VOIP Business Phone Three Letter Acronyms
Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is a highly visible technology that’s poised to become the dominant form of telephony for businesses. The increasing amount of customization and vendors available to prospective VoIP users translates into more options, greater savings, and in turn, increased profits. Jupiter Research predicts the market for mobile VoIP customers alone will reach one billion by the year 2017.
Much like any other quickly growing technology domain, VoIP carries its fair share of hype, unsubstantiated myths, and acronyms. Many modes of quality measurement and related technologies are commonly abbreviated by VoIP experts, which can lead to confusion for prospective customers and new enthusiasts. If you’re considering a move to VoIP, we’ll demystify 10 of the most common acronyms FYI (for your information).
A public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the mode of technology that supports plain old telephones. This describes the circuit-switched network supported by traditional telephone vendors, which are components of the global analogue telephone network. First-time VoIP buyers are moving away from the use of PSTN in their businesses.
An integrated services digital network (ISDN) is another means of transmitting voice over a private branch exchange (PBX), similar to VoIP. This alternative is older, and relies on the use of telephone copper wire. Technologist Margaret Rouse writes that ISDN is far less popular in areas where DSL and cable modem are service options.
A PBX is a telephone system that switches voice calls between a dedicated number of external phone lines. This is considered a more efficient method of managing organizational telephony than a dedicated line for each potential phone user within an enterprise. PBXs are owned and managed by the enterprise, instead of a phone service provider.
Session initiation protocol (SIP) is a call setup protocol that operates at the application level. SIP works to route and initiate calls within a VoIP environment, and is a separate part of the process from the data transfer associated with voice calls in-progress. SIP can also be used for other forms of data transmission, including Internet, streaming, and broadcast.
An analog telephone adapter (ATA) converts analog voice signals to a digital form. Once this conversion is complete, the digital form of voice signals is prepared for transmission over an IP.
Mean opinion score (MoS) is one of the most common ways to measure VoIP call quality, which can be used to objectively quantify end user satisfaction or compare prospective VoIP vendors. Users participating in MoS scoring will listen to a number of calls, which are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Scores are averaged across participants.
MoS testing can be managed in multiple ways, to measure conversational quality (MoS-CQ) or mean opinion score of listening quality (MoS-LQ). This measurement doesn’t account for echo and other factors that could be present in a bi-directional call.
Quality of experience (QoE) measures how well a network satisfies end user requirements. It accounts for more than just voice call quality, also examining application performance and related factors.
Quality of service (QoS) measures network performance. It analyzes technical factors, such as dropped calls or factors that can interfere with successful call placement, to determine whether there is room for improvement from a network perspective.
Local number portability (LNP) is a term used both in the VoIP realm and in that of traditional telecommunications. It refers to a user’s ability to retain (or port) his or her number when switching service providers.
While these 10 acronyms aren’t all of the commonly used abbreviations in the world of VoIP, they provide a basic understanding of some frequently used terms to measure quality, performance, and more.