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Feature / Service Explanation
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL transforms the existing twisted copper pairs between the telephone exchange and the telephone socket into a high-speed digital line, allowing broadband access. ADSL delivers fast download speeds but slow upload speed.
ADSL2+ ADSL2+ extends the capability of basic ADSL by doubling the number of downstream bits. The data rates can be as high as 24 Mbit/s downstream and up to 1.4 Mbit/s upstream depending on the distance from the DSLAM to the customer's premises.
Analogue Line Analogue lines are the original lines used for making telephone calls. It commonly refers to a single line from your house / office to the point at which the line connects to the main telephone network (PSTN).
Anonymous Call Rejection Rejects calls where the caller withholds their number.
Answer 1571 Takes messages for you when you are unavailable or your line is engaged.
Audio Concerencing A conference call is a telephone call in which the calling party wishes to have more than one called party listen in to the audio portion of the call. The conference calls may be designed to allow the called party to participate during the call, or the call may be set up so that the called party merely listens into the call and cannot speak. It is often referred to as an ATC (Audio Tele-Conference).
Auto Attendant An automated system designed to guide a caller through the options of a voice menu. Typically set to answer and route incoming calls.
Bandwidth The capacity of a telecom line to carry signals. The necessary bandwidth is the amount of spectrum required to transmit the signal without distortion or loss of information. FCC rules require suppression of the signal outside the band to prevent interference.
Bar Use of Call Return Means callers to your number cannot use the Call Return option, i.e. pressing 5 if you are engaged so that it calls them back.
BRI Basic Rate Interface. Basic ISDN service level that consists of two 64 Kbps B (bearer) channels that carry voice, data, and video along with one 16 Kbps D (delta) channel for signalling between telephone company switches and for carrying user-network messages. Also see ISDN.
Broadband A term used to describe fast Internet access. Wide bandwidth which can be either ADSL or SDSL. ADSL can suffer from vast bandwidth changes (see also Contention Ratio).
Call Barring Stops certain calls being made from your phone.
Call Deflection Enables incoming calls to be identified and then forwarded to another destination before answering the call. Alternatively, incoming calls can be automatically forwarded to selected destinations dependent on their calling line identity.
Call Diversion Allows you to divert calls to almost any phone, anywhere in the UK, most overseas destinations or a mobile phone.
Call Forwarding Automatically transfers incoming calls to a different location, e.g. if moved to a different exchange area. Can either be admin provided or customer controlled.
Call Hold A service feature that enables a user to retain an existing call, while accepting or originating another call using the same handset or phone device. The held call is tied to the handset that placed the call on hold and, therefore, can only be taken out of hold from the same handset.
Call Minder Like Answer 1571, with the additional advantage of remote access and the option of having personalised messages.
Call Park This service feature allows a user to place an active call on hold at one telephone handset and then retrieve the call, from any other handset within the same phone network. The call is effectively placed in a parking bay and is allocated a parking bay number, e.g. 101. Users can then pick up another handset on the same network and type in the bay number to retrieve the held call.
Call Return A service that will call your phone to let you know when an engaged number becomes free. Normally activated by pressing 5 when you reach an engaged number.
Call Sign Allows you to distinguish between incoming calls on the same line.
Call Transfer A service feature that allows a user to place a call on hold whilst, simultaneously, transferring the call to another destination. The destination can typically be both an internal or external telephone.
Call Waiting Tells you if someone is trying to call when you are already on the phone.
Caller Display Displays the number calling you.
Caller Redirect A recorded announcement on a ceased line advising the caller of the new number to dial. This is a chargeable service.
Calling Line Identity Presentation (CLIP) Lets you see the number of the person calling before you pick up the phone, enabling you to greet the caller in an appropriate manner.
Calling Line Identity Restriction (CLIR) This prevents your directory number from being released at any time. It is useful if you do not want people to call you back, i.e. if are running an outbound telemarketing campaign.
Choose To Refuse Enables you to bar the telephone number of the last answered incoming call.
CoLo Colocation is often used in the data sourcing industry to mean off-site data storage, usually in a data center. This is very important for businesses since the loss of data can be crucial for companies of any size.
Connected Line Identity Presentation (COLP) Allows you to see the number of the line that you have been connected to.
Connected Line Identity Restriction (COLR) Means callers to your number cannot use the Call Return option, i.e. pressing 5 if you are engaged so that it calls them back.
Contention Ratio This term is used to describe the number of individual broadband customers connecting to a single Internet node at the local public exchange. High contention ratios will cause vast speed differences depending on time of day and number local users on line. Beware of busy periods, e.g. morning office hours and when people get home from work and log on.
