials a “911” emergency call, the call is routed to the local 911 emergency dispatch center.
ACD (automatic call distribution)
A telephony call center application that helps companies efficiently handle high volumes of incoming calls to internal departments such as “Customer Service” or “Help Desk”. This system requires that Agents log themselves into the ACD system which is pre-programmed to automatically distribute calls to call center agents. It is also has the capacity to keep callers in queue if agents are busy or route callers to alternate destinations if agents are unable to answer calls within a pre-determined time. ACD systems can include management reporting on call activity for departments and agents.
Account codes
Numerical codes of up to 10 digits that users can enter during calls to track time. These can be used to generate billing, for industries such as attorneys and consultants.
ANI (Automatic Number Identification)
Similar to Caller ID, but for 800 and 888 calls.
Analog port
A conventional or non-digital, non-VoIP circuit that transmits and receives signals (only) in electromagnetic form rather than (only) in the digital or VoIP protocol method. Analog circuits are normally used for telephone anwering machines and fax machines.
Analog signal
An electromagnetic signal that depends solely on continuous changes in the amplitude of a frequency in order to convey information. In contrast, digital signals use binary (discrete or noncontinuous) numbers (1s and 0s) to convey information.
ATM, Asynchronous Transfer Mode
A high-speed switching technique that uses fixed cells to transmit voice, data and video.
Automated Attendant
A telephony application that answers calls automatically with a pre-recorded announcement or message. Automated Attendant allows callers to reach extensions or departments by dialing “dtmf” digits.
Automatic fax switching
Automatically detects an incoming fax call and sends it to a fax machine connected to the PBX telephone system via an Anaolg station port.
A feature on a pbx telephone system that automatically records each outside-line phone call (incoming or outgoing) without the user’s having to interact.
The amount of data you can send through a channel, in bits per second, without distortion.
Bit rate
Amount of digital information that can be transmitted in a given time period, usually stated in millions of bits per second (Mbps).
A wireless technology designed for short-range transmission of voice and data among a wide variety of computing and telecommunications devices, eliminating the need for cable connections.
Code Division Multiple Access. A digital wireless format that allows many users to share the same radio frequencies. Each call is assigned a unique number, which allows the phone to lock out unwanted signals. Also known as spread spectrum.
Cascade Number Notification Mailbox
A voice mailbox that has the capability to call multiple phone numbers with a notification when it receives a message. The mailbox will continue to call the telephone numbers in a cascade fashion until the message is retrieved.
A circuit through which electronic information travels. Channels keep signals separate, as in the left and right channels of a stereo system.
CO line
A telephone phone line connecting the telco central office (CO) and a telco subscriber. Usualy this an Analog line, however today this can be a Voip or digital circuit.
Computer Telephony
The merger of traditional PBX equipment with computers and computer applications. For instance, screen pops can show caller information.
Interference in a communications channel caused by signals in an adjacent channel.
A digital interface device that connects a company’s computers and terminals to digital telephone lines.
DID (Direct Inward Dialing)
Each person in an organization has their own ten-digit telephone number, instead of having to be answered by an on-site operator.
Uses existing copper lines from end-user to central office to provide high speed data access.  There are many different types of DSL.  Variations include, upstream and downstream speeds, length of copper lines and type of customer interface equipment.
Dual-tone multi-frequency. A type of keypad signaling that emits two distinct tones for each number entered; also called Touchtone.
Same as full duplex. Two-way voice communications happening simultaneously on one line, i.e., listening and talking at the same time.
The most common local area network (LAN) access method, developed by Xerox, Digital Equipment and Intel; it connects up to 1,024 nodes at 10 Mbps over twisted pair, coaxial and fiber-optic cable.
Fiber optics
Wires made of glass that transmit digital signals in the form of pulses of light. Used for long-distance telecommunications, cable networks, and in some digital audio and video devices.
A group of bits sent over a link, also called a packet. In addition to data, the frame can contain control and addressing information and error correction.
