Telecoms advice

World-leading communications infrastructure underpins the UK’s aim of an open digital economy that works for everyone. Communications networks are the lifeblood of the UK’s digital applications, services and solutions, and incentivising investment and innovation in this sector is a key component of this ambition.


  • ADSLStands 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.
  • Analogue LineAnalogue 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.
  • Anonymous Call RejectionThis is a feature that automatically rejects calls that are from withheld numbers. This is useful for people that often get spam or fraudulent calls or do not wish to answer anonymous traffic.
  • APStands 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.
  • Auto AttendantAn auto attendant is an interactive menu that is presented to a caller when they call your business. They’re most commonly used to direct callers to different departments, for example: Press 1 for sales, 2 for support etc.


  • BandwidthThis 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.
  • BitA 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.
  • BLFStands for busy lamp field. Each user of a phone system has their own extension. When that user is on the phone, a light can be displayed on other users phones to let them know they’re busy or on a call.
  • BroadbandBroadband is a high-speed internet connection that is always on. Broadband refers to anything above dial-up service, such as ADSL, fibre and 4G.
  • ByteA 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.


  • Call ForwardingCall 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.
  • CAT5CAT5 (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 NetworkThe 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.
  • CLIStands 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 SystemA cloud phone system is a piece of software that controls your businesses telephone calls. Cloud phone systems are off-premise and often referred to as ‘VoIP phone systems’.
  • CTIStands 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.
  • Connection ChargeA connection charge is a fee that is paid to your internet service provider in order to make a service (such as a broadband line) active. Essentially a setup cost for a line or service.


  • DDiStands 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.
  • DECTStands 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.
  • CLIStands 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 SpeedDownload 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.


  • EFMStands 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.
  • EthernetEthernet is the standard method for connecting computers using a wired connection. Ethernet connections are commonly created using CAT 5 cabling.
  • ExchangeThe 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. You can find your local exchange here.
  • ExtensionTelephone 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.


  • Fibre OpticsA 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.
  • FirewallA 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 LineA 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).
  • FTTCStands 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.
  • FTTPStands 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.


  • GigabitA 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.
  • GigabyteA gigabyte is a measure of electronic storage. A single gigabyte can store 1000 megabytes or information.
  • GpbsStands for gigabits per second. Gbps refers to the data transfer speed of a broadband connection. 1 Gbps is equal to 1000 Mbps.


  • HoldCall holding is a way for a telephone conversation to be temporarily stopped, allowing the callers line to be freed up to take another call. It prevents both parties from speaking to one another.
  • Hunt GroupA hunt group is a collection of numbers that can be configured to ring in a specific way. For example, you may want all of your the phones in your sales department to ring simultaneously, so you would have all those users in a hunt group.
  • Hosted Phone SystemA 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.
  • HTTPStands for hyper text 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.


  • ICTStands for information communication technology. ICT is the genre for all computer and telecom related studies and activities.
  • IPStands for internet protocol. IP is a standardised method for transmitting data (packets) across an internet connection.
  • IPv4IPv4 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.
  • IPv6IPv6 is the newer replacement for IPv4 addresses. Using the hexadecimal instead of numeric values, there are trillions of different combinations. An example of an IPv6 address is: 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf.
  • IP AddressAn 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 TelephonyIP telephony is essentially telephone connections that use the internet, rather than telephone lines. IP telephony is also referred to as VoIP or hosted telephony.
  • IoTStands 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.
  • ISDNStands 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.
  • IVRStands for interactive voice response. IVR allows the caller to interact with an automatic system, using either their voice or a a keypad input. IVR is most commonly used in auto attendants or voicemails.


  • Nothing just yet.We don’t have any words for J just yet. If you think of one, get in touch.


  • KilobyteA 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.


  • LANStands 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.
  • LatencyLatency (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 LineA 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.


  • M2MStands 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.
  • MbpsStands 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.
  • Mobile broadbandMobile 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.


  • NetworkA network is a series of connections between multiple devices. This can be telephone systems, computers or other technologies.
  • NGNStands 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.


  • OpenreachOpenrach 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.
  • OfcomStands for Office of Communications. Ofcom are the Government approved regulator or all communications activities in the UK. they regulate every telecom and broadband provider across the UK.


  • PBXStands 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.
  • PoEStands 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.
  • PortingPorting 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.
  • POTSStands for plain old telephone system. POTS is another way to describe a PBX telephone system or analogue telephone lines.
  • Presentation NumberA 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 (such as 0800), that is displayed to users that are called.
  • PSTNStands for public switched telephone network. The PSTN is the collective term for the entire UK network of telephone exchanges, cabinets, satellites and cables.


  • QoSStands 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.


  • RouterA 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.


  • SIPStands 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 TrunksSIP 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.
  • SLAStands 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.
  • SMSStands 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.
  • SMTPStands for simple mail transfer protocol. SMTP is the standard method for sending and receiving emails.
  • Speed dialsSpeed 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.
  • SSLStands 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 IPA 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.


  • Nothing just yet.We don’t have any words for T just yet. If you think of one, get in touch.


  • Unified CommsThe 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.
  • Upload SpeedUpload speed refers to a 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.


  • VoicemailVoicemail 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.
  • VoIPStands for voice over internet protocol. VoIP uses your broadband or internet connection to make and receive calls. It is the modern standard for telephony.
  • VoLTEStands 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.
  • VPNStands 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.


  • WANStands 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-FiStands 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.
  • Withheld NumberA withheld number is a way of anonymising your CLI. Callers can choose to withhold their number so that it is not displayed to the call recipient when they call.