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Telecoms Traders are your trusted
network equipment provider

Telco Glossary

A

ADSL- Stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line. An ADSL uses your copper telephone lines and transforms them into a digital line, essentially creating a broadband line. ADSL is slower than its replacement which is fibre optical lines.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) - "AI," or Artificial Intelligence, refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines and computer systems. It encompasses a range of technologies and techniques that enable computers to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as problem-solving, learning, reasoning, and decision-making.

Analogue Line - Analogue lines are copper cables that transmit a non-digital signal from your premises to the outside world. Traditionally, they provided both data and voice, but now they are typically only used to provide voice due to their low bandwidth capabilities. Analogue data lines were succeeded by ADSL.

AP - Stands for access point. An access point is a piece of hardware that connects devices to your WiFi network. An access point sits between your device and your WiFi controller. Often businesses have multiple AP's across their entire premises to create a seamless WiFi environment.

Asset Recovery - "Asset Recovery" in the telecoms networking industry refers to the process of reclaiming or repurposing valuable assets, such as networking hardware and equipment, that are no longer in active use. This practice aims to maximise the value of retired or surplus assets by refurbishing, reselling, or recycling them.

B

Bandwidth - This refers to the amount of data traffic that can be handled at once. Think of it as lanes on a motorway. A broadband line with more bandwidth has more lanes, and therefore can handle more data at any one time.

Bit - A bit is a unit for measuring data transfer speeds. The higher the number, the faster the data is transferred. You may be familiar with 'x megabits per second' broadband speed. Using a motorway analogy, you could consider the bits per second as the speed limit.

Broadband - Broadband is a high-speed internet connection that is always on. Broadband refers to anything above dial-up service, such as ADSL, fibre and 4G.

Byte - A byte is a measure of digital storage. Each byte is made up of 8 bits. It is the core of every electronic device and is used to store, transmit and encode information. It also happens to be what our company is named after.

C

Call Forwarding - Call forwarding is a method for automatically 'passing' calls from one number to another. When a caller ring a number, they are sent onto another one without knowing.

CAT5 - CAT5 (category 5) is a cable that uses a twisted pair of network cables to transmit data between two points. Commonly used to connect phones to phone sockets, or computers to network routers.

Cellular Network - The cellular network is the multiple masts and transmitters that make up the UK's mobile network. This network includes all technologies from GPRS to 3G, 4G and even 5G.

Circular Economy - The concept of a "Circular Economy" represents a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to resource management, particularly in the realm of telecoms networking hardware. In this model, products and materials are designed, used, and reused with a focus on minimising waste and reducing environmental impact

CLI - Stands for calling line identity. A CLI is what is presented when a caller rings up. It allows you to identify a caller before answering the call. CLI's are often referred to as 'caller ID'.

Cloud Phone System - A cloud phone system is a piece of software that controls your businesses telephone calls. Cloud phone systems are off-premises and often referred to as 'VoIP phone systems'.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) - "CSR," or Corporate Social Responsibility, is a business practice that involves companies taking ethical, social, and environmental considerations into account in their operations and interactions with stakeholders.

CTI - Stands for computer telephony integration. CTI software links your telephone system and your computer, enabling features such as click to dial, softphones, contact sharing, screen popping and more.

D

Datacentre - A "Datacentre," also spelled as "data centre" in the UK, is a centralised facility that houses computer systems, servers, storage devices, and networking equipment.

DDi - Stands for direct dial in. A DDi is a phone number that enables a caller to contact an individual within an organisation. Each DDi can be used without the need for its own line.

DECT - Stands for digital enhanced cordless telecommunications. DECT is a solution that allows the user to take a telephone call on a cordless handset. It connects the wireless handset to the base station, which is often a charging dock too. Most home phones use DECT.

CLI - Stands for calling line identity. A CLI is what is presented when a caller rings up. It allows you to identify a caller before answering the call. CLI's are often referred to as 'caller ID'.

Download Speed - Download speed is the transfer speed of your internet connection. It measures how fast data can be pulled from the internet to your computer. Just like a motorway speed limit, the faster the speed, the faster your internet connection.

E

E-Waste (Electronic Waste) - "E-waste," short for Electronic Waste, encompasses discarded electronic devices and electrical equipment that have reached the end of their usable life or are no longer in use. This category includes items such as old mobile phones, computers, televisions, and other electronic gadgets.

