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Telecoms explained: what does it all mean?

Telecoms is something that we encounter and benefit from every day. It connects us to the rest of the world, making it essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Yet despite this fact, many people are still confused about the terminology surrounding telecommunications.

A lot of jargon is involved, which is why we decided to put together a handy guide to decode the terms that you may need to know. These include some of the products that are available on the market, and the features you should be considering when choosing a telecoms solution for your business…

Telephony terms

PBX (Private Branch Exchange): This is a private multi-line telephone system used by organizations for internal and external calls. It enables users within a business to make and receive calls through a range of communication channels, including VOIP, and more traditional IP, ISDN and analog systems.

Hosted telephony: This is also sometimes referred to as cloud telephony or hosted VOIP, and provides an affordable, and quick to install solution for small-to-medium sized businesses. It delivers telephone communications over the internet, with the PBX being hosted in The Cloud.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol): This technology enables you to make and receive telephone calls over your existing internet connection. Because you can simply plug in your VOIP phone to make calls from any location, VOIP is a great option for businesses with remote workers and multiple premises.

Call Forwarding: This is a useful feature included in many modern business telephone systems. As the name suggests, users are given the ability to easily divert their incoming calls to another location. This includes internal and external numbers, and landline and cellular numbers.

Virtual Number: A virtual number, access number or inward dialling (DID) number is used to route calls to a users’ desired location (such as their business phone system or a cell phone). Virtual numbers can make smaller businesses seem more professional, and be geographical or toll-free.

Internet connectivity terms

Bandwidth: This term is used to measure the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time over an internet connection or computer network. It is a misconception that bandwidth is used as a measure of speed. Instead, it is the amount of data that can be sent and received at one time.

Broadband: Broadband is seen as the ‘standard’ way to connect to the internet, and it can be delivered via cable, satellite, mobile, fiber optics and ADSL. ADSL is the most popular for business broadband as provides a reliable connection. Broadband can also offer high speeds at a low cost.

Fiber Internet: Fiber internet is a type of broadband that is delivered via fiber optic lines. Because the information is sent through light signals and ultra-thin cables, it provides faster speeds than traditional broadband. It also boasts great coverage, while still being very cost-effective for businesses.

Ethernet: This is the traditional technology for connecting computers together in a local area network (LAN). A LAN is where computers are connected in a physical space (such as an office). Ethernet is the fastest types of commercial internet that’s currently available.

Download Speed: Downloading refers to the process of transferring data from the internet to a device (such as a computer). Therefore, download speed is the rate in which this data is transferred from the internet to a user’s computer.

Upload Speed: Alternatively, upload speed refers to the process of transferring data from a computer to the internet, and upload speed is the rate in which this data is transferred to the internet. Typically, the download speed will be greater than the upload speed.

Other telecoms terms

The Cloud: The Cloud is used to refer to cloud computing as a whole, which is where information (such as documents and programs) are stored online, and made accessible to internet users no matter their location. Cloud networks can be private (only accessible to those within an organization) or public.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): An SLA is vital for telecoms customers, as it is the agreement between a customer and a service provider that specifies the standard in which their services will be delivered. This is particularly in regards to downtime and interruptions.

Ready to invest in or upgrade your existing telecoms solutions or simply want to find out more about what’s currently available on the market? Get in touch with TelcoCompare for your free quote; we’ll compare the best deals for you, so you don’t have to.

July 2, 2019