Jargon Buster


Third generation (3G) is the technology that enables high-speed data transfer. Data can be transmitted up to 50 times faster per minute compared with non-3G data speeds.
Fourth generation (4G) technology allows ultra-high-speed data transfer. In optimal conditions, 4G can enable data to be transmitted 10 times faster than via 3G.
Fifth generation (5G) is the latest technology in mobile data and is set to bring even faster data transmission up to 100 times faster than 4G meaning streaming and downloads will take a fraction of the time. 5G has already arrived in some parts of the world and is set to begin rolling out in the UK from late 2019.


see Auto Attendant
The action of permitting or denying admittance, e.g. a facial recognition camera or ID card reader terminal placed at the entrance of a building for security reasons. See also Flow Management and Density Control.
see Automatic Call Distribution
see Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
see Artificial Intelligence
An analogue device is anything that can be plugged into an ordinary analogue line, for example a telephone, fax machine, modem or franking machine.
An analogue line is a single copper cable run into a building by the line provider. Analogue lines were used for both voice and data before ADSL was available but they are now typically used for analogue devices as well as broadband connections, alarms and lifts.
Android is the mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets developed by Google. The latest release is called “Pie”.
Annex M is a feature available on ADSL connections which provides an increase in upload speed in exchange for some of the download bandwidth.
Applications are software programmes designed to run on mobile devices such as mobiles and tablets, however some apps are developed for desktop use.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is computer algorithms capable of performing human actions such as recognition, perception and decision-making.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), more commonly known as broadband, is a high-speed digital line enabling internet access. ADSL has good download speeds (typically up to 24MB/s) but can be slower for uploading (up to 1.5Mb/s).
An Auto Attendant, or Automated Attendant (AA), is a voice menu system that greets callers and offers a number of choices as to where their call can be directed. Callers can select an option using their phone keys in order to route their own call.
An auto dialler, or automatic dialler, is a device or software that automatically dials from a list or customer database, frequently used in call centres. When the call is answered, the auto dialler can play a pre-recorded message or connect the call to an available agent.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) answers and routes incoming calls to groups or individuals within an organisation. Commonly used in call centres, the ACD system disperses calls to available agents based on a set of instructions (e.g. longest idle, next available agent, specific skills etc.) enabling the call to be answered and dealt with as quickly as possible.


Bandwidth is what dictates the speed at which data can be transmitted within a circuit; the bigger the bandwidth, the faster the data transmission.
Basic Rate Interface (BRI) is an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) primarily used for homes or small businesses. A BRI comprises two data channels (also known as bearer channels/B-channels) and one control channel (also known as a delta channel/D-channel) and can facilitate two independent calls.
A bearer channel (B-channel) carries main data on the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
see Busy Lamp Field
Bluetooth is a wireless technology enabling data transmission from one device to another in close proximity.
A bolt-on is a mobile service that can be added to an existing tariff to increase the inclusive allowance, e.g. additional text messages, minutes or data.
A bonded solution combines multiple broadband connections (ADSL/fibre/ethernet) to provide a greater bandwidth than would otherwise be available.
see Basic Rate Interface
The UK’s largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services. They also provide subscription television and IT Services.
A bundle is a combination of inclusive services within a fixed cost. This could be text messages, minutes and data for a mobile device or a selection of cloud features for IP telephony (e.g. Voicemail, Busy Lamp Field and Call Queueing).
A Busy Lamp Field (BLF) is when lights on a handset indicate if an extension connected to the same telephone system is engaged.


