ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. (Broadband/Internet delivered over PSTN). ADSL transforms the existing twisted copper pairs between the telephone exchange and the telephone socket into a high-speed digital line, allowing Broadband access, ADSL delivers fast download speeds but slow upload speed.

Analogue Line: See PSTN.

Anonymous call rejection: Rejects calls where the caller withholds their number.

Answer 1571: Takes messages for you when you are unavailable or your line is engaged.

Auto Attendant: An automated system designed to guide a caller through the options of a voice menu Typically set to answer and route incoming calls.

Bandwidth: The capacity of a telecom line to carry signals. The necessary bandwidth is the amount of spectrum required to transmit the signal without distortion or loss of information. FCC rules require suppression of the signal outside the band to prevent interference.

Bar use of call return: Means callers to your number cannot use the Call Return option.

BRI: Basic Rate Interface – see ISDN2e.

Broadband: A term used to describe fast internet access. Wide bandwidth which can be either ADSL or SDSL. ADSL can suffer from vast bandwidth changes (see also Contention Ratio).

BTW: BT Wholesale. Supplier for ADSL, Ethernet, Wholesale calls, Ports.

Call Barring: Stops certain calls being made from your phone.

Call Diversion: Allows you to divert calls to almost any phone – anywhere in the UK, most overseas destinations or a mobile phone.

Call Hold: A service feature that enables a user to retain a existing call, while accepting or originating another call using the sand handset or phone device. The held call is tied to the handset that placed the call on hold and, therefore, can only be taken out of hold from the same handset.

Call Minder: Like Answer 1571, with the additional advantage of remote access and the option of having personalised messages.

Call Park: A service feature that allows a user to place an active call on hold at one telephone handset and then retrieve the call from any other handset within the same phone network. The call is effectively placed in a parking bay and is allocated a parking bay number, e.g. 101. Users can then pick up another handset on the same network and type in the bay number to retrieve the held call.

Call Return: A service that will call your phone to let you know when an engaged number becomes free. Normally activated by pressing ‘5’ when you reach an engaged number.

Call sign: Allows your to distinguish between incoming calls on the same line.

Call Transfer: A service feature that allows a user to place a call on hold whilst, simultaneously, transferring the call to another destination. The destination can typically be both an internal or external telephone.

Call waiting: Tells you if someone is trying to call when you’re already on the phone.

CCD: Confirmed Contractual Delivery Date.

Choose to refuse: Enables you to bar the telephone number of the last answered incoming call.

CLI: Caller Line ID. This is the direct telephone number.

CLIR: Calling Line Identity Restriction. This prevents your directory number from being released at any time. It is useful if you don’t want people to call you back i.e. if you are running an outbound telemarketing campaign.

Contention Ratio: A Term used to describe the number of individual broadband customers connecting to a single internet node at the local public exchange. High contentions ratios will cause vast speed differences depending on time of day and number local users on line.

Convergence: Historically, Voice & Data networks were kept entirely separate. However in recent years, changes in technology have meant that many businesses can now run both voice and data over the same LAN, thereby causing them to ‘converge’. Cost savings are one benefit of Convergence but far more importantly there are significant productivity and efficiency gains to be achieved. VoIP, Ip Telephony, Unified Messaging, Remote Working etc all come under the ‘Convergence’ umbrella.

CoS: Class of Service. Differentiated packets type being transmitted across a network.

CP: Communications Provider.

CPS: Carrier Preselect. Allows companies to choose a different supplier to route calls.

CRD: Customer Required by Date.

CRF: Customer Requirement Form. (Internal Voip Unlimited form for ordering WLR & ADSL services)

DDI: Direct Dial Inbound. Allows users to rent individual phone numbers without the need to rent individual lines. DDI’s are mapped onto specific ISDN lines and the PBX is then programmed to direct the incoming DDI call to the specific extension or hunt group as required. Customers can rent a large volume of DDI’s whilst benefiting from renting an optimum number of lines based on required usage.

