The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.  Frank Herbert

Voip, mpls, sip trunking, Meaningful terms.

ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) A device that coverts analog voice signals to digital signals which can then be transmitted over the Internet.

Attendant (Auto Attendant) An automatic response system, such as a voice presenting options, such as press 3 for sales, 4 for parts, etc.  An attendant can handle incoming calls and direst them to the proper person, department or extension.

Asterisk An Open Source PBX system that is recognized as the standard by the open source development community and has proved stable, reliable and robust with the ability to accomplish and integrate with numerous feature sets.

Busy Lamp Field A set of lights or LEDs, found primarily on an attendant console that visually indicates which phones on the system are in use.

Carrier A telecom company that provides telecommunications circuits.  They can include local telephone companies and other telecom companies.

CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) is a television system in which signals are not publicly distributed.  Cameras are connected to television monitors in the local LAN or even at a remote location and can be viewed over the Internet.

Codec A term that comes from the enCOder/DECoder or Compressor-Decompressor process used for software or hardware devices that can convert a data stream. Two VoIP codecs often used are G711, a non-compressed codec, and G729, a codec that uses compression to lower bandwidth requirements.

Convergence Referred to in the telecom and IT world as the integration or connection of different systems.  Convergence will allow for communication and "meeting" of separate systems to allow for better efficiencies.

CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) Equipment that resides on premise, usually at or with a business or customer.

CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) Is the use of computers to manage telephone calls, allowing for automation possibilities and allows for integration of text and faxing and other services.

Data Usually treated as a synonym for information, but when used as a description for network topology refers to all traffic other than voice.

Data Transfer Rate The speed of travel of a given amount of data from one place to another.

DID (Direct Inward Dialing) A service that allows a company to allocate individual phone numbers to each person within its PBX system.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Phone technology that allows a broadband internet digital connection to be carried over existing copper phone lines, while still allowing the phone service carry analog signals over the same line.

Dynamic Jitter Buffer As a ATA receives voice packets they are stored briefly, rearranged and then processed in predefined intervals to reduce distortion.

Gateway A hardware device that converts traditional PSTN (analog/T1) signals into IP bridging the two protocols snf allowing them to communicate with each other.

IAX (Inter-Asterisk eXchange protocol) An Asterisk PBX protocol, (Now most commonly refers to IAX2), that usually carries both signaling and data on the same path and is used to enable VoIP connections between servers as well as client-server communication.

IP Phone A phone that connects using Internet Protocol instead of more traditional analog lines.  An IP phone is more computer like, allowing advanced feature sets and other software functionality.

IVR (Integrated Voice Response) An integrated software information system that speaks to callers and uses voice responses.  By using touchtone keypad entries to interact with the software, you get voice responses with real time data.

JITTER The variation, (usually measured in milliseconds), between packets arriving at their destination, which is caused by queuing, contention and other effects on their travel through the network.

LAN (Local Area Network) A network located in the same premise or small geographic area that is used to connect computers and other devices together through cabling or wireless connections enabling data to be sent from one point to another.

Latency The time (usually measured in milliseconds) it takes data to travel from one point on a network to another point.

LNP (Local Number Portability) The ability of a US telephone customer to retain their phone number if they switch to another local telephone provider.

MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) An IETF initiative that integrates layer 2 information about network links (latency, bandwidth, utilization) into layer 3 or IP within a autonomous network, which greatly improves IP-packet exchange.  These advancements give network operators the ability and flexibility to re-route traffic around failure points, congestion and bottlenecks for a more robust stable network for their network users.

Packet Loss During a transmission some of the data that is sent in packets are lost due to latency, congestion at a router or other network problems.  Packet Loss is specifically problematic to VoIP and even a small amount can result in significant voice degradation.

PBX (Public Branch Exchange) A private telephone switching system that allows outside phone lines from a telecommunications provider to connect to extensions within the office or building.  They usually have multiple features including call forwarding, rollover, paging and voicemail.

POTS (Plain Old telephone System) The familiar single phone line, single phone number system that has been in existence for many years.

PRI (Primary Rate Interface) Each T1 circuit contains 24 separate channels.  A PRI reserves one channel to carry special signaling and other information such as Caller ID, etc. for the other remaining channels.

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) The traditional telephone network which uses pairs of copper wire to carry analog signals or digital T1 signals carrying multiple channels.

RJ-11  The typical 4 or 6 wire connector used to connect telephone equipment.

RJ-45 An 8 wire connector used to connect Ethernet connections in computers, routers, and other Internet devices. 

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) A signaling protocol for Internet conferencing, telephony, and instant messaging.  It is a request-response protocol, dealing with requests from clients and responses from servers initiating an interactive user session.

SIP Trunking Using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to connect with an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) from a PBX for primarily voice communications, which can benefit the end user with lower cost calls.  For companies to take full advantage of their premise IP-PBXs which communicate over IP within the enterprise, they can have a SIP trunk configured to connect to a traditional PSTN network though an Internet SIP connection.  The benefits can include lower monthly calling costs for long distance as well as International.

Soft Phone IP telephony software that allows end users to send and receive calls over the computer or a hand held PC device (PDA) over the Internet.  Typically used in conjunction with a headset and microphone.

T1 A digital transmission link with a capacity of 1.544 Mbps using two pairs of normal twisted wires.  T1s usually have 24 voice channels, each one of 64 Kbps.

T38 A recognized standard for sending fax transmissions over an IP network in real time mode.

Trunk Line When dealing with a PBX, trunk lines are the phone lines coming into the PBX from the telephone provider, verses extensions which typically connect to desk phones.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) The transmission of voice over the Internet as digital packets rather than the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the PSTN.  VoIP uses real-time protocol (RTP) to help ensure the packets get delivered in a timely way.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) Using tunneling, IP traffic is securely encrypted between two endpoints so that the transmission travels securely over a public TCP/IP network.

WAN (Wide Area Network) A geographically disperse network that encompasses routers and other devices over a large area and can route that data to the proper endpoint.



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