Call barring prevents users from dialling selected destinations such as international or premium rate numbers. This can be applied at a system or network level and can be reversed on request.
Call blocking is the function of automatically rejecting incoming calls from certain numbers.
Call deflection is a feature that automatically redirects and incoming call to an alternative destination (e.g. a mailbox or another extension) when the called endpoint is engaged.
A Call Detail Record (CDR) is a data file containing information about recent usage on the phonelines (e.g. origin, endpoint, duration or cost) made via and endpoint.
Call forwarding is a feature that diverts incoming calls to another endpoint (e.g. another extension, a mailbox or a mobile number). The divert can be applied to forward all calls or programmed to only forward calls when busy or if the call goes unanswered.
Call logging is the function of capturing statistics about both incoming and outgoing call traffic which can then be used for analysis and reporting with call management software. Call data can be viewed in its entirety or filtered by number or extension.
Call management software facilitates analysis and reporting on the call statistics captured by a call logger.
A call park is a feature whereby a user can place a call on hold which can be retrieved from any extension.
Call queueing is where the calls are placed in a virtual queue in the order in which they are received before they can be answered by an available call handler. Some call queueing software enables position announcements, music on hold, marketing messages and the functionality to request a ring-back.
Call recording is the process of capturing both inbound and outbound conversations as digital audio files. Recorded calls are stored and may be searched with multiple criteria.
A Calling Line Identity (CLI) is the telephone number associated with a line. This can be presented or withheld when a call is made and a user can choose to present an alternative CLI.
Calling Line Identity Presentation (CLIP) is when the telephone number is provided to the call recipient.
Calling Line Identity Restriction (CLIR) is when the telephone number is withheld from the call recipient.
A carrier is a telecommunications service provider that owns their own network, e.g. BT or Gamma.
Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS) is the process of routing calls via a service provider’s chosen network.
Category 5 or CAT5 (or CAT5e) is the specification for the transmission performance of an ethernet data cable but is frequently used to describe structured cabling routing voice and data circuits to wall sockets within a building. CAT5/5e transmission can be up to 100MHz.
Category 6 or CAT6 is an upgrade to CAT5/5e cable enabling performance of up to 250MHz compared to 100MHz with CAT5/5e. CAT6 is backwards compatible with CAT5/5e ethernet cables.
Category 7 or CAT7 is used for Gigabit Ethernet cabling infrastructure offering transmission performance up to 600MHz.
see Closed Circuit Television
see Central Control Unit
see Call Detail Record
The Central Control Unit (CCU) is the box or cabinet that houses the hardware controlling the telephone system.
Centrex (short for Central Exchange) is a hosted telephony solution providing the functionality of a PBX without the costs and logistics associated with a physical on-premise system.
The ability to give a data packet a series of set properties/restrictions/access levels during a telephone call. E.g. A user can be given a COS value of 1 that permits international dialling while the value of 2 disables this ability.
see Calling Line Identity
see Calling Line Identity Presentation
see Calling Line Identity Restriction
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is the security and surveillance devices that can aide with access control and the broader protection of premises.
Cloud can relate to any kind of infrastructure, platform or applications that are hosted on a server not located at the premises using it, accessed via the internet. E.g. cloud communications enable the functionality of a telephone system with no requirement for an on-site PBX.
A codec is a device or piece of computer software for coding or decoding digital data streams or signals.
see Connected Line Presentation
An organisation that provides telephony services, e.g. Premier Choice.
A Communications Service Provider (CSP) handles the electronic transmission of information.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is a software that brings together your customer database and your telephones, enabling features like click-to-dial, screen popping and text messaging services.
Conferencing occurs when more than two telephone users join into a single call. Users can dial in to a conferencing destination or one participant can dial another and connect them into the call.
Connected Line Presentation (COLP) is a feature whereby the caller is presented with the CLI of the user they have connected to, where this is not the number originally dialled. This is a chargeable service from the network provider and requires compatible equipment.
A contact centre is a fully integrated customer-centric communication hub. Agents handle calls with merged with other media sources such as CRM applications.
Contention is where two or more nodes compete to transmit data at the same time. The contention protocol defines the rate of service in this situation. A network with zero-contention means there is no competition for transmission and the entire bandwidth is solely available for use by the network user.
Convergence is the interlinking of multiple voice and data technologies and solutions into a single network.
see Class of Service
see Communications Provider
see Customer Premise Equipment
see Carrier Pre-Selection
see Customer Relationship Management
see Communications Service Provider
see Computer Telephony Integration
Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) is the hardware owned and housed by the customer.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a piece of software that houses all information relating to customers, enabling an employee to have a single yet comprehensive view of a customer.


