IP Telephony Definitions

  • A

    analog telephone adapter (ATA)

    An analog telephone adaptor (ATA) is a device used to connect a standard telephone to a computer or network so that the user can make calls over the Internet.

  • C

    call control

    Call control is a process that is used in telecommunications networks to monitor and maintain connections once they have been established.

  • call deflection

    Call deflection is a feature of voice over IP (VoIP) that automatically redirects a call from the called endpoint to another endpoint (usually a voice mailbox) when the called endpoint is busy.

  • call detail record (CDR)

    A call detail record (CDR) in voice over IP (VoIP) is a file containing information about recent system usage such as the identities of sources (points of origin), the identities of destinations (endpoints), the duration of each call, the amount billed for each call, the total usage time in the billing period, the total free time remaining in the billing period, and the running total charged during the billing period.

  • call forwarding

    Call forwarding is a telephone service that automatically routes the user's incoming calls to another number.

  • call signaling

    Call signaling is a process that is used to set up a connection in a telephone network.

  • Carrier Sensitive Routing (CSR)

    Carrier Sensitive Routing (CSR) is a network solution that allows Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers to determine and manipulate the routing of individual calls... (Continued)

  • centrex (central office exchange service)

    Centrex (central office exchange service) is a service from local telephone companies in the United States in which up-to-date phone facilities at the phone company's central (local) office are offered to business users so that they don't need to purchase their own facilities.

  • Cisco Webex

    Cisco Webex is a cloud-based collaboration suite comprised of Webex Meetings, Webex Teams and Webex Devices.

  • CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier)

    In the United States, a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) is a telephone company that competes with the already established local telephone business by providing its own network and switching.

  • click-to-talk (CTC)

    Click-to-call (CTC), also called click-for-talk, is a technology that converts Web traffic into voice telephone connections using VoIP (Voice over IP)...(Continued)

  • cloud telephony (cloud calling)

    Cloud telephony, also known as cloud calling, is a type of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) that offers voice communication services through a third-party host.

  • D

    dedicated line

    A dedicated line is a telecommunications path between two points that is available 24 hours a day for use by a designated user (individual or company).

  • dial peer (addressable call endpoint)

    A dial peer, also known as an addressable call endpoint, is a device that can originate or receive a call in a telephone network.

  • dial peer hunting

    Dial peer hunting is a feature of voice over IP (VoIP) systems in which the device at the originating router attempts to find an alternative addressable call endpoint if it cannot establish a connection to the intended endpoint.

  • Distributed Universal Number Discovery (DUNDi)

    Distributed Universal Number Discovery (DUNDi) is a peer-to-peer system for translating phone numbers and internal extensions to voice over IP (VoIP) addresses.

  • E

    ear and mouth (E&M)

    Ear and mouth (E&M) is a technology in voice over IP (VoIP) that uses a traditional telephone handset with an earphone (or earpiece) for listening to incoming audio and a microphone (or mouthpiece) for transmitting audio.

  • Erlang B

    Erlang B is a modeling formula that is widely used in call center scheduling... (Continued)

  • Erlang C

    Erlang C is a traffic modeling formula used in call center scheduling to calculate delays or predict waiting times for callers... (Continued)

  • Ethernet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol)

    Ethernet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol) is a network communication standard capable of handling large amounts of data at speeds of 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps, and at up to 1500 bytes per packet.

  • F

    find me / follow me

    Find me and follow me are two call forwarding services that are commonly used in conjunction with each other... (Continued)

  • G

    G.711

    G.711 is the default pulse code modulation (PCM) standard for Internet Protocol (IP) private branch exchange (PBX) vendors, as well as for the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • G.722

    G.722 is a standard for high-quality digital voice communications that is expected to lead to increased use in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)... (Continued)

  • gatekeeper

    A gatekeeper is a management tool for H.323 multimedia networks.

  • H

    hairpinning

    In general telecommunication, hairpinning is returning a message from an origin endpoint back in the direction it came from as a way to get it to its destination endpoint.

  • hop off

    Hop off is a term used in telecommunications that refers to a point at which a signal or call leaves a network and moves to another network.

  • hop on

    In telecommunications, hop on refers to a point at which a signal or call enters a network from another network.

  • hundred call second or centum call second (CCS)

    The hundred call second -- also known as the centum call second (CCS) -- is a unit of telecommunications traffic density that is the equivalent of one call (including call attempts and holding time) in a specific channel for 100 seconds in an hour.

