At DirectNet, we believe in delivering simplified, effective wholesale VoIP services to businesses across Canada. These less expensive and more dependable services are designed around customer satisfaction and enhanced communications potential, and there are many different terms used. We want you to have the information needed to be knowledgeable of the service we deliver, and as a result, we have compiled a list of popular telecom terms for your benefit.

Why Should I Become Familiar with These Terms?

We’re firm believers as a provider that with knowledge comes increased potential for cost savings, awareness of how specific components and features operate, and better-informed telephony adoption. Regardless of whether you’re a VoIP reseller or considering signing up for our services through one, familiarizing yourself with the most common and popular terms in the industry can therefore enable a wide range of benefits. This also can make troubleshooting and bug-fixing more effective on your end if you develop an understanding of the fundamentals beforehand. What’s more, our team is always happy to assist with knowledgeable 24/7/365 NOC support services if you need us.

With that said, let’s dig in.

Terms at a Glance

1. Mobility Client

A Mobility client is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) compatible with several different operating systems and types of hardware. It works to increase visibility and control across the extended network, which ensures that endpoints that are compromised don’t have access to sensitive data or critical resources.

2. Access Ancillary

This is a special arrangement set aside for service providers. It enables them to connect with end-users, and typically serves as a form of user authentication and/or permissions management.

3. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)

Developed by the W3C in cooperation with the RTCWeb standard by the IETF, this is an innovative new communications standard. Functioning as a lower protocol layer, WebRTC allows for it to be implemented in applications and on websites. Most of the time, it is used to support voice or video chat functionality.

4. Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS)

Involving the outsourcing of different communication and collaboration applications and, UCaaS is used to deliver these services to a third-party provider. It is intended for delivery over an IP network.

5. Click to Call

This is a form of web-based communication that involves the user clicking a button, image or text to request a real-time connection with another user by phone, VoIP or text.

6. North American Numbering Plan (NANP)

This is a dedicated resource group for 20 North American countries and 25 subsequent regions. It serves as a means of regulating local phone numbers. The NANP, effectively, is responsible for the standard-issue, ten-digit code that all North American phone numbers adhere to. 

7. Presence Information

This status indicator is intended to show whether a communication partner such as a user is online or able to communicate.

8. Access-Independent VoIP

This is a form of service provisioning that utilizes dedicated Internet access. Numbers must adhere to the NANP, allowing users to send and receive calls in real-time over a said connection. 

9. Unified Communications

This is an industry-related term for all types of call and message management functions controlled by a single user. It is commonly referred to for business and social-related purposes.

10. Hosted Private Branch Exchange (Hosted PBX)

This is a telephony system that is presented as a hosted service. It is usually delivered from a major telephone company and works to ensure companies don’t need to invest in more expensive and complicated phone systems. At the same time, these companies can utilize telephony services such as faxing, automated greetings, conference calling, and much more.

11. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

This is a unique means of switching packets and multiplexing. It enables for streamlined connectivity with minimal delay or lag, all while enabling optimal bandwidth.

12. Unified Messaging (UM)

Similar to unified communications, it involves integrating multiple forms of e-communication such as email, text, fax, and video messaging (among others) into a single interface. This interface is then accessible from multiple devices at the same time. All messages are stored on one system to simplify the user experience.

13. Internet Protocol BPX (IP PBX)

Internet protocol is a private branch exchange that switches calls between VoIP users. This is performed on local lines, all while still allowing for users to share phone lines under a specified limit.

14. Communications Assistant

Otherwise known as a Comms Assistant, this is an individual who coordinates telephony service between text telephone users, users of sign language or individuals with speech disabilities through a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). They effectively allow individuals with hearing or speech impairments to communicate on the phone with others at no added cost.

15. Enhanced Service Providers

Enhanced service providers like DirectNet are companies that enable business customers to transmit voice and data messages at a highly competitive value. This typically represents a streamlined, more efficient and simplified service that is more resilient.

16. Backbone

Much like the spine of a human, the backbone literally holds the network together via connected nodes. This ensures that traffic can flow seamlessly with minimal interruption or degradation of telephony service quality. It may also be referred to as a voice, short, or long-haul backbone.

