Home :: Glossary of VoIP Industry Terms

Glossary of VoIP Industry Terms

Glossary of VoIP Industry Terms


ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line: Modems attached to twisted pair copper wiring that transmit from 1.5 Mbps to 9 Mbps downstream (to the subscriber) and from 16 kbps to 800 kbps upstream, depending on line distance.

AGC Automatic Gain Control is an electronic system found in many types of devices. Its purpose is to control the gain of a system in order to maintain some measure of performance over a changing range of real world conditions.

ARP Address Resolution Protocol is a protocol used by the Internet Protocol (IP) [RFC826], specifically IPv4, to map IP network addresses to the hardware addresses used by a data link protocol. The protocol operates below the network layer as a part of the interface between the OSI network and OSI link layer. It is used when IPv4 is used over Ethernet.

ATA Analog Telephone Adapter. Used to convert analog telephone signal in order to use a VoIP data network.


CODEC Abbreviation for Coder-Decoder. It's an analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converter for translating the signals from the outside world to digital, and back again.

CNG Comfort Noise Generator, generate artificial background noise used in radio and wireless communications to fill the silent time in a transmission resulting from voice activity detection.


DATAGRAM A data packet carrying its own address information so it can be independently routed from its source to the destination computer.

DECIMATE To discard portions of a signal in order to reduce the amount of information to be encoded or compressed. Lossy compression algorithms ordinarily decimate while sub-sampling.

DECT Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications: A standard developed by the European Telecommunication Standard Institute from 1988, governing pan-European digital mobile telephony. DECT covers wireless PBXs, telepoint, residential cordless telephones, wireless access to the public switched telephone network, Closed User Groups (CUGs), Local Area Networks, and wireless local loop. The DECT Common Interface radio standard is a multi-carrier time division multiple access, time division duplex (MC-TDMA-TDD) radio transmission technique using ten radio frequency channels from 1880 to 1930 MHz, each divided into 24 time slots of 10ms, and twelve full-duplex accesses per carrier, for a total of 120 possible combinations. A DECT base station (an RFP, Radio Fixed Part) can transmit all 12 possible accesses (time slots) simultaneously by using different frequencies or using only one frequency. All signaling information is transmitted from the RFP within a multi-frame (16 frames). Voice signals are digitally encoded into a 32 Kbit/s signal using Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation.

DHCP The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is an Internet protocol for automating the configuration of computers that use TCP/IP. DHCP can be used to automatically assign IP addresses, to deliver TCP/IP stack configuration parameters such as the subnet mask and default router, and to provide other configuration information such as the addresses for printer, time and news servers.

DID Direct Inward Dialing. The ability for an outside caller to dial to a PBX extension without going through an attendant or auto-attendant.

DNS Short for Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses.

DSP Digital Signal Processor. A specialized CPU used for digital signal processing. Grandstream products all have DSP chips built inside.

DTMF Dual Tone Multi Frequency. The standard tone-pairs used on telephone terminals for dialing using in-band signaling. The standards define 16 tone-pairs (0-9, #, * and A-F) although most terminals support only 12 of them (0-9, * and #).


ECHO CANCELLATION Echo Cancellation is used in telephony to describe the process of removing echo from a voice communication in order to improve voice quality on a telephone call. In addition to improving quality, this process improves bandwidth savings achieved through silence suppression by preventing echo from traveling across a network. There are two types of echo of relevance in telephony: acoustic echo and hybrid echo. Speech compression techniques and digital processing delay often contribute to echo generation in telephone networks.


FQDN Fully Qualified Domain Name. A FQDN consists of a host and domain name, including top-level domain. For example, www.grandstream.com is a fully qualified domain name. www is the host, Grandstream is the second-level domain, and and.com is the top level domain.

FXO Foreign eXchange Office. An FXO device can be an analog phone, answering machine, fax, or anything that handles a call from the telephone company like AT&T. They should also operate the same way when connected to an FXS interface.

  • An FXO interface will accept calls from FXS or PSTN interfaces. All countries and regions have their own standards.

  • FXO is complimentary to FXS (and the PSTN).

FXS Foreign eXchange Station. An FXS device has hardware to generate the ring signal to the FXO extension (usually an analog phone).

  • An FXS device will allow any FXO device to operate as if it were connected to the phone company. This makes your PBX the POTS+PSTN for the phone.

  • The FXS Interface connects to FXO devices (by an FXO interface, of course).


H.323 A suite of standards for multimedia conferences on traditional packet-switched networks.

HTTP Hyper Text Transfer Protocol; the World Wide Web protocol that performs the request and retrieve functions of a server.


IP Internet Protocol. A packet-based protocol for delivering data across networks.

IP-PBX IP-based Private Branch Exchange.