EFM - Stands for ethernet first mile. EFM is a pair of copper wires, bonded together in a 'pair'. Using pairs creates a higher bandwidth and built-in redundancy.

ESG - ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, is a set of criteria used to evaluate a company's ethical and sustainable business practices.

Ethernet - Ethernet is the standard method for connecting computers using a wired connection. Ethernet connections are commonly created using CAT 5 cabling.

Exchange - The telephone exchange is a large piece of hardware that controls and connects all the calls within a certain region. They're often housed in large buildings that are managed by Openreach in the UK.

Extension - Telephone extensions are 'arms' of your telephone system. They are identified by their DDi's, which a caller can use to connect to an individual extension.

F

Fibre Optics - A fibre optic cable is a type of cable used to transmit data. It uses internal light and small fibres to achieve high transmission speeds, even over long distances.

Firewall - A firewall is a piece of software or hardware (most commonly software) that sits between your network and the internet. Firewalls protect your network from hostile traffic, viruses and intrusion from unwanted parties. Most networks have a form of built-in firewall.

Fixed Line - A fixed line is a physical telephone or broadband line that connects your premises to the outside world. Whether it be voice or call traffic. Fixed lines can be fibre optics or copper wires (ISDN).

FTTC - Stands for fibre to the cabinet. FTTC is the most common form of fibre broadband. It uses a fibre optic cable to connect your nearest telephone exchange to your local green street cabinet. From there, FTTC uses copper cable to connect your premises to your cabinet.

FTTP - Stands for fibre to the premises. FTTP is similar to FTTC (above), but instead of using a copper cable to connect your premises to your local green street cabinet, it uses a fibre optic cable, providing higher broadband speeds.

G

Gigabit - A gigabit is a data transfer rate. A gigabit is equal to 1000 megabits. Most broadband speeds are not capable of gigabit transmission, however leased lines and some dedicated circuits can transmit at this speed.

Gigabyte - A gigabyte is a measure of electronic storage. A single gigabyte can store 1000 megabytes or information.

Gpbs - Stands for gigabits per second. Gbps refers to the data transfer speed of a broadband connection. 1 Gbps is equal to 1000 Mbps.

GSMA (GSM Association) - The GSMA, or GSM Association, is a global trade organisation representing mobile network operators, device manufacturers, and related companies in the telecommunications industry.

H

Hosted Phone System - A hosted telephone system is a cloud-based phone system. It controls all aspects of your businesses calls without the need for on-site hardware. Hosted phone systems are another name for VoIP or cloud phone systems.

HTTP - Stands for hypertext transfer protocol. HTTP is the standardisation used to connect a web browser (like Chrome or Internet Explorer) to webpages. HTTP also sometimes goes by HTTPS, where the S stands for secure, meaning that the connection is encrypted.

I

ICT - Stands for information communication technology. ICT is the genre for all computer and telecom related studies and activities.

IP - Stands for internet protocol. IP is a standardised method for transmitting data (packets) across an internet connection.

IPv4 - IPv4 are IP addresses that use numbers (0-255) separated by points. For example: 123.456.7.8. There are currently 4.3 billion different possible combinations of IPv4, and these are running low.

IPv6 - IPv6 is the newer replacement for IPv4 addresses. Using the hexadecimal instead of numeric values, there are trillions of different combinations.

IP Address - An IP address is a unique number that is assigned to every device with an internet connection. IP addresses allow data traffic to locate their destination.

IP Telephony - IP telephony is essentially telephone connections that use the internet, rather than telephone lines. IP telephony is also referred to as VoIP or hosted telephony.

IoT - Stands for internet of things. The IoT is a network of connected devices that talk to one another over a network. These devices require no human input to communicate. Common examples of IoT devices are Amazon echos, smart watches or sat-navs.

ISDN - Stands for integrated services digital network. ISDN is the copper connections that make up the UK's telephone and broadband network. ISDN is being replaced by fibre optic connections and is set to be turned off in 2025.

J

Juice - a delightful drink made from the extraction or pressing of the natural liquid contained in fruit or vegetables.

K

Kilobyte - A kilobyte (often shortened to KB) is a unit for measuring data storage. It is a very small unit, only equivalent to 1000 bytes of data.

L

LAN - Stands for local area network. A LAN is a series of wireless or wired internet connections that link devices together over a small geographic region. The most common example of a LAN network is a WiFi network in your office or home.

Latency - Latency (often called lag) is a measurement of delay between two connected parties. Latency can refer to both data and voice transfer. Telephone calls require a minimum of 80ms latency to work effectively.

