November 15, 2017

IP Telephony Vocabulary for Starters

In almost any sphere of learning or industry, there are technical terms, anacronyms, and abbreviations, which for a beginner to the subject can prevent their understanding of it. These could be gobbledegook or double dutch to them. If you consider yourself a newcomer to the field of telecommunications services and are befuddled by abbreviations such as ITSP, PBX, DTMF and the like, then this material is for you. We have prepared a basic guide to frequently used terms and abbreviations with an explanation of their meaning.

IP Telephony Vocabulary VoIP - JeraSoft Blog

Here, of course, not all the terms are collected but to aid the newcomer to understand what’s what, the ones shown below will be quite enough to help you understand the basics.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) – IP telephony

This is the technology of voice over the Internet. IP telephony is often spoken of, referring to virtual and local PBXs and a connection using the SIP protocol. IP telephony for business is a professional system that provides many services, for example, transferring calls, conference calls, recording conversations, voice menu and voice mail. Virtual IP telephony is when the servers are managed by a service provider. On-premises – alternatively, is when all the software and equipment is managed within the company’s own network.

ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider)

The provider of IP-telephony which includes all the national and international commercial companies such as Verizon, AT&T, BT, Skype, Sky, etc


SIP is a Session Initiation Protocol. This is an Internet protocol, that is, a set of rules for transferring data and making connections between subscribers across IP networks. IP-telephony works by SIP.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. (This was the original telephone communications network system) The internal exchange can connect subscribers within the network, call external numbers and other VoIP networks. PBXs can be different as follows:
Analog – fire, water and copper wire. The functional is minimal, and there are many concerns with them. See also PSTN.

  • Local (On-premises) – work with VoIP, the equipment is inside the company, your IT department is responsible for it. Works on software like Asterisk.
  • Virtual (Hosted) – based on VoIP technology, the server is at the service provider. The WATS has a wide range of functions, often integration with CRM is used.

PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Network)

Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN is a communication network that includes telephone lines, optical cables, cellular networks, and satellites. The basis of the basics – with the help of PSTN we can call each other on mobile and landline or internet account numbers. Still, these networks are sometimes called POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service, the original structure of connection by the dialing of a unique telephone number for an individual or company

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Bring your own phone phrase is made by analogy to the famous American expression “come with your drinks” (Bring Your Own Bottle). If you are invited to a BYOB party, it means that the organizers take care of food and entertainment while guests bring hot or alcoholic drinks with them. The same is true for IP telephony. A provider that adheres to the BYOD policy, provides you with VoIP services but does not restrict the choice of devices. You can buy any phones of your choice. In contrast to the BYOD policy, some providers require customers to purchase certain device models. Supporters of BYOD argue that this approach gives the client greater freedom of action because the customer can buy exactly those phones that he prefers or those more suitable for their individual and business needs.

DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency)

In other words, a tone dialing. “If you know the employee’s internal number, dial it in the tone mode.” You dial 3155 because you need to contact the accountant. The DTMF system understands which buttons you pressed and sends your call to the desired subscriber. Tones are assigned to different numbers and these are interpreted by the network as an address to connect to, similar to Morse code.

DID (Direct Inward Dialing)

DID (Direct Inward Dialing) means that if you have a phone number, you can set up extension numbers – they are also called “internal” numbers. For example, you have the number +7 (495) 234-12-34. With the active DID, you can configure any internal numbers: If you want to reconcile the invoices: +7 (495) 234-12-34 ext. 3155 If you need technical advice: +7 (495) 234-12-34 ext. 1285 On the organization of events: +7 (495) 234-12-34 ext. Also, 3384 DID mean that the primary number and all additional ones are officially owned by you. No additional physical networks between the accounting department and the IT department are required to be in place.

LAN (Local Area Network)

The local network connects computers in a limited space – in the home, school, office, institute. IP phones connect to the local network through telephone connectors or routers – and you can use VoIP. There are solutions that allow you to work without connecting to a local network. You can configure ordinary phones, softphones, and web phones. Noteworthy, extra numbers can be saved and operated not only in the office but also at home, on a business trip or on vacation. It is better not to abuse the latter (editorial note).

LNP (Local Number Portability)

Portability of city telephone numbers or LNP means that you can change the provider of telephony services. Still, you can keep your original number and all connected ones will remain unchanged.

QoS (Quality of Service)

QoS assesses the quality of VoIP network communications. Poor quality of service can mean that calls are broken and the sound is distorted. Mostly, hen evaluating QoS, operators usually listen to the user’s opinion (“normal communication” or “something is interrupted all the time”).

UC or UCaaS

Unified Communications (or as a Service) means that in one user interface different ways of communication are integrated. It could be voice and video, chat, mail, voice messages. As a single window in the MFC: do not run around different instances.

VoIP is not as bad as it is painted. Those who for the first time are looking for materials about IP-telephony can face the fact that one page of the text has about 25 abbreviations. And all may be incomprehensible initially.

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