17. Direct Inward Dialing (DID)

This is a service provided by an ISP or cloud-based VoIP provider. It allows you to dial a 10-digit phone number and reach a specific extension of a business-based communications system for simplified user operation.

18. Number Portability

This is a term used to describe your ability to keep an existing phone number when switching voice communications service providers. It also represents switching while being able to keep the same level of service in terms of quality and dependability.

19. Unbundling

Unbundling represents specific access that a local exchange carrier will provide. This access allows for other service providers to buy or lease various network elements to better serve their own subscribers.

20. PBX Exchange

Otherwise known as a Private Branch Exchange, this is a phone switching system that can typically be found in businesses instead of a traditional provider office location.

21. Trunks

Trunks are separate channels or circuits that can be grouped together. DirectNet’s SIP Trunking incorporates such grouping with resilient, simplified service for your inbound and outbound voice calls.

22. DHCP

Otherwise known as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DCHP is a protocol incorporated to ensure fast, automated centralized management of IP address distribution on a network. It can, therefore, be used to streamline voice communications efficiency such as with a cloud-based VoIP solution.

23. Broadband

This is likely something you’re familiar with. Essentially, broadband is an Internet connection standard, and it’s infinitely more commonplace in business environments than antiquated alternatives like dial-up. Depending on the broadband standard you utilize, you may have more or less bandwidth, which is represented in upload and download speeds specified by your ISP.

24. Cramming

This is a practice in which customers are billed for enhanced features that they did not request, including voicemail, caller ID and call-waiting. Solutions such as DirectNet offer transparent pricing and no-nonsense custom options to ensure this is avoided.

25. Personal Communications Service (PCS)

A PCS represents any combination of wireless, voice and/or data communications systems sold as a service, incorporating digital technology for improved efficiency. A PCS can also be utilized to deliver other wireless solutions such as remote communications and wireless networking.  

26. Roaming

Roaming pertains to the use of a wireless phone outside of the service area as defined by a service provider as your “home network.” When this occurs, rates can climb, and usually, you will incur per minute charges unless a travel data feature is applied to your bill in advance for the duration of your travels.

27. Slamming

This is a term used for the unauthorized switching of long-distance services between companies without customer permission. Doing so directly violates customer protection rules such as those implemented by the FCC.

28. Universal Service

This is a financial mechanism that helps compensate phone companies and other communications-based entities for providing access to their services at respectable rates. It factors in coverage pertaining to rural, insular and high-cost areas as well as to public institutions.

29. Network Access Service (NAS)

A dedicated connection between the end-user/service client and the public switched telephone network (PTSN) that enables digital voice communications. While a standard 10-digit number is provided and linked to the PTSN, accessing digital telephony services over an online network requires a separate active broadband Internet service connection.

30. Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to a telecom line’s signal-carrying capacity. Higher numbers represent stronger network stability and faster speeds. The bandwidth is calculated by analyzing the spectrum required to transmit data without distorting or corrupting it. Suppression of bandwidth signals that exceed standardized bands protects against interference.

Why Cloud-Based VoIP is the New Face of Telecommunications

In the grand scheme of things, these terms relate at least in part to the digital communications revolution taking place around the world – in other words, cloud-based VoIP. With wholesale providers offering state-of-the-art features, improved reception and drastically reduced downtime (DirectNet uptime remains at an exceptional 99.96 percent, for instance), and highly knowledgeable support assistance. 

In addition, cloud-based VoIP doesn’t require specialized equipment – as hinted at over the course of reading these terms, a broadband Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth for the intended use case is the only necessity. Existing hardware including desktop PCs, laptops, and even smartphones can tap in with managed permissions without compromising security, and updates are smooth and non-intrusive to the service. 

From slamming to cramming, unified communications to unified messaging, this list is just the beginning. Hopefully, some of the definitions have proved useful in developing a deeper understanding of what cloud-based VoIP solutions can achieve for your business. For more information on our rates, services and more, reach out to us at DirectNet today. We look forward to hearing from you.