Have you ever been in a discussion with someone from Telecoms and found the person you are listening to seems to be speaking a foreign language? Well your’e not alone. Most people don’t buy telephone systems very often. Furthermore, all the acronyms and telecoms jargon we use in our industry can be tricky to understand, especially when sometimes all you want to know is which is the best telephone system for your business.
The reason for all the confusion is because Phone Systems use sophisticated technology and terminology to manage communication streams efficiently. Whilst most of us understand the need for this terminology in the field of telecommunications, it can be very confusing to anyone who is new to the subject.
One of the most common questions users have when researching telephony options and phone systems is: “What does that mean?” Consequently, we thought we would put together a quick blog for anyone wanting to understand the basic, most used jargon in the telecoms industry.
If you have trouble making out what all the acronyms mean, this basic Survival Guide is for you:
Trunks or Lines… External phone lines coming into your business phone system. You need to make sure you always have enough.
ISDN2 or ISDN30… Integrated Services Digital Network is what ISDN stands for. Both ISDN2 and ISDN30 are channels offering the same functionality, the only differences being the scalability and the number of lines available.
PSTN… An external telephone line also known as an analogue line. PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network and is used for fax, broadband services or alarms.
SIP…This stands for Session Initiation Protocol. The technology is common standard used for the delivery of telephone line services using the Internet as opposed the traditional telephone network.
Extensions… Internal telephone within your own business used to answer and transfer calls. The extensions can also be used for fax machines and/or modems.
Ports… Usually refers to the number of connections that the phone system is capable of having. This combines lines and extensions.
KSU or CO… The cabinet, also known as the Key System Unit or the Central Office. This is the main box that contains internal and external routing settings.
ACD… Automatic Call Distribution a common feature that handles large numbers of incoming calls via scripts or pre-programmed sequences that distribute calls within the network.
POT or POTS… Acronym for Plain Old Telephone System, the type of network that uses landline connections to transmit sound information.
PSTN… Public Switched Telephone Network.
Key Systems… Known as key telephone systems, are the entry-level choice for small business phone systems. Each phone has buttons corresponding to the number of phone lines available.
VOIP… Voice Over Internet Protocol is a common and useful phone system type that uses the Internet to transmit sound. (your conversations or calls). VoIP Phone Systems use and benefit from traditional office phones, using an internet router and lowering costs when compared to land line calls.
PBX… Private Branch Exchange are customisable phone systems that differ from “key systems” in that users of key systems manually select their own outgoing lines, while the PBX selects the outgoing line automatically.
PABX: private automatic branch exchange
EPABX: electronic private automatic branch exchange
Hosted PBX: can work with both with Public Switched Telephone Network and/or the internet. Regardless of location, a single number can be presented for your business even if workers are connected from home with domestic phones.
To find out more about telephone systems and how they could work for you, please give us a call on 0800 50 533 50 and one of our team will be happy to help. Alternatively you can download our telephone systems buyers’ guide as useful reference material or even run a quick quote to obtain a budget cost for a new telephone system in less than 60 seconds.