Convergence In recent years, changes in technology have meant that many businesses can now run both voice and data over the same local area network, thereby causing them to converge. Cost savings are one benefit of convergence but far more importantly there are significant productivity and efficiency gains to be achieved. VoIP, IP Telephony, Unified Messaging etc. all come under the convergence umbrella.
Data Centre A data centre is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g. air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.
Data Networks An electronic communications process that allows for the orderly transmission and receipt of data. A data network is configured to transmit data only and provides transparent, symmetrical and un-contended or contended (5:1) bandwidth between two Ethernet ports in point-to-point, point-to-multipoint or meshed configurations.
DDI Direct Dial Inbound - This allows users to rent individual phone numbers without the need to rent individual lines. DDIs are mapped onto specific ISDN lines and the PBX is then programmed to direct the incoming DDI call to the specific extension or hunt group as required. Customers can rent a large volume of DDIs whilst benefiting from renting an optimum number of lines based on required usage.
DEL Direct Exchange Line.
Directory Enquiries Only (DQR) Not in the BT Phone Book, but is held on Directory Enquiries (118 services).
EFM Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM), also known as IEEE 802.3ah, is a collection of protocols specified in IEEE 802.3, defining the Ethernet in the access networks, i.e. first or last mile. With wide, metro and local area networks already standardised, EFM allows continuous standard Ethernet network across the globe, eliminating non-native transport such as Ethernet over ATM from the access networks.
Ethernet A very common method of networking computers in a local area network. An Ethernet describes the physical network that carries data traffic.
Ex Directory - Calls Offered (XDCO) Not in the BT Phone Book and not disclosed by Directory Enquiries. The operator will offer to call the customer for persistent enquiries. Please note that this is a chargeable service.
Ex Directory - No Calls Offered (XDNC) Not in the BT Phone Book or held on Directory Enquiries.
Exchange Line In the UK we call lines that connect to the network provider exchange lines.
Featureline This is a BT specific service running over PSTN. Designed for small companies (typically max 3 users) it is a dated product that provides limited basic PBX functionality requiring one dedicated phone line per user. Featureline is not considered to be cost effective for 4 or more users.
Geographic Numbers A geographic number is a telephone number, from a range of numbers in the United Kingdom National Telephone Numbering Plan, where part of its digit structure contains geographic significance used for routing calls to the physical location of the network termination point of the subscriber to whom the telephone number has been assigned, or where the network termination point does not relate to the geographic area code but where the tariffing remains consistent with that geographic area code.
Hosted Telephony An IP based phone system that is hosted in a data centre. Customer sites connect to the hosted phone system via an Internet connection that is generally either ADSL or SDSL but can be a leased line. Customer communication profiles are configured via a simple web based portal and individual users can control their own phone profile from any Internet connection with ease. Hosted Telephony is particularly beneficial for companies with two or more sites and can be used internationally. The quality of the Internet connection is critically important and it is recommended to keep the voice and data on separate internet connections.
Hunt Group Multiple phones allocated to a single DDI or extension number, thereby enabling an inbound call to be answered from any phone, within the allocated group of phones, i.e. accounts or sales department etc. Inbound calls can be configured to hunt from one phone to another until answered, or to be broadcast across all phones in the group simultaneously, so they all ring at once.
ICT Information and Communication Technology. Equipment such as computers, the Internet, CD-ROMs and other software.
IP Internet Protocol. A standardised method of transporting information across the Internet in packets of data. It is often linked to Transmission Control Protocol, which assembles the packets once they have been delivered to the intended location.
IP Telephony Using Internet Protocol as a method of carrying voice calls. With IP, voice communications (in the form of IP packets) are routed directly from the origin to destination devices.
IP VPN A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure such as the Internet to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organisation's network. It aims to avoid an expensive system of owned or leased lines that can be used by only one organisation. It encapsulates data transfers between two or more networked devices which are not on the same private network so as to keep the transferred data private from other devices on one or more intervening local or wide area networks. There are many different classifications, implementations, and uses for VPNs.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. Digital telephony service that gives better call quality, quicker connection times and DDI facilities. ISDN is generally provided to connect to a customer’s PBX. ISDN can also be used in radio and was historically used for faster Internet connection before the advent of broadband.
ISDN2e Provided in pairs, i.e. 2 channels / lines per ISDN2e. The majority of customers would get a maximum of 4 pairs before moving up to ISDN30e. The 'e' stands for the European standard.
ISDN30e Provided over one large circuit (bearer / pipe) either as copper or in many cases fibre optic. The minimum number of channels / lines one can have is 8 moving up to 30. Larger organisations can rent multiple ISDN30e circuits should they require more lines. The 'e' stands for the European standard.