Frame relay
A data communications interface for high-speed frame transmission. It is a form of fast packet switching.
The speed of a signal’s vibration, measured in hertz (Hz). Human hearing generally has a range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Radio waves can be in the billions of hertz.
Allows equipment with different protocols to communicate with each other.
Gigahertz. A frequency of 1 billion cycles per second.
Gigabit (Gb)
One billion units of digital binary memory.
Gigabyte (GB)
One billion bytes (specifically, 1,024,000,000 bytes)
Gigahertz (GHz)
A frequency of 1 billion cycles per second.
Global Positioning System. A U.S. satellite system that allows users on the ground or water with GPS receivers to determine their positions with extreme accuracy.
Group Mailbox
A voice mailbox is a mailbox that can be used by a department to automatically store voicemail messages which can be later retrieved by any member of the group. Some group mailboxes also have the ability to copy messages into the individual mailboxes of the members assigned to group.
Guest/Information Mailbox
Similar to Virtual Mailbox.
Half duplex
A circuit that transmits or receives a signal in one direction at a time, i.e., talk or listen.
Handheld device markup language. A specification for wireless Internet access from devices that use small displays and mouseless interfaces, such as data-capable wireless phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Hertz (Hz)
A measure of frequency that equals one cycle per second.
Hypertext Markup Language. A document markup language that is standard on the World Wide Web.
Internal Paging
A feature tahat allows making announcements over a telephone’s built-in speaker, such as to announce calls on hold for individuals.
Multiple networks that are tied together by the protocol TCP/IP.
Using web technologies for internal networking.
Integrated Services Digital Network. A high-speed, high-cost wired telephone network technology that integrates voice and data communications on a single line.
Local Area Network. Allows personal computers, printers, scanners, and other devices to communicate with each other.  This allows for significant cost savings.
Loop keys
Are used in a PBX telephone system to allow receptionists and regular telephone users to answer simultaneous calls. Loop keys are defined as one or more buttons or line appaerances and are used as landing positions for answering telephone calls and placing them on hold, if required. Loop keys differ from line keys in that they are generally reserved to only one trunk line.
Metropolitan Area Network. A network that covers a metropolitan area.

Video Conferencing Glossary

Teleconferencing method used mostly by audio communications channels such as telephone lines provided by a telecommunications company interconnecting the various parties.
(1) A range of frequencies between two defined limits expressed in cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). It is also the information carrying capacity of a circuit. (2) The expression of the carrying capacity of the transmission line. In a digital transmission, the bandwidth is the range of transmission rates at which information can be sent in a particular medium. The bandwidth is expressed in kilobits per seconds or megabits per second (Mbps). (3) The capacity of a transmission channel.
Device for the interconnection of telecon-ferencing systems and communications lines in a multipoint session. A bridge is called an audio bridge in audio-conferencing and a multipoint control unit in videoconferencing. The bridge can be an analog or a digital device. An essential component of an audio-conferencing system, the bridge also balances the signal levels of the audio transmission, reduces noise, and minimizes echo.
A physical, metallic path used for two-way communications between two or more points.
A videoconferencing system component that processes incoming and outgoing audiovisual signals in terms of coding and compression.
Coding or Compression
A technique used to reduce the amount of space taken up by data during transmission.
The transmission of discontinuous signals in which information is encoded in binary form.
Document Conferencing
A conferencing technology that enables customers to review a document and collaborate with others right from their computer using either analog and modem dial-up or existing Internet accesses (LAN, dial-up, etc.)
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
An international standard developed for transmitting voice, data, and video simultaneously over digital lines. These lines run at 64 kilobits per second.
International Telecommunication Union (telecommunications standards division).
Joint Photographic Experts Group.
Kilobits per second.
Local area network.
Megabits per second.
Multipoint control unit.
The connection of more than two locations to affect a teleconference, as opposed to only point-to-point connections.
PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
A private phone system existing within an organization that allows communication within the organization by dialing an extension and outside the organization by dialing “9” and then the number.
Public Switched Telephone Network