Leased Line - A leased line is one of the fastest, most reliable forms of internet connectivity. It uses a dedicated fibre optic connection from your premises to the nearest fibre connection.

Legacy - In the context of telecoms networking, "Legacy" refers to older, existing technologies, systems, or equipment that have been in use for a significant period.

M

M2M - Stands for machine-2-machine. M2M is a form of connectivity that connects two machines using the IoT. Often used by businesses to monitor, track or control machines and devices remotely. A common use of M2M is black box telematics in cars.

Mbps - Stands for megabits per second. Mbps is the most common unit for measuring data transfer speeds of broadband connections. The higher the Mbps speed, the faster data is transferred. Most normal broadband speeds are between 18 - 70 mbps download.

Microwave - In telecoms networking, "Microwave" refers to a wireless communication technology that utilises high-frequency electromagnetic waves in the microwave spectrum.

Mini-Link - "Mini-Link" is a term commonly used in the telecoms networking industry to refer to a family of compact and versatile microwave radio solutions. These radio systems are designed for point-to-point microwave communication, offering high-capacity data transmission over short to medium distances.

Mobile broadband - Mobile broadband is a form of internet connectivity that uses cellular mobile data, rather than a fixed line. Commonly referred to as 4G WiFi. Mobile broadband requires a data SIM and a specially designed 4G router.

MPSL (Managed Private Secure Line) - "MPSL," which stands for Managed Private Secure Line, is a specialised telecoms networking service that provides secure and dedicated communication links for businesses and organisations. This service offers a private and encrypted connection, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of data transmission.

Multi-Vendor - Multi-Vendor" is a term in the telecoms networking industry that refers to the practice of using equipment and solutions from multiple different manufacturers within a single network or infrastructure. This approach allows telecom companies to select the best-suited products for their specific needs, promoting flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in.

N

Network - A network is a series of connections between multiple devices. This can be telephone systems, computers or other technologies.

NGN - Stands for non-geographic number. NGN's are used for businesses with a national or international presence. These numbers do not have a location-specific dial code. Common examples are 08 and 03 numbers.

O

Openreach - Openrach is the UK's network provider, and is a brach of BT. Openreach are in charge of installing and maintaining the ducts, cables, street cabinets, telephone exchanges and network hardware of the UK's broadband and telephone network.

Optical Fiber - Optical Fiber is a high-speed telecommunications transmission medium that utilises the principles of total internal reflection to carry data in the form of light pulses.

Optical Switch - A switch that enables signals in optical fibers or integrated optical circuits (IOCs) to be selectively switched from one circuit to another.

P

PBX - Stands for private branch exchange. A PBX is another name for a telephone system. PBX's are commonly physical bits of hardware that sit in your office and control your calls. However PBX's are increasingly moving to the cloud. Sometimes a PBX is called a PABX, where the a stands for automated.

PoE - Stands for power over ethernet. PoE is a method for supplying power to a device using its ethernet connection, rather than a dedicated power supply. It is commonly used to power access points in a WiFi system.

Porting - Porting is the act of moving a telephone number from one telecoms provider to another. Porting a number allows you to retain your existing telephone number when upgrading your telephone system.

POTS - Stands for plain old telephone system. POTS is another way to describe a PBX telephone system or analogue telephone lines.

Presentation Number - A presentation number is the telephone number that is displayed when a business calls you. It allows businesses to 'mask' their geographic location using a non-geographic number that is displayed to users that are called.

PSTN - Stands for public switched telephone network. The PSTN is the collective term for the entire UK network of telephone exchanges, cabinets, satellites, and cables.

Q

QoS - Stands for quality of service. QoS is a way of prioritising specific network traffic (for example, prioritising voice over data), to ensure that the quality of service is maintained.

R

Recycling - "Recycling" is an essential process within the telecoms networking industry that involves collecting, reprocessing, and reusing materials and equipment to reduce waste and conserve resources.

Router - A router is a device that points information to the correct destination on the internet. It acts as a gateway between your device and the internet.

Refurbished Telecoms - Refurbished telecoms, also known as reconditioned telecommunications equipment, refers to the process of restoring and renewing used telecommunications networking hardware to a like-new condition.

S

SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) - SDH, which stands for Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, is a standard for high-speed telecommunications network transmission.

SIP - Stands for session initiation protocol. SIP is a standard method for transferring voice signals over a broadband connection. It is a direct replacement for telephone lines.