D-Side (short for Distribution Side) is the segment of cabling between the Primary Connection Point (PCP) and the distribution point (DP). The D-Side is then patched to the E-Side (Exchange Side).
see Digital Access Signalling System
Data in the context of telecoms is a term broadly used to mean internet access.
A data allowance is what is included within a mobile tariff. A user may be able to exceed their inclusive data but this is usually chargeable. A data cap can be applied to prevent a user surpassing their allowance.
see Direct Dial Inward
see Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony
see Direct Exchange Line
A delta channel (D-channel) carries control and signalling information on the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
Commonly referred to a “DOS Attack” where a malicious third party intends to temporarily or permanently disrupt the services on an endpoint.
Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) is the technology used to combine multiple fibre networks to create a broader bandwidth for the existing network.
Density Control is when the number of individuals in a designated area must be measured or managed. See also Flow Management and Access Control.
see Direct Internet Access
Digital Access Signalling System (DASS) was BT’s original protocol for providing signalling to ISDN30. DASS is still supported but no longer available for new provides as ISDN30 was superseded by ISDN30e with ETSI or Q931 signalling which is now standard throughout Europe.
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony (DECT) is the technology for providing better clarity and smaller phones for cordless handsets (frequently called DECT phones). Mobile Devices are not included in this term.
A Digital Private Network Signalling System (DPNSS) supports connections between telecoms equipment from multiple vendors. See also Q Signalling (QSIG).
A piece of technology which can differentiate between the voice of an individual and background noise to improve the quality of sound. Premier Choice use this term to talk about a “DSP Card” which is a component used in most Panasonic PBX Solutions.
A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is used to add broadband with equal bandwidth in both directions to a phone line. The most common DSL line is an ADSL line.
A Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) is a network distribution device that receives signals from multiple Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) and connects them into a single high-speed digital communication channel.
Digital Transformation is a buzz-word for the growth companies undergo as a result of introducing and combining innovative technologies.
A Direct Dial Inward (DDI) is an inbound or outbound number assigned to a specific handset and associated to the main CLI. This feature is not available on analogue lines.
A Direct Exchange Line (DEL) is term used for a single analogue line.
Any standalone internet circuit not part of a wider joint network.
A Direct Station Selector (DSS) is a unit that sits alongside a telephone enabling the handset to be used a reception/switchboard console. The unit provides programmable buttons enabling the operator to quickly dial and see the status of user extensions.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is the continuity plan put in place for when there is a power failure or fault with the telecoms solution.
The final point within a network where the cable or fibre terminates, typically the street (telegraph pole), cabinet or premises.
see Domain Name System
A centralised system which categorises multiple network locations with a label (e.g. a domain). To save entering the full network address (possibly in numeric form) a simple domain label can attributed (e.g. google.com).
see Denial of Service
see Distribution Point
see Digital Private Network Signalling System
see Disaster Recovery
see Digital Subscriber Line
see Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer
see Digital Signal Processing
see Direct Station Selector
see Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency
A signalling protocol using the voice frequency band over a telephone line which allows numbers to be selected on a handset/mobile dial pad to initiate a further call route. Most telephone systems use this protocol to control their “Options” menu.
Ducts are the pipes underground holding copper and fibre lines.
see Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing


E-Side (short for Exchange Side) is the segment of cabling between the Primary Connection Point (PCP – usually a street cabinet) and the origin (exchange).
An Early Life Fault (ELF) is when a new product is found to be faulty shortly after purchase, without misuse or damage caused by the user.
see Excess Construction Charges
see Ethernet First Mile
see Early Life Fault
Ethernet is a traditional networking technology commonly used in connecting wired networks such as Local or Wide Area Networks (LAN or WAN).
Ethernet First Mile (EFM) is a lower cost leased line solution alternative providing symmetrical upload and download bandwidth with zero-contention. EFM uses the copper network to deliver an Ethernet service to sites where Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is not available. Speeds can be up to 20Mb/s.
Excess Construction Charges (ECCs) are incurred when the cost of providing services or dealing with situations is more than the standard charge, e.g. implementing copper or fibre where there previously wasn’t any.


Artificial intelligence (AI) within a camera device that can detect and identify a human face when an individual or individuals are in range of the terminal.
A fever is a symptom, not an illness, that may be identified when an adult human presents a body temperature of 38°C or higher. When an elevated body temperature is identified in an individual, this may indicate the presence of a fever.Thermal or Thermographic Cameras are capable of reading the body temperature of individuals within range without contact and provide a preliminary reading which can be confirmed via the use of a more invasive thermometer. See also Temperature Screening or Thermography.
Fibre (short for Fibre-Optic) is a method of transmitting telephone signals and internet connectivity through an optical fibre. Fibre is frequently more cost effective than copper and does not suffer electromagnetic interference.
Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) is the term for broadband network architecture that brings fibre connectivity from the telephone exchange to the street cabinets. From here, it is connected to the premises with a further copper sub-loop. Bandwidth is determined by the distance from the cabinet the closer the destination point is to the cabinet, the faster the download and upload speeds will be.
Fibre To The Home (FTTH) is the residential equivalent of Fibre To The Premises (FTTP).
Fibre To The Premises (FTTP), provides end-to-end fibre from the exchange directly to the destination site (without any copper lengths) resulting in faster speeds than Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC).
A Firewall is a component within a network or computer system designed to identify and prevent any unauthorised access into a network from an external source.
A fixed line is an analogue or digital connection provided by a cable enabling voice and/or data services.
Flow Management is the counting in or out of individuals through a designated gateway. See also Density Control and Access Control.
see Fibre To The Cabinet
see Fibre To The Home
see Fibre To The Premises


