25 Communications Industry Terms and Acronyms You Need to Know

Posted by Sam Mountstephens on Dec 27, 2017, 9:00:00 AM

Technical terms and confusing acronyms are common in any industry. The communications field is no different. For this reason, we developed a social media campaign called #25DaysofCommunication, with the intent to break down these phrases and clarify their meaning.

Breaking Down Barriers

We wanted to educate the office managers, the small business CEOs and anyone else with a desire to understand voice and data, by providing a short overview of these significant terms across several tweets.

But tweets are not enough. They can get lost, missed or just never found so to add to the campaign, we’ve created a library of the key terms featured in the order that they featured in our campaign.

  1. Hosted PBX - hosted private branch exchange is a telephone system hosted and maintained by a third party service provider. Using IP-based telephony, hosted PBX is managed and accessed entirely through the internet.
  2. Fiber Internet - fiber is a method of providing internet access through fiber optic cables. Data is transferred as light packets through tiny strands of plastic or glass helping to make it far more efficient than traditional copper wires. A detailed introduction to fiber internet can be found here.
  3. ISP - is an acronym for internet service provider. Simply put, an ISP is a company that provides subscribers with access to the internet.
  4. IP – stands for Internet Protocol. This is a standard set of digital formats and rules for exchanging messages between computers across networks. It is a routing system that allows all different types of systems to communicate with each other.Internet service providers (ISPs) support businesses with high-speed connectvity using a range of methods such as fixed wireless, fiber or cable.
  5. Mbps - is an acronym for megabits per second. This refers to how much data is transferred per second and is the typical measurement when discussing  internet speed. Mbps falls in between Kbps (kilobits per second) and Gbps (gigabits per second).
  6. SIP – Session Initiation Protocol controls the transmission and communication of real-time sessions that involve video, voice, messaging and other communications applications and services between two or more endpoints on IP networks. Learn more about SIP and SIP trunking here.
  7. VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol is essentially a telephone connection over the internet. Data is sent using IP instead of analog telephone lines. This allows you to talk to people all over the world without international charges. Read our introduction to VoIP here.
  8. PSTN – the Public Switched Telephone Network is the telephone cloud that we are all familiar with. It’s the interconnection of carrier networks around the world that allow people to make phone calls to anyone and everyone.
  9. LAN – is an acronym for Local Area Network. All devices that are connected to each other, within a certain area are considered part of a LAN. For example, your office computers, printers, servers, routers and switches are all connected together on a single LAN.
  10. MPLS – stands for Multiprotocol Label Switching. It is a different way of transmitting data between networks by adding labels to each packet. These labels set out the specific and direct path that the packet will take to get to its destination.
  11. PRI – Primary Rate Interface provides users with a physical connection to the PSTN for voice and data transmissions. PRI is the standard for providing telecommunication services to office locations.
  12. QoS – is short for Quality of Service. In the telecommunications industry this refers to the level of service and performance that a network sees, usually provided in terms of “uptime”.  Always look for a provider that can guarantee QoS!
  13. POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service is an analog telephone service implemented over copper twisted pair wires. This was the standard service offered by telephone providers until 1988 and it remains the basic form of connection for many small businesses and residential properties today.
  14. UC - Unified Communications refers to the integration of real-time and non real-time Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) is commonly associated with more traditional landline phones.communications with the goal of optimizing business operations and efficiency. Read our blog about the value of unified communications here.
  15. Downtime - In the communications industry, downtime refers to an outage. It can be caused by failure related to hardware, software, interconnecting equipment, wireless transmission or system capacity limits.
  16. Bandwidth - This is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, bandwidth is expressed in bits per second (bps). For example, a gigabit Ethernet connection has a bandwidth of 1,000 Mbps.
  17. 4G LTE - 4G refers to the fourth generation of data technology for cellular networks while LTE means “long term evolution” accounting for continuing development of the wireless broadband speeds to meet our demands as users. Learn about the progression from 1G to 4G LTE in our evolution of mobile internet blog by clicking here.
  18. LEC - Local Exchange Carrier is the term used to describe a telephone company that operates and provides services in a local region. LECs emerged as a result of the Bell system breakup that began in 1982.
  19. Telephony - Telephony is the field of technology associated with the electronic transmission of voice, fax or other data between distant parties. New technologies based on Internet Protocol has opened the door to IP telephony involving internet services and mobile communication.
  20. Network Failover - Network failover refers to the backup system for a primary circuit. When the primary system is down, a failover automatically takes on network responsibilities so mission-critical operations can continue. You can decide if a failover is worth investing in by reading our blog here.
  21. PoP - Point-of-Presence refers to an access point to the internet. It usually includes routers, digital aggregators, servers, relays and switches. ISPs possess multiple PoPs and use these location to distribute their signal to customers.
  22. Symmetrical Speeds - this refers to a connection in which data speed is the same in both directions. This means having the same download and upload speeds. This is ideal when uploading data and downloading large files concurrently. Find out more about the importance of upload speeds here.
  23. Redundancy - Redundancy is a process through which alternate devices or equipment are installed within a network. This ensures that in case of a device or connectivity failure, a failover option is available to provide backup.
  24. Point-to-Point - This is a type of connection that facilitates a dedicated connection between two dedicated endpoints. A fixed wireless network is built upon a series of point-to-point connections.
  25. Fixed Wireless - Fixed wireless is a method of high-speed connectivity. Using microwave signals capable of supporting internet speeds of 1.5Mbps to 1Gbps and above, fixed wireless provides dedicated connections to support businesses of all sizes. Find out how it works here.

We hope this list helps. If you have any questions or comments on these industry terms or you would like to find out more about the voice and data solutions One Ring Networks offers across California, Georgia, Texas, Maryland and Arizona, please contact our team at sales@oneringnetworks.com or call 404-303-9900.


Topics: communication