DECT: Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications. A technology used to link cordless mobile handsets to a wired telephone system.

DEL: Direct Exchange Line. See PSTN.

EAD: Ethernet Access Direct. Point to point Leased Line Connectivity.

ECD: Expected Completion Date.

EFM: Ethernet First Mile. Un-contended line delivered over copper.

EMP: Equivalence Management Platform. Ordering portal for the provision of WLR services.

ESDB: Emergency Services Database.

Ethernet: A very common method of networking computers in a LAN. Un-contended line delivered over fibre. An Ethernet describes the physical network that carries data traffic.

Exchange line: See PSTN

Fast track: This is the escalation process to escalate an ADSL order in progress. Often called an expedite. Allows a standard provision to be delivered in 24/48 hours rather than 5 working days. Cannot be used on Migration Gains or Simultaneous provides.

Featureline: A BT specific service running over the PSTN. Designed for small companies (typically max 3 users), it is a dated product that provides limited basic PBX functionality requiring one dedicated phone line per user. Featureline is not considered to be cost effective for 4 or more users.

FTTC: Fibre to the Cabinet. Any broadband service that uses fibre optic cable, in place of traditional copper wiring, to connect a telephone exchange to the ‘green cabinets’ in the surrounding roads. This means that copper wires are only used in the last few hundred metres between a green cabinet and a customer’s premises. Unlike copper, fibre does not suffer from signal loss over distance and so provides much faster download and upload bandwidth speeds.

Hosted telephony/ Hosted VoIP: An Ip based phone system that is ‘hosted’ in a data centre. Customer sites connect to the hosted phone system via an internet connection that is generally either ADSL or SDSL but can be a Leased Line. All the intelligence of the phone system is held within the data centre and the on site equipment is controlled by the central system. Customer communication profiles are configured via a simple web based browser and individual users can control their own phone profile from any internet connection, with ease. hosted Telephony is particularly beneficial for companies with two or more sites and can be used internationally. All calls made between customer sites are free. (The quality of the internet connection is critically important and it is recommended to keep the voice and data on separate internet connections).

Hunt Group: Multiple phones allocated to a single DDI or extension number, thereby enabling an inbound call to be answered from any phone, within the allocated group of phones. I.e. accounts or sales departments etc, inbound calls can be configured to ‘hunt’ from one phone to another (until answered), or to be ‘broadcast’ across all phones in the group, so they all ring at once.

IP: Internet Protocol. A standardised method of transporting information across the internet in packets of data. It is often linked to Transmission Control Protocol, which assembles the packets once they have been delivered to the intended location.

IP Telephony: Also see Hosted Telephony. Using Internet Protocol as a method of carrying voice calls. With IP, voice communications (in the form of IP packets) are routed directly from the origin to destination devices.

ISDN: (Provided in two formats as per below): Integrated Services Digital network. Digital telephony service that gives better call quality, quicker connection times and DDI facilities. ISDN is generally provided to connect to a customer’s PBX, ISDN can also be used in Radio and was historically used for faster Internet connection before the advent of Broadband.

ISDN2e: Provided in pairs i.e. 2 channels/lines per ISDN2e. The majority or customers would get a maximum of 4 pairs before moving up to ISDN30e. The ‘e’ stands for the European standard.

ISDN30e: Provided over one large circuit (bearer/pipe) either as copper or in many cases fibre optic. The minimum number of channels/lines one can have is 8 moving up to 30. Larger organisations can rent multiple ISDN20e’s should they require more lines. The ‘e’ stands for European standard.

ISP: Internet Service Provider.

IP Ex: Internet Protocol Exchange.

LAN: Local Area Network. A data network which connects computers, servers, printers etc together. Generally within one physical location.

LCP: Losing Communications Provider

Leased Line: Dedicated private internet access circuity – provides secure, fast and un-contended internet access.