IP Telephony (Internet Protocol telephony, also known as Voice over IP Telephony) A general term for the technologies that use the Internet Protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over the dedicated circuit-switched connections of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The basic steps involved in originating an IP Telephony call are conversion of the analog voice signal to digital format and compression/translation of the signal into Internet protocol (IP) packets for transmission over the Internet or other packet-switched networks; the process is reversed at the receiving end. The terms IP Telephony and Internet Telephony are often used to mean the same; however, they are not 100 per cent interchangeable, since Internet is only a subcase of packet-switched networks. For users who have free or fixed-price Internet access, IP Telephony software essentially provides free telephone calls anywhere in the world. However, the challenge of IP Telephony is maintaining the quality of service expected by subscribers. Session border controllers resolve this issue by providing quality assurance comparable to legacy telephone systems.

IVR IVR is a software application that accepts a combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selection and provides appropriate responses in the form of voice, fax, callback, e-mail and perhaps other media.


MTU A Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) is the largest size packet or frame, specified in octets (eight-bit bytes), that can be sent in a packet- or frame-based network such as the Internet. The maximum for Ethernet is 1500 byte.


NAT Network Address Translation.

NTP Network Time Protocol, a protocol to exchange and synchronize time over networks The port used is UDP 123 Grandstream products using NTP to get time from Internet.


OBP/SBC Outbound Proxy or another name Session Border Controller. A device used in VoIP networks. OBP/SBCs are put into the signaling and media path between calling and called party. The OBP/SBC acts as if it was the called VoIP phone and places a second call to the called party. The effect of this behavior is that not only the signaling traffic, but also the media traffic (voice, video etc) crosses the OBP/SBC. Without an OBP/SBC, the media traffic travels directly between the VoIP phones. Private OBP/SBCs are used along with firewalls to enable VoIP calls to and from a protected enterprise network. Public VoIP service providers use OBP/SBCs to allow the use of VoIP protocols from private networks with internet connections using NAT.


PPPoE Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet is a network protocol for encapsulating PPP frames in Ethernet frames. It is used mainly with cable modem and DSL services.

PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network. The phone service we use for every ordinary phone call, or called POT (Plain Old Telephone), or circuit switched network.


RTCP Real-time Transport Control Protocol, defined in RFC 3550, a sister protocol of the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), It partners RTP in the delivery and packaging of multimedia data, but does not transport any data itself. It is used periodically to transmit control packets to participants in a streaming multimedia session. The primary function of RTCP is to provide feedback on the quality of service being provided by RTP.

RTP Real-time Transport Protocol defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over the Internet. It was developed by the Audio-Video Transport Working Group of the IETF and first published in 1996 as RFC 1889.


SDP Session Description Protocol is a format for describing streaming media initialization parameters. It has been published by the IETF as RFC 2327.
SIP Session Initiation Protocol, An IP telephony signaling protocol developed by the IETF (RFC3261). SIP is a text-based protocol suitable for integrated voice-data applications. SIP is designed for voice transmission and uses fewer resources and is considerably less complex than H.323. All Grandstream products are SIP based

STUN Simple Traversal of UDP over NATs is a network protocol allowing clients behind NAT (or multiple NATs) to find out its public address, the type of NAT it is behind and the internet side port associated by the NAT with a particular local port. This information is used to set up UDP communication between two hosts that are both behind NAT routers. The protocol is defined in RFC 3489. STUN will usually work well with non-symmetric NAT routers.
TCP Transmission Control Protocol is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite. Using TCP, applications on networked hosts can create connections to one another, over which they can exchange data or packets. The protocol guarantees reliable and in-order delivery of sender to receiver data.


TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol, is a very simple file transfer protocol, with the functionality of a very basic form of FTP; It uses UDP (port 69) as its transport protocol.


UDP User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite. Using UDP, programs on networked computers can send short messages known as datagrams to one another. UDP does not provide the reliability and ordering guarantees that TCP does; datagrams may arrive out of order or go missing without notice. However, as a result, UDP is faster and more efficient for many lightweight or time-sensitive purposes.


VAD Voice Activity Detection or Voice Activity Detector is an algorithm used in speech processing wherein, the presence or absence of human speech is detected from the audio samples.

VLAN A virtual LAN, known as a VLAN, is a logically-independent network. Several VLANs can co-exist on a single physical switch. It is usually refer to the IEEE 802.1Q tagging protocol.

VoIP Voice over the Internet. VoIP encompasses many protocols. All the protocols do some form of signaling of call capabilities and transport of voice data from one point to another. e.g.: SIP, H.323, etc.


We Ship USA &  Canada APO/FPO Addresses

For urgent orders please call 877-255-6822


Questions? Give us a call! 877.255.6822 (877-ALLNTCA) Canada

Depot Warranty | Certification & Training | Installations | Register for Access | Repairs | Tech Supports | Leasing | Sell Equipment | RSS Headline

MasterCard & American Express & Discover & Visa & PayPal & Google Checkout

Copyright 2004-2013, ALLNT.CA