VoIP Telephone Industry Definitions

VoIP or Voice over IP – VoIP is the transmission of voice calls over the Internet or an IP network. Businesses providing VoIP services are most often referred to ask solutions providers. VoIP offers many great benefits when compared to traditional phone service.

Codec: In the telecommunications world, a codec is the program used to compress voice data to allow for swifter transmission across IP networks. The codecs used for VoIP are sometimes also called vocoders, which is short for ‘voice encoder.’ Codecs typically provide compression to save bandwidth.

DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol: DHCP is a protocol. It is used by networked clients in order to retrieve IP addresses and default gateways, subnet mash, IP addresses of DNS serves, etc from a DHCP server. This server ensures that every IP address is unique.

DID – Direct Inward Dialing – DID, or Direct Inward Dialing, is a feature provided by phone companies for use with PBX systems. Telco companies typically allocate a pre-set range of phone numbers that are all connected to the client’s PBX. As calls are made to the PBX, the number that was dialed is provided in order to allow the PBX to effectively route the caller to the desired department or person inside the company.

DTMF – Dual-tone Multi-Frequency – Dual-tone Multi-Frequency signalling allows for telephone signalling across the phone line in the voice frequency band to the switching center.

G.711 – G.711 is primarily used in telephony. It is the ITU-T standard for audio companding and represents logarithmic pulse-code modulation (PCM) samples for signals of voice and is sampled at 8000 samples per second.

G729 – G729 is an algorithm for voice that is designed to compress voice audio into bits of 10 milliseconds. Music or tones such as fax tones or DTMF are not reliably transported with this codec, they use the G.711.

IP Address – An IP address, or Internet Protocol Address, is a unique address that specific electronic devices require in order to identify and communicate with other electronic devices on a computer network. Any capable network device will have a unique IP address.

Interactive Voice Response – An IVR is telecommunications technology that permits a computer to detect voice and touch tones via a standard phone call. An IVR system will respond with pre-recorded audio in order to direct callers to a specific person or location. IVR systems can be used to control any function where a standard call menu can be used.

IP Phone – Also called a VoIP Telephone, or voice-over-IP phone, an IP phone is the hardware used to make or receive calls over the Internet. An IP phone looks and acts identical to a standard telephone.

Key System – A key system is a multi-line phone system most often used in business environments. Key systems are well regarded for their expandability and have some features pf a PBX.

Local Number Portability (LNP) – LNP, or local number portability, refers to the ability to transfer (or port) and existing number to a different provider. In many cases, there are limitations on number porting relating to geography or service coverage area.

Private Branch Exchange – Most commonly called PBX, Private Branch Exchange is a connection between a business location and the public telephone network. It is a communications system that links the outside telephone network with internal phones, fax machines and extensions. PBXs typically include features like speed dial and hold music.

Power over Ethernet – PoE is the technology that is used to send electrical power and data to remote devices using a standard Ethernet cable. This technology is commonly used to power IP phones or network cameras.

POTS – A term commonly used in VoIP technology articles, POTS refers to the Plain Old Telephone System or a standard phone service.

QoS – Also known as Quality of Service, QoS is the ability of a network to provide guaranteed performance quality by prioritizing voice and data traffic.

RJ-11 – A physical interface used to terminate telephone wires.

RTP or Real-time Transfer Protocol – RTP is the standard packet format for delivering video or audio over the Internet.

Router – A router is the device used to determine the proper path for data transmission between networks. Routers connect network together.

SIP – SIP refers to Session Initiation Protocol, the protocol for VoIP and IM, Video, Online Gaming and other forms of online communication.

Softphone – A softphone is a computer application that is used to make or receive VoIP calls over the Internet. Users require a headset and / or microphone.

Switch – A network switch is a computer networking device that links network segments. Switches inspect data packets as they are received and determine the source and destination of each packet so that they can be transmitted accordingly.

Virtual Number – A virtual phone number is a telephone number that does not have an associated phone line. These numbers are most often used to forward to a VoIP service or a different phone line. Virtual numbers can be used with mail forwarding services in order to establish a ‘virtual office’ or business place.

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