see Generic Ethernet Access
General Packet Radio System (GPRS) is the data service used by mobile devices when 3G/4G/5G is not available.
Generic Ethernet Access is a type of leased line similar to Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) however it focuses the traffic over the ethernet network as opposed to the broadband.
Global Positioning System (GPS) is the technology used to locate the position of a mobile device on earth by receiving signals from orbiting satellites frequently used for mapping/navigation software.
The Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is the internationally used standard platform for mobile phones.
see General Packet Radio System
see Global Positioning System
Group ringing is when multiple extensions ring as the result of a single number being dialled. This could be programmed in a group ring set-up where all extensions ring simultaneously or as a hunt group.
see Global System for Mobile Communications


Hosted telephony is a term used for cloud services that utilise the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The user may have handsets in their premises but the telephone system is off-site, in a data centre for example, and the features are accessed via subscription user licences. See also Cloud and Centrex.
A hot spot is a location enabling users to obtain internet access wirelessly.
A hunt group is a rule applied to a telephone system that determines the order in which available extensions ring. This may be in a programmed order, first available or longest idle, for example.


see Intelligent Cloud Queueing
see In Life Fault
see Early Life Fault
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a circuit used for digital transmissions of voice, data and other network services. They are utilised over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The common circuits are ISDN2 and ISDN30. In 2015, BT announced that they would be phasing out ISDN solutions and switching the network off entirely. This means existing ISDN capacity is being ceased and new orders will be not be accepted. Come 2025, the whole ISDN copper network and all associated solutions will no longer be supported.
Intelligent Cloud Queuing (ICQ) is a call queueing software that automatically answers the call and then holds callers in order until a handler is available to answer. Features can include callers hearing their position in the queue or informative messages as well as the facility to request a call-back once they are at the front of the line.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is the ability for a computer or digital setup to interact with individuals e.g. inbound callers may transition through a telephone system to meet an appropriate destination. This may be a mix of voice and Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) inputs.
Internet of Things (IOT): refers to thebillions of devices worldwide that are connected to the internet to receive and transmit data.IOT SIM cards can be supplied for GSM (Global System for Mobile communications – the internationally used standard platform for mobile phones) units if required for lift/alarm lines and other analogue services. 
The Internet Protocol (IP) is the governing rules around the transmission of data via the internet or a network.
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a supplier enabling internet connectivity.
see Internet of Things
see Internet Protocol
An IP address is a unique set of numbers that identify each device accessing the internet or a network.
Integrated Services Digital Network
see Internet Service Provider
see Interactive Voice Response


see Local Area Network
A leased line is a dedicated line provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A Letter Of Authority (LOA) is an OFCOM approved document completed by a client giving authorisation for an organisation (e.g. Premier Choice) to take ownership/control of telephone numbers currently operating with another service provider.
see Local Loop Unbundling
see Letter Of Authority
A Local Area Network (LAN) is typically confined to a residence or office building and shares a common communications link which is not internet facing.
Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is the process of allowing numerous service operators to link connections from a telephone exchange to a client’s premises.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is standard for wireless broadband communications for mobiles and data devices.
see Long Term Evolution


A Media Relay Gateway (MRG) is a component within a network that handles and converts media to make it compatible between multiple devices. An example of an MRG Device (Endpoint) in the Premier Choice Network is a remote telephone registered to a central Panasonic phone system in a different network location.
see Music On Hold
see Multi-Protocol Label Switching
see Media Relay Gateway
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a routing technique aimed at speeding up and shaping traffic flows across a network. This technique is used within our own Private Wide Area Network (PWAN).
Music On Hold (MOH) is the audio that plays when a live call is paused by an end user.


Network Termination (NT) is the connection of an end user’s Network Termination Equipment (NTE) to a carrier’s line that comes into the premises at the Network Termination Point (NTP).
A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a computer device that holds software capable of recording video in a digital format to a storage drive.
see Network Termination
see Network Video Recorder


