IP telephony is a hot topic right now because of the upcoming changes to the way telecommunications is delivered here in the UK. One of the biggest challenges that businesses face is understanding what IP Telephony is, the upcoming changes and all the associated terminology.
There are many different terms and phrases that relate to IP telephony which can have similar meanings and can be renamed depending on the supplier’s preference. This can make it very difficult to understand.
To make IP telephony easier to digest, we’ve created a glossary of terms for you that can help you make more informed decisions when migrating into the world of internet telephony.
- Cloud/Unified Communications
- DECT – Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
- Hosted Solution/Hosted VoIP
- IP – Internet Protocol
- ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network
- On-Premises (On-Prem) Solution
- PBX – Private Branch Exchange
- PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network
- SIP – Session Initiation Protocol
- SIP Trunking
- Soft Client
- VoIP – Voice-over Internet Protocol
The combined use of multiple internet-based communication methods within a business. These methods are often integrated and include voice, email, chat, conferencing, video and more. Unified Communications can be referred to as UC.
DECT is a worldwide standard that allows one or more portable, cordless phones to be connected to a base station. For example, Yealink offer DECT handsets which we can offer with our hosted solution.
A hosted solution means you purchase licenses for your users but the infrastructure to run the system is hosted by a third-party provider in the cloud., For example, a Horizon license would be owned by you but hosted by Gamma.
IP is a set of rules that allow for the sending and receiving of data via the internet.
ISDN is a single telephone line that has a minimum of 2 simultaneous connections and a maximum of 30. It’s a medium between a PSTN line and VoIP system, however BT Openreach are phasing out all ISDN lines by 2025.
An On-Premises solution is the opposite to a hosted solution. You own the license with an on-premises solution, but you also must host the infrastructure to run the system. An example of this is the LG iPECS solution.
A PBX is a private telephony system that controls the routing and switching of calls within a business.
PSTN is the traditional public telephone network and work on a basis of ‘a single line hosts a single connection’. They mainly work using analogue signals (rather than digital which is used in ISDN) and PSTN Lines can also host a broadband connection.
SIP is a method used in conjunction with a PBX to send and receive voice calls, video calls and other media.
Internet-based telephony services on SIP is known as ‘SIP Trunking’. This allows for users to make calls over standard PSTN lines using IP Telephony and Soft Client technology.
Otherwise known as a Softphone, a Soft Client license enables VoIP calls from devices such as your Desktop PC or your mobile, via an app. This is an essential product for mobile/flexible workers.
VoIP is the technology that allows a telephone connection to occur over the internet instead on through physical telephone lines.
We hope that this list of terms has helped clarify what IP telephony is, what the advantages are and assisted you in making the right decision as to what solution is best for your business.
In the meantime, if you’re unsure about which solutions fits your business best and/or are worried about the ISDN/PSTN switch-off mentioned above, there’s no need to panic.
You can download our PDF “ISDN Switch-Off – What are the options?” below.