L4L Transfer: Like for Like Transfer. Transfer of a WLR product to Voip Unlimited remaining on the traditional network. Voip Unlimited purely take over the billing.

L4L Transfer: As above, enabling the ability to change address, features or product type.

LOA: Letter of Authorisation. The document that is completed by the owner of the number to allow Voip Unlimited to to place a port request.

LYNC: Microsoft hosted platform. Customer does not require a PBX to be located onsite.

MPLS: Multi Protocol Label Switching. A flexible and cost effective way of providing a WAN.

NAT: Network Address Translation (NAT) is a mechanism for changing IP address of an outgoing and incoming data packet at network boundary. The motivation for this conversion is shortage of IPv4 network addresses.

NGN: Non Geographical number.

NTE: Network Terminating Equipment.

Number port: The process of us moving a number from an existing provider or from traditional PSTN to VoIP Unlimited. We would be responsible for managing the routing of inbound traffic once the port is complete.

PBX aka PABX: Public (Automated) Branch Exchange aka switchboard aka Phone System.

POTS: Plain Old Telephone Service – see PSTN.

Presentation Number: Enables the option of ‘masking’ the main outbound number of a telephone line with a different number. This option is useful for call centres or companies that are located in obscure locations and don’t want end users to know their physical location or if they want to present a non-geographic number to the customers they are calling.

PRI: Primary Rate Interface – see ISDN30e.

PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network. This is the standard telephone service provided over basic analogue phone lines.

Pulse Monitoring: Sends 50Hz pulses to customers’ lines to indicate units of charge.

RCF: Remote Call Forwarding. A method for forwarding calls made to a ceased line to a new number, without the caller being aware that the call has been forwarded. There is normally a set up cost and monthly charge for this service. In addition the owner of the line has to pay the cost of the forwarded part of the call, was well as the exchange line rental for the ceased line (this is because the number of the ceased line cannot be reallocated to another user whilst RCF is in effect).

RH: Range Holder. The communications provider who owns the number which has been allocated by Ofcom.

Router: A device (or in some cases, software on a computer), that directs IP packets to the next point toward their destination.

RTA: Real Time Activation.

SDSL: Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. The same as ADSL service but provides the same speed upstream and downstream. This old technology can no longer be provisioned but some people may still use this.

SIP: Session Initiation Protocol. It is essentially a communications protocol used to set up and clear down sessions with one or more users over the internet. Can be used in a multitude of scenarios, but most common is in the initiation and termination of Voice over IP calls.

SIP Trunks: Basically an internet phone line. Part of the broadband bandwidth is allocated solely for a VoIP call. Each VoIP call requires one SIP trunk but a good quality broadband service can accommodate multiple SIP trunks. SIP trunks are much cheaper to rent than traditional phone lines.

SIP license: License charge which needs to be allocated to each PBX that the customer registers.

SP: Service Provider.

SLA: Service Level Agreement. Defines the Service Levels of a contract.

SI: Strategic Imperatives. 3rd party supplier for WLR services, providing the EMP platform for ordering.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The standard Internet protocol for transferring electronic mail from one computer to another.

TCP: Transmission Control Protocol

Unified Messaging: Enables you to access voice, fax and text messages via one single email or telephone account.

User Datagram Protocol: User Datagram Protocol

VPN: Virtual Private Network. A way of creating a private communications network over a public network (mostly the internet), using secure protocols (passwords, authentication methods etc).

VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol. Voice translated into data packets and transmitted across an internet connection or network, just like any other file or email you might send. Upon reaching the other end, data is transformed back into its original form and emerges like a regular phone call. VoIP is critically dependent upon the speed of the packets across the internet and the correct assembly order once they arrive at their destination.

WAN: Wide Area Network. Connects multiple LAN’s together, typically via VPN’s over broadband and/or Leased Lines. The internet is actually a WAN itself.