The world of telecommunication is filled with jargon and acronyms. Too often it’s only the professionals who know what they all mean and it can be quite daunting to a buyer. So, iCS have decided to make it easier!
Below is a helpful list of all the telecom acronyms in alphabetical order. Simply scroll through to find the word you need or, to speed things up, press ‘ctrl’ and ‘F’ to bring up the search bar in your top right corner, then type the acronym you desire. If it’s not there email iCS and we will add it to the list.
O2 business mobile commercial model on a ‘Pay As You Use’ basis (i.e. per call/text) discounted at a wholesale rate.
Automatic Call Distributor, spreads the inbound call load within a call centre to minimise hold times and efficiently distribute workloads. Also known as Uniform Call Distributor.
Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line, allows a standard telephone line to be used like a broadband line for transmission of large amounts of data.
Adaptive Frequency Hopping minimises interference from other wireless devices on Bluetooth® connections.
DSL technology – Annex M doubles the frequency bandwidth associated with upstream traffic, utilising some downstream capacity for enhanced upstream.
Access Point Name – APN is the name (web address) of an access point for GPRS/EDGE/UMTS data connection. Usually wireless carriers provide the APN to their end users.
Advanced Packaging Tool, utility to assist installation of software on the Linux operating system.
Analogue Proprietary Telephone, analogue telephone designed for use with a particular system / manufacturer.
British Approvals Board of Telecommunication which certifies products and services as complying with Standards and regulatory requirements.
A professional association providing information, courses, assessments and qualifications to information transport professionals.
British Naval Connector, used to connect many types of co-axial data communication equipment.
Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN offer two service levels. The lower capacity Basic Rate Interface is designed for home or small business use).
Community Access Television sees local TV content created by communities and broadcast over cable or satellite networks.
Communication Control Unit, device controlling data transmission on a network and hosting functions such as message switching and multiplexing.
Call Data Record – Daily and monthly call data files providing call information with associated charges.
Calling Line Identification or Caller ID, allows inbound call number to be identified before answering (systems).
Common Language Interface, an open standard which enables any application written in one of several core programming languages to run on any operating system (system add-ons).
Class of Service, classification system for telephone system users, to restrict and assign privileges such as international or premium rate call access.
Central Pre-Amplifier, device which increases a system’s power and quality of sound by preparing the signal before it is processed by the main amplifier.
Carrier Pre Select – Allows end-users to select, in advance, alternative Communications Providers to carry their calls without having to dial a prefix or install any special equipment at their premises.
Cell Station, base station for wireless telephones.
Certified Systems Professional, accreditation issued by Institute for the Accreditation of Computer Professionals.
Computer Supported Telephone Applications, European standard for computer telephony integration.
Computer Telephony Integration, technologies enabling integration of computer and telephone systems to allow computer users to connect, answer and disconnect a telephone.
Direct Dialling In – Available on ISDN lines. Offers capability for dialling individual telephone extensions, without going through a central switchboard.
Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology, a global standard for digital wireless telephones (but not mobiles).
Dynamic Host Communications Protocol which allows network administrators to centrally configure IP addresses.
Direct Inward Dialling, facility enabling callers to directly call an extension on a private branch exchange (PBX).
Direct In Lines, facility for directing calls made on a line to a specific extension or group.
Direct Inward System Access, facility enabling access to a private branch exchange from an external line.
O2 business mobile commercial model containing tariffs and Bolt-ons. Pricing at retail rate less a wholesale discount.
A Demilitarised zone, a computer or network placed between a public and private network to act as buffer and prevent unauthorised access to private data.
Digital Proprietary Telephone, digital telephone designed for use with a particular system/manufacturer.
Digital Signal Processing, technology which can differentiate between background noise and voice to improve clarity of sound.
Direct Station Select, facility allowing frequently used numbers to be stored and dialled with a single touch.
Dual Tone Multi Frequency, the technology behind automated switchboards (Press 1 for Accounts…). It works by generating two tones of different frequencies which instruct system to direct a call.
Enhanced Data for Global Evolution – EDGE (also known as Enhanced GPRS or EGPRS) is a data system used on top of GSM networks. It provides nearly three times faster speeds than the out-dated GPRS system. Both phone and network must support EDGE, otherwise the phone will revert automatically to GPRS.
Ethernet in the First Mile – First mile’ meaning simply the connection between the premises and the local exchange – in reality up to 3.9km, offers a non-contended, symmetrical service delivered as either two or four bonded copper pairs creating a single synchronous Ethernet connection.
Electronics Industry Association which sets certain data transmission standards.
Earth Loop Recall is one of two call transfer systems which also enable the Recall facility for phones connected via a Private Branch Exchange (PBX).
Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory, the EPROM is a memory part which will not forget its program or data when power is removed.
Co-axial or twisted wire cable typically used to connect equipment on Local Area Networks (LANs) and offering speeds up to 10Mbps.
Entry Voice Mail, telephone system’s integrated voice mail facility.
Frequency Shifting Key, internal modem feature that converts data from a computer so it can be transmitted via a telephone line. FSK also enables Message Waiting.
File Transfer Protocol, internet standard easing transfer of files between computers.
Fibre To The Cabinet – FTTC offers greater upload and download speeds due to the fibre optic cable connections between the local exchange and cabinet serving the customer premises. Typically up to 40Mb download and up to 2Mb or 10Mb upstream options are available.
Fibre To The Premises – FTTP takes the fibre optic cable directly to the building. Download speeds of up to 110Mbps are available.
A Generic Access Profile is a wireless protocol allowing different manufacturers’ GAP compatible wireless products to interact e.g. a headset and base station.
Gigabyte -1GB is equal to approximately 1 billion bytes or exactly 1024MB.
Unit of measurement for data transfer equivalent to one billion binary digits or bits e.g. a Gigabit Ethernet connection transmits one gigabit of data per second (Gbps).
Global Positioning System -It uses between 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals. This enables GPS receivers to determine their current location, time and velocity.
General Packet Radio Service – A packet switching technology that enables data transfers through cellular networks. It is used for mobile internet, MMS and other data communications.
High Definition, relating to resolution
A handset lifter designed by headset manufacturer Plantronics allowing a handset to be lifted automatically or by pushing a button on a headset.
Abbreviation for intercom, an internal communications system.
Insulation Displacement Connector, which removes the need to strip low current telecom and networking wires by piercing the insulator to create a connection.
International Electrotechnical Commission, a global organisation which prepares and publishes international standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies.
Internet Protocol, standard governing transmission of data via the Internet.
Integrated Services Digital Networks allow digital transmission of data via traditional copper wires. ISDN offers greater capacity and faster transmission than analogue.
Interactive Voice Response, technology which detects voice and touch tone signals to initiate call direction eg For Accounts, press 1.
Java Tools Community, a group committed to promoting standards for the interoperability and support tools for the Java programming language.
Local Area Network, a group of computers and devices such as printers connected to each other, typically by Ethernet cable or wireless link.
Least Cost Call, service provided by telecom carriers minimising call costs through selection of lowest cost routes.
Liquid Crystal Display, thin, low energy display device.
Loop Disconnect (pulse dialling), telephone signalling system which works by breaking the line to create pulses. Superceded by Multi-Frequency / Dual Tone Multi Frequency (touch tone dialling).
Liquid Emitting Diode, low energy, high efficiency semi-conductor with applications for indicator lights and fibre optic data transmission.
Local Loop Unbundling – Incumbent operators (BT and Kingston in the UK) makes its local network (the copper cables that run from customers premises to the telephone exchange) available to other companies. Operators are then able to upgrade individual lines using DSL technology to offer services such as always on high speed Internet access
Low Smoke Zero Halogen, network cable jacketing which releases little smoke and no halogen when subject to high temperatures.
Megabyte – A unit of digital information equal to 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 kilobytes.
Multipoint Conference Unit, used in video conferencing to connect more than 2 locations together
Multi-Frequency signalling is used to transmit address information for Caller ID services and delivers tones when a keypad is pressed to indicate a call is progressing satisfactorily.
A memory card is a flash memory data storage device used in a wide range of digital devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, PDAs, music players, etc. They are small, rugged and offer high rerecord ability. MicroSD (SD stands for “Secure Digital”).
Multimedia Messaging Service is a store and forward messaging service that allows subscribers to exchange multimedia files as messages, such as text, picture, audio and video or all 4.
Music On Hold, facility playing music to a caller whilst they wait to be connected through an exchange.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching – Each data packet encapsulates and carries the labels from source to destination and offers a scalable way of managing IP based traffic across a network. MPLS is designed to speed up network traffic and prioritise utilising Quality of Service.
Abbreviation for Microsoft®.
Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack, a standard fibre optic connector, similar to an RJ45. Available in pinned (for connection to MTRJ patch cords) and non-pinned varieties.
Message Waiting, a facility which provides a visual indicator of an outstanding voicemail.
Open Database Connectivity, an open standard which allows access to files created in different programs such as Excel, and Access.
Ogg Media File is an open source format designed for efficient streaming of multimedia content over a telecoms network.
A Private Automated Branch Exchange allows a number of inbound lines to be accessed via one number and external and internal lines made available to those within the exchange.