OFCOM are the regulatory body approved by the UK Government set with the task of overseeing all matters within television/radio and telecoms, that ensures fair competition and protects the public for harmful or offensive material.
Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) is a model that standardises the communication functions of a telephone or computing system. There are 7 key layers in the model ranging from the physical layer through to the application layer.
Openreach (OR) are the department of BT which maintains the telephone cabling, cabinets and exchanges within the UK that connect nearly all homes and businesses.
see Openreach
see Open Systems Interconnection


see Private Branch Exchange
Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) is the predecessor term to Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). It is the collection of analogue phone lines whose main purpose is to transmit voice calls.
see Power Over Ethernet
see Plain Old Telephone Service
Power Over Ethernet (POE) is the ability to provide power to a device across a network cable without the need for a separate power cable.
A Power Supply Unit (PSU) is a separate cable and/or unit commonly with a UK mains plug used to power a device.
see Primary Rate Interface
Primary Rate Interface (PRI) is part of an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) configuration. It works on a larger scale compared to Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and is utilised by large users/enterprises. A common term heard is the connection of a “PRI Card” on a phone system.
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or telephone system is a control unit that primarily facilitates audio/video calls to a user’s site, or sites. Depending on its specification, a range of additional intuitive features can give users all the help they need during their calls: including queue announcements, live status monitoring, activity reports, automatic conversation recording and scheduled backup and reports.
A Private Wide Area Network (PWAN) is the joining of multiple broadband/ethernet connections to create robust and scalable network solution that is located in secure data centres with a centralised firewall.
see Public Switched Telephone Network
see Power Supply Unit
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a global term for the interconnection of public telephone networks over copper-based materials. They are primarily used for voice calls, fax machines, franking machines, card processing machines and connecting a modem for dial up internet (old technology). It is the foundation line for allowing DSL Services to operate.
Private Wide Area Network
see Private Wide Area Network


Q Signalling (QSIG) is the signalling protocol for ISDN which is utilised in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
see Quality Of Service
See Q Signalling
Quality Of Service (QOS) is a feature configured on a device that can prioritise data traffic dependent on its use. For example, VoIP calls can be given a higher priority over web browsing/e-mail traffic.


A Range Holder (RH) is the communication provider that has been allocated a range of telephone numbers by OFCOM.
see Remote Desktop Protocol
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is the ability for a user to connect to another computer utilising a graphical interface and a network connection.
see Range Holder


Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line
A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a unique name which allows you to differentiate between other networks when connecting to a device over WiFi.
Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) is a method to which voice/video/messaging and other communication applications can initiate/maintain/modify and terminate real-time sessions between two endpoints on an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) is your closest alternative to FTTC broadband and is available to order in many exchange areas. It is broadband, but without the requirement for an underlying PSTN line, which means the connection is more reliable with less chance of interference and instability.
Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP) is a new product to replace ADSL connections. SOTAP delivers a copper path between the end user’s premises and the exchange infrastructure, providing a better experience for customers moving away from end of life WLR (Wholesale Line Rental) products. This is also only deliverable in certain areas at this moment in time but BT anticipate full roll out by September 2021.
see Session Initiated Protocol
see Station Message Detail Record
A softphone is a software programme (such as an app) enabling a user to make and receive calls through their device (computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone) rather than via a physical handset. These are frequently used to facilitate remote working.
see Single Order Generic Ethernet Access
see Single Order Transitional Access Product
see Service Set Identifier
Station Message Detail Record (SMDR) is a log of call detail made be an telephony endpoint.
Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) is a type of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) which transmits digital data over the copper wires of a telephone network. Speeds can vary dependent on location and product but can reach up to 22.5Mb/s.


Temperature Screening is a non-invasive, non-contact method of reading the body temperature of individuals within range by using a Thermal or Thermographic Camera. See also Thermography.
Thermal or Thermographic Cameras are CCTV devices capable of reading the temperatures of objects in an area of focus. More specifically, cameras equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) can detect faces to accurately screen the skin temperature of individuals within range.
Thermography is the use of cameras to detect heat radiation and convert these readings into temperature values via an algorithm. See also Thermal/Thermographic Cameras or Temperature Screening.


see Unified Messaging
Unified Messaging (UM) is the integration of different media types into a single interface accessible from multiple devices. An example of UM is Voicemail within a phone system.
An Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) us a secondary device that can supply power for a limited period while the primary power supply/feed is disrupted.
see Uninterruptable Power Supply


A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a link over the internet between multiple sites with increased security in comparison to standard internet transmissions.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is method to which voice calls route over the internet. This term is interchangeable with ‘Hosted’.
see Voice over Internet Protocol
see Virtual Private Network


see Wide Area Network
Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) allows service providers to brand themselves over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). BT Openreach (in the UK) ultimately maintain and repair the lines however service providers (such as Premier Choice) can supply services to their clients without having to maintain the network itself.
WiFi is the technology that allows a wireless connection to the internet.
see Wholesale Line Rental