  • I

    ILEC (incumbent local exchange carrier)

    An ILEC (incumbent local exchange carrier) is a telephone company in the U.S. that was providing local service when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted.

  • inbound call

    An inbound call is one that a customer initiates to a call center or contact center... (Continued)

  • inbound call center

    An inbound call center is one that exclusively or predominately handles inbound calls (calls initiated by the customer) rather than outbound calls... (Continued)

  • Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU)

    In telecommunications, Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) is the effective long-term lease (temporary ownership) of a portion of the capacity of an international cable.

  • Internet Protocol

    The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet.

  • IP PBX (private branch exchange)

    An IP PBX is a private branch exchange (telephone switching system within an enterprise) that switches calls between VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol or IP) users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.

  • IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony)

    IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony) is a general term for the technologies that use the Internet Protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over the dedicated circuit-switched connections of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • J

    Jingle protocol

    Jingle is a family of signaling protocols for initiating and managing peer-to-peer (P2P) media sessions over the Internet. 

  • jitter

    Jitter is the time variation between when packets leave one system and reach another, affecting real-time communications like VoIP and video conferencing.

  • jitter buffer

    In voice over IP (VoIP), a jitter buffer is a shared data area where voice packets can be collected, stored, and sent to the voice processor in evenly spaced intervals.

  • K

    keyphone (K/P or key station)

    Commonly used by a company within its private automatic branch exchange (PABX) telephone system, a keyphone (abbreviated as K/P, sometimes called a key station) is a telephone with the extra buttons and the intelligence to allow incoming calls to be transferred to other extensions.

  • L

    layer 3

    Layer 3 refers to the Network layer of the commonly-referenced multilayered communication model, Open Systems Interconnection (OSI).

  • leased line

    A leased line is a bidirectional telephone line that has been rented for private voice, data exchange or telecommunication use.

  • long-distance carrier

    A long-distance carrier is a telephone company that provides connections between local exchanges in different geographic areas.

  • M

    Microsoft Teams

    Microsoft Teams is cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Office 365 suite of applications.

  • N

    National Call Fee Access (NCFA)

    In the U.K., National Call Fee Access (NCFA) is a Number Translation Service (NTS) that enables a caller that calls a non-geographic telephone number beginning with 0870 or 0871 to be charged what is known as the national call rate.

  • O

    off-peak

    Off-peak, in a call center context, describes a time period with fewer calls than are handled in a busy period... (Continued)

  • Open Settlement Protocol (OSP)

    Open Settlement Protocol (OSP) is a client-server protocol that manages access control, accounting, usage data and inter-domain routing to make it easier for Internet service providers to support IP telephony.

  • Optivity Telephony Manager (OTM)

    Optivity Telephony Manager (OTM) is an application that provides single-point analysis, configuration, and management of telephony networks using a Web browser or graphical user interface (GUI).

  • outbound call center

    An outbound call center is one in which call center agents make outbound calls to customers on behalf of a business or client... (Continued)

  • P

    packet loss concealment (PLC)

    Packet loss concealment (PLC) is a technology designed to minimize the practical effect of lost packets in digital communications... (Continued)

  • Premium Rate Service (PRS)

    In the U.K., Premium Rate Service (PRS) is a telephone service that provides recorded information or live conversation for callers similar to 1-900 number service in the U.S. Callers are charged a higher rate on their phone bill, which is then split between the service provider and the network operator who leases the PRS number to the provider.

  • private branch exchange (PBX)

    A private branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between users on local lines, while enabling all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.

  • Q

    QoS (quality of service)

    Quality of service (QoS) refers to any technology that manages data traffic to reduce packet loss, latency and jitter on the network.

  • R

    Real-Time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP)

    Real-Time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP) is a protocol that works with Real-Time Protocol (RTP) to monitor data delivery on large multicast networks, mainly for streaming media, telephony and video conferencing.

  • regional Bell operating company (RBOC)

    Regional Bell operating company (RBOC) is a term describing one of the U.S. regional telephone companies (or their successors) that were created as a result of the breakup of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T, known also as the Bell System or "Ma Bell") by a U.S. Federal Court consent decree on December 31, 1983. The seven original regional Bell operating companies were Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, NYNEX, Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, and US WEST. Each of these companies owned at least two Bell operating companies (Bell operating company).

  • registration, admission, and status (RAS)

    Registration, admission, and status (RAS) is a component of a network protocol that involves the addition of (or refusal to add) new authorized users, the admission of (or refusal to admit) authorized users based on available bandwidth, and the tracking of the status of all users.