SIP Trunks - SIP trunks are virtual telephone lines. They run on top of your existing broadband connection and provide your business with the ability to make and receive voice calls.

SLA - Stands for service level agreement. An SLA is used in contracts to define the level of service in full. SLAs are commonly used to define delivery times of a service.

SMS - Stands for short messaging service. SMS is another word for text messages. It is the standardised service for sending and receiving text messages over a cellular data connection.

SMTP - Stands for simple mail transfer protocol. SMTP is the standard method for sending and receiving emails.

SONET - SONET, short for Synchronous Optical Networking, is a standardised technology used in telecommunications networks for high-speed and reliable data transmission.

Speed dials - Speed dials are pre-programmed telephone numbers that can be dialled with the push of a button. It allows a caller to quickly call commonly used numbers.

SPMS (Spare Parts Management Service) - A "Spare Parts Management Service" is a specialised offering in the telecoms networking industry that focuses on efficiently handling and maintaining an inventory of spare parts and components for telecommunications equipment. This service ensures that telecom companies have access to essential replacement parts when needed, reducing downtime and service interruptions.

SSL - Stands for secure sockets layer. An SSL certificate is a document used to verify ownership of a public key. Often, these are used in websites to verify a secure connection between the server and the browser.

Static IP - A static IP is an IP address that is does not change. It is permanent and always points to the same location within the internet. Static IPs are most commonly used on websites and servers.

STM (Synchronous Transport Module) - STM is a fundamental unit of data transmission used in telecoms networking. It standardizes the transport of digital signals and data across high-capacity networks. STM defines various bit rates, with each level denoted by a number, such as STM-1, STM-4, or STM-16, representing increasing data rates.

Supply Chain - A "Supply Chain" is a complex network of organisations, processes, and activities involved in the production, procurement, distribution, and delivery of goods or services to end customers.

Sustainability - "Sustainability" in the context of the telecoms networking industry refers to the practice of conducting business and deploying technology in a way that meets the current needs of the industry while preserving and enhancing the well-being of future generations.

T

Telecommunications - Any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writing, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other.

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TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) - TDM, or Time Division Multiplexing, is a telecommunications technique used to transmit multiple signals or data streams over a single communication channel by allocating specific time slots to each.

Transmission - In the realm of telecoms networking, "Transmission" refers to the crucial process of sending data, voice, or multimedia signals from one point to another within a telecommunications network. This transfer of information can occur through various means, including wired technologies like optical fibres and copper cables, as well as wireless methods such as radio waves and microwaves.

U

Unified Comms - The term unified comms is used to refer to any telecommunications solution that works across multiple devices or locations. Most modern telephone systems are a form of unified communications.

Uplink (U/L) - The portion of a communications link used for the transmission of signals from an Earth terminal to a satellite or to an airborne platform.

Upload Speed - Upload speed refers to the speed at which data packets can be sent to a server via a broadband line. Upload speeds are commonly measured in megabits per second. The faster the speed, the faster you can send data.

V

Voicemail - Voicemail is essentially the same as an email inbox, but for telephone calls. If a caller cannot get through to your phone, then they can leave an audio recording in your voicemail inbox, which can be listened back to at a later date.

VoIP - Stands for voice over internet protocol. VoIP uses your broadband or internet connection to make and receive calls. It is the modern standard for telephony.

VoLTE - Stands for voice over LTE. LTE is the UK's network of cellular 4G connectivity. VoLTE is similar to VoIP, but uses your mobile data connection to make and receive calls.

VPN - Stands for virtual private network. A VPN is a method for connection privately using a public network. VPN's use encryptions and authentication to provide these private 'tunnels' between two devices.

W

WAN - Stands for wide area network. A wan is a series of connections between different devices that spans a large geographic area (often globally). The world wide web is a common example of a WAN.

Wi-Fi - Stands for wireless fidelity. WiFi is the transmission of data packets wirelessly to a device. Most devices use WiFi to connect to the internet via either a router or access point.

WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) - A "WISP," which stands for Wireless Internet Service Provider, is a telecoms networking company that delivers high-speed internet access to customers using wireless technology instead of traditional wired connections. WISPs use a variety of wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi, fixed wireless, or satellite communication, to provide internet services to both urban and rural areas.

WWW (World Wide Web) - An international, virtual-network-based information service composed of Internet host computers that provide on-line information in a specific hypertext format. WWW servers provide hypertext metalanguage (HTML) formatted documents using the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).

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