VoIP Glossary
Posted by on 16 December 2011 03:05 PM

Third Generation Partnership Project: A collaboration under the International Telecommunication Union aimed at creating a third generation mobile phone specification system that is globally applicable.


Application Programming Interface: An interface provided by a software application to allow communication by other programs. This interface allows for requests for service to be made by other computer programs, and/or to allow data to be exchanged between computer systems.


Analog Telephone Adaptor: A device which allows a standard analog (PSTN) telephone to adapt to VoIP digital technology via the Internet.


Business Support Systems: Business support services include services like billing, order entry, provisioning, order fulfillment and order activation. These are the systems that support service level agreements.


Competitive Local Exchange Carrier: A telecommunications provider company (sometimes called a "carrier") that competes with other, already established carriers (generally the incumbent local exchange carrier).


COmpressor-DECompressor, COder-DECoder, or 'Compression/DECompression: A device or program capable of performing Encoding and Decoding on a data stream or signal. CODECs can also be used to compress and decompress data to allow for smaller data file transmission.


Customer Premise Equipment: Any equipment located on the customer's side of a demarcation point (the point that distinguishes where the service provider's equipment ends and where the customer's begins.)


Customer Relationship Management: The group of systems and practices (methodologies, strategies, software and web-based capabilities) that encompass a business's management of its customers.


Computer Telephony Integration: Technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or coordinated. CTI encompasses all contact channels (voice, email, video, fax etc.)


Direct Inward Dialing: The number assigned to a VoIP user that allows that user to connect to the old PSTN Networks around the world.


Demarcation Point: The point that distinguishes where the service provider's equipment ends and where the customer's begins. For practical purposes, this is the point where a Telco hands control or responsibility of a line to the customer.


Enhanced 911: E911 services connect VoIP services to the existing 911 infrastructure. This allows for a VoIP emergency call to provide the same emergency-relevant location information that traditional telephony provides.


Enterprise JavaBeans: A Java-based API.


Element Management System: An element management system manages one or more of a specific type of network elements (NEs). In relation to hosted VoIP, the term is often used in describing delegated administration functions.

IP Trunking

Internet Protocol Trunking: 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. Commercially manufactured VoIP trunk gateways take the form of self-contained units (boxes) or circuit cards. The number of ports for POTS devices varies, depending on the intended application (small business, medium-sized business, or enterprise). The VoIP trunk gateway connects subscribers to the VoIP network without involving operators or incurring telephone company toll charges. The VoIP service provider establishes its own schedule of rates, if applicable, for local and longdistance calling.


Independent Software Vendor: Refers to companies that specialize in making orselling customized software, usually for niche markets. Examples include applications like time scheduling for service employees, stock maintenance, and bar code scanning.


Interactive Voice Response: A computerized system that allows a person to select an option from a voice menu or otherwise interface with a computer system by speaking.


Network Address Translation: A process in which the source or destination of an IP packet is re-written as it passes through a firewall or router. This is usually done to allow multiple hosts behind a firewall or router to access the Internet via a single public IP-address


Operational Support Systems: Applications that report on usage trends for performance evaluation and capacity planning purposes.


Plain Old Telephone System: Refers to the services available to analog phones prior to the introduction of digital technology.


Public Switched Telephone Network: The world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. The PSTN is largely governed by technical standards created by the International Telecommunication Union.

SBC (Session Border Control)

A device used in VoIP networks. SBC's are put into the signaling and media path between calling and called party. The SBC acts as if it were the called VoIP phone and places a second call to the called party. This means that both signaling traffic and media traffic (voice, video etc) cross the SBC. With that capability, SBC's can function as firewalls, protocol transcoders, bandwidth managers, etc.


Session Initiation Protocol: A protocol and standard for initiating, modifying, and terminating a multimedia (voice, video, etc) interactive session. SIP was accepted in 2000 as the 3GPP signaling element and a permanent element of IMS architecture.

SIP B2BUA SIP Back-to-Back User Agent

A device in which user calls are established between the caller's phone and the server, and then between the server and the called party (similar to a SBC). This architecture allows for advanced PBX features both before a call is connected and during the actual call. However, because all calls flow through the B2BUA, if it goes down, all call traffic is affected.


Originally, Simple Object Access Protocol, now simply SOAP: A protocol for exchanging XML-based messages over a computer network, normally using HTTP.


Unified Messaging: The integration of email, fax, voice, video, etc. into a single in-box, accessible from a variety of different devices. Unified Messaging generally integrates telephone-based voice mail and is accessible via conventional or cellular phone


Virtual Private Network: A private communications network usually used within a company or group of companies to communicate over a public network. VPNs are typically encrypted with various grades of cryptography.


The W3C's standard XML format for specifying interactive voice dialogues between a human and a computer. For example: the speech that prompts users to input their voice-mail password was most likely scripted in VXML.


World Wide Web Consortium: A consortium of member organizations, staff, and the public that aims at developing standards for the World Wide Web.


Web Services Description Language: An XML format published for describing web services. Phrased differently, WSDL is an XML format used to allow machine-tomachine interactions over a network.


Extensible Markup Language: A W3C-recommended general-purpose markup language for creating special-purpose markup languages, capable of describing different types of data. In other words, XML is a method of describing data that is primarily used to facilitate data sharing across different systems. Programs can modify and validate documents based in XML without prior knowledge of their form.

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