  • S

    Session Announcement Protocol (SAP)

    Session Announcement Protocol (SAP) is a protocol used to define the format and describe the information that will be exchanged during a multicast conferencing session. 

  • Signalling Connection Control Part (SCCP)

    Signalling Connection Control Part (SCCP) is a portion of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recommendation Q.711, which is the routing protocol for Signalling System 7 (SS7), a set of protocols used to set up calls in telephony networks.

  • SIP trunking (Session Initiation Protocol trunking)

    Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking is a service offered by a communications service provider that uses the protocol to provision voice over IP (VoIP) connectivity between an on-premises phone system and the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • Skype for Business

    Skype for Business, formerly known as Microsoft Lync Server, is a unified communications (UC) platform that integrates common channels of business communication and online meetings, including instant messaging (IM), presence, voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing, file transfer, web conferencing, voicemail and email.

  • Skype protocol

    Skype protocol is a peer-to-peer Internet telephony protocol used to move encrypted voice over IP (VoIP) traffic between Skype members' computers (peers).

  • softphone (soft client telephone)

    A softphone (software telephone) is an application program that enables voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls from computing devices. In the enterprise, softphones are sometimes referred to as soft clients.

  • T

    T.38 fax over IP (FoIP protocol)

    T.38 is a protocol for sending faxes over a voice over IP (VoIP) network or the Internet in real time.

  • telegraph

    A telegraph is a system in which information is communicated over a wire with a series of electrical current pulses, usually in the form of Morse code. The basic components include a source of direct current, a length of wire or cable, and a current-indicating device such as a relay, buzzer, or light bulb. A message sent by telegraph is known as a telegram...(Continued)

  • Telephony

    Telephony is the technology associated with the electronic transmission of voice, fax, or other information between distant parties using systems historically associated with the telephone, a handheld device containing both a speaker or transmitter and a receiver.

  • V

    video telephony

    Video telephony is full-duplex, real-time audio-visual communication between or among end users.

  • virtual call center

    A virtual call center is a call center in which the organization's representatives are geographically dispersed, rather than being situated at work stations in a building operated by the organization.

  • virtual phone number

    A virtual phone number is a telephone number is used to route calls to the user's actual phone number or numbers.

  • vishing (voice or VoIP phishing)

    Vishing is an electronic fraud tactic in which individuals are tricked into revealing critical financial or personal information to unauthorized entities... (Continued)

  • voice activation detection (VAD)

    In Voice over IP (VOiP), voice activation detection (VAD) is a software application that allows a data network carrying voice traffic over the Internet to detect the absence of audio and conserve bandwidth by preventing the transmission of "silent packets" over the network.

  • voice logger

    A voice logger is a device or program used to record audio information from telephones, radios, microphones and other sources for storage on a computer's hard drive or removable media.

  • voice-to-text

    Voice-to-text is a type of speech recognition program that converts spoken to written language... (Continued)

  • VoiceXML

    VoiceXML is an application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) which, when combined with voice recognition technology, enables interactive access to the Web through the telephone or a voice-driven browser.

  • VoIP (voice over IP)

    VoIP (voice over IP) is the transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. VoIP historically referred to using IP to connect private branch exchanges (PBXs), but the term is now used interchangeably with IP telephony.

  • VoIP caller ID (Voice over Internet Protocol caller identification)

    VoIP caller ID (Voice over Internet Protocol caller identification) is a caller ID application for VoIP phones that works in much the same way as caller ID on a conventional telephone line but with enhanced features and flexibility... (Continued)

  • VoIP phone

    A VoIP phone is a hardware- or software-based telephone designed to use voice over IP (VoIP) technology to send and receive phone calls over an IP network.

  • VoIP trunk gateway

    A VoIP trunk gateway is an interface that facilitates the use of plain old telephone service (POTS) equipment, such as conventional phone sets and fax machines, with a voice over IP (VoIP) network.

  • VoIP: Glossary

    This handy glossary will assist you with terminology related specifically to voice over IP.

  • vomit

    Vomit (spelled all lower-case) is a Unix software utility that takes IP telephony packets captured by another Unix tool, tcpdump, and reassembles them into a Wave file that can be listened to over a computer's speakers.

  • Vonage

    Vonage is a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) provider for consumers and businesses that makes it possible for customers to connect and communicate on any device through cloud-hosted voice, video, chat and short message service (SMS).

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