Private Branch Exchange, an exchange serving a particular organisation, connecting internal phones and externally to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Printed Circuit Board, a piece of hardware for mounting and connecting electrical components within electronic devices.
Power Over Ethernet allows power to be carried via standard network data cables, reducing wiring needs.
Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN offer two service levels. The higher capacity Primary Rate Interface is designed for medium size and larger organisations).
Public Switched Telephone Network which comprises the world’s public telephone systems. Also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) it provides the Internet’s infrastructure.
Power Supply Unit or mains adaptor.
PolyVinyl Chloride, used as a cable jacket.
Quality of Service, facility for prioritising applications, data and users to provide a service level guarantee on a computer network.
Refers to a mobile phone that supports the four major GSM frequency bands (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), making it compatible with all the major GSM networks in the world.
A Remote Application Programme facilitates remote access to a network or device.
Registered Communications Distribution Designer, a BICSI qualification awarded for knowledge in the design, implementation and integration of information transport systems and related infrastructure.
Ring Equivalence Number indicating the electrical load on a line eg REN 1 denotes loading of a single ringing circuit as found in a typical desk phone.
Requests For Comments, a memo to those involved in developing Internet technologies. Each RFC has a unique number and may become an industry standard.
A Ring Indicator signals an incoming call via a visual or loud audible alarm. Particularly useful for the hard of hearing.
Refers to using a mobile phone outside of your service provider’s coverage area i.e. outside the UK. Typically, service providers charge higher fees for calls, messages and access to the Internet.
The standard Registered Jack connector for unshielded twisted pair cabling used for telephone and Ethernet wiring.
Real-Time Transport Control Protocol is a standard for monitoring quality of multimedia data transmission to allow an application to improve service performance.
Subscriber Connect, a push-pull type connector for fibre optic cables.
Session Initiation Protocol, enables calls to be routed via the internet rather than a telephone network.
A Station Message Detail Record (or Call Detail Record) is a log of call details – such as duration – made by a telephone exchange.
Short Message Service, protocol enable brief text communication between mobile telephones.
Small Office Home Office, terms for a business employing between one and ten staff.
Straight Tip, a plug and socket connector for fibre optic cables.
Shielded Twisted Pair, copper wire with a shield that acts as a ground. Twisted pair is the wire used to connect to a telephone network.
Telephone Answering Device.
Telephone Answering Machine.
Time Break Recall is one of two call transfer systems which also enable the Recall facility for phones connected via a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). TBR has largely replaced Earth Loop Recall.
A product certification covering environmental and ergonomic standards for flat screen and cathode ray tube monitors, laptop and desktop computers, printers and keyboards.
Telecommunications Industry Association, trade body for the information, communications and entertainment technology industries. Develops standards and lobbies.
A software protocol and application interface ensuring compatibility between imaging technologies such as scanners and digital cameras and enabling image scanning directly into an application.
Uniform Call Distributor. See ACD Automatic Call Distributor.
Universal Series Bus, a plug and play connector to link external devices, such as printers and softphones,to a computer.
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System – UMTS is a third generation wireless network technology that allows speeds of up to 2Mbps.
Unshielded Twisted Pair, non-grounded copper wire used to connect to a telephone network.
Video Conferencing, a combination of voice, video and data collaboration in one solution.
A Virtual Local Area Network where PC location is not defined by physical location but, say, user type or application, allowing administrators to better manage loading and bandwidth.
Voice Over Internet Protocol, standard governing voice transmission via the Internet.
Facility which automatically detects and transmits sound without a user needing to press a button.
Virtual Private Network, network offering increased security of data transmission between multiple sites over the Internet.
Voice Processing System, application offering functions such as voicemail, auto-attendant, bulletin board messages and interview service where pauses are left between pre-recorded questions for a caller’s replies.
Wide Area Network, non-localised computer network spanning geographic boundaries eg. connecting multi-site offices.
Wireless Application Protocol, standard governing applications for wireless communication.
A brand owned by the WiFi Alliance dedicated to ensuring the interoperability and accreditation of wireless devices.
A Wireless Local Area Network.
Wholesale Line rental – Wholesale line rental (WLR) is a product that BT is obliged to provide to other Communications Providers. It enables other Communications Providers to offer both line rental and calls to end-users.
The name usually given to original GSM, CDMA, and TDMA networks. It uses the spectrum more efficiently than analog (1G) systems, and offers digital encryption of conversations. 2G networks introduced data services for mobiles starting with SMS.
3G is loosely defined, but generally includes high data speeds, always-on data access, and greater voice capacity.
4G is the fourth faster generation of mobile phone mobile communications standards.
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