LAN Local Area Network. Data network that connects computers, servers, printers etc. together, generally within one physical location.
Leased Line Dedicated private Internet access circuit. Provides secure, fast and unrivalled internet access.
MPLS Multi Protocol Label Switching. A flexible and cost effective way of providing a WAN.
No Directory Entry Required (NQR) No directory entry is made, this option is usually only available for lines connected to alarm systems, modems etc.
Non Geographic Numbers Non-geographic numbers (NGNs) are telephone numbers available for private sale which, rather than being assigned to a particular telephone line or circuit, provide callers with a contact number which gives no indication as to the geographical location of the line being called. The owner of the number can retarget the NGN to any other telephone number including mobile, international and even other NGNs at any time therefore enabling them to take their calls on the move or at various locations at different times or simultaneously.
Ordinary (O) Directory entry held in the BT Phone Book and from Directory Enquiries (118 services).
PBX / PABX Public (Automated) Branch Exchange / Switchboard / Phone System.
POTS Plain Old Telephone Service. See PSTN.
Presentation Number Enables the option of masking the main outbound number of a telephone line with a different number. This option is useful for call centres or companies that are located in obscure locations and do not want end users to know their physical location or if they want to present a non-geographic number to the customers they are calling. For example, a company has a simple 0207 number but they want an 0845 number to be displayed to every end user that they call.
PRI Primary Rate Interface. See ISDN30e.
Prompt Care (Level 2) Operates during normal working hours (08:00 - 17:00, Monday to Saturday excluding public and bank holidays). If the fault is reported during normal working hours or on a Saturday between 08:00 and 17:00, BT will respond within 4 working hours of receipt of the report. If the report is received outside the specified hours then it will be treated as if it has been reported at the beginning of the next working day.
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network. This is the standard telephone service provided over basic analogue phone lines.
Pulse Metering Sends 50Hz pulses to customers’ lines to indicate units of charge. Commonly used in hotel environments.
Reminder Call Pre-configured alarm calls through your phone.
Remote Call Forwarding (RCF) A method for forwarding calls made to a ceased line to a new number, without the caller being aware that the call has been forwarded. There is normally a set up cost and monthly charge for this service. In addition the owner of the line has to pay the cost of the forwarded part of the call, as well as the exchange line rental for the ceased line. This is because the number of the ceased line cannot be reallocated to another user whilst RCF is in effect.
Ring Back A service that will call your phone to let you know when an engaged number becomes free. Normally activated by pressing 5 when you reach an engaged number.
Router A device (or in some cases, software on a computer) that directs IP packets to the next point toward their destination.
SDSL Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. The same as ASDL but provides the same speed / bandwidth in both directions. Useful for companies needing to upload high bandwidth packets quickly. Often a common requirement with VoIP networks.
SLA Service Level Agreement - Part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. In practice, the term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service) or performance.
Smart Divert Call divert with remote access.
SMS Services Short Message Service (SMS) is the text communication service component of phone, web or mobile communication systems, using standardised communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The standard Internet protocol for transferring electronic mail from one computer or server to another.
Standard Care (Level 1) Operates during normal working hours (08:00 - 17:00, Monday to Friday excluding public and bank holidays). The service level is to attend faults by the end of the working day following the day on which they are reported.
Sub Addressing (20 Octet) This service allows calling parties to send up to 20 alphanumeric characters (except #) with the digits of the number they are dialling. Different combinations of characters can then be allocated to each device connected to a called ISDN30e line. The characters sent would depend which piece of equipment is accessed, i.e. the phone will ring, access will be gained to PC, etc. Terminal equipment must have the capability to send and or receive sub addresses to use this service.
Three Way Calling Allows you talk to two people at the same time - even if one of them is abroad.
Total Care (Level 3) Operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. BT will respond within 4 hours of receipt of a fault report.
Unified Messaging Enables you to access voice, fax, and text messages via one single email or telephone account.
VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol - Voice translated into data packets and transmitted across an Internet connection or network, just like any other file or email you might send. Upon reaching the other end, data is transformed back into its original form and emerges like a regular phone call. VoIP is critically dependent upon the speed of the packets across the internet and the correct assembly order once they arrive at their destination.
VPN Virtual Private Network - A way of creating a private communications network over a public network (commonly the Internet) using secure protocols.
WAN Wide Area Network - Connects multiple local area networks together, typically via VPN over ADSL or Leased Lines.
WLR3 Wholesale Line Rental 3 - The line provision and faults facility for the 21st Century. The many benefits of WLR3 put you in full control of your product, with better fault handling, appointment scheduling and the transfer of lines.
 


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