S & W's Telecommunications Dictionary Database

  1. Access Code
    1. The preliminary digits that a user must dial to be connected to a particular outgoing trunk group or line.
  2. Analog
    1. A signal having an infinite number of levels per cycle, in contrast to digital which has only two possible levels per cycle.
  3. Area Code
    1. A three-digit code to signal the telecommunications equipment from whence the call was placed.
  4. Bandwidth
    1. The difference in frequency between the top end of a channel and the bottom end.
  5. Bandwidth Allocation
    1. The process of dynamically assigning communication resources to users and software programs within a network. Generally, when a network becomes congested, lower priority traffic is dropped, then retransmitted at a later time.
  6. Battery Backup (See also UPS)
    1. A battery which provides power to your phone system when the main AC power fails especially during blackouts and brownouts. Hospitals, brokerage companies, airlines and hotel reservation services must have battery backup because of the integral importance of their phone systems to their business.
  7. CAT 5 Cable
    1. A Category of Performance for inside wire and cable systems. Increasingly, CAT 5 cabling is being installed for both data and voice use, and is the cabling of choice for forward-looking companies
  8. Data
    1. Typically anything other than voice. This is the old AT&T Bell Labs' definition: "A representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalized manner, suitable for communication, interpretation or processing."
  9. Entrance Point
    1. In a building, the point of emergence of telecommunications service cables through an exterior wall, floor slab, or from a rigid metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit.
  10. F-L
  11. FCC
    1. Federal Communications Commission
  12. Ground Current
    1. In the presence of an electrical fault, the current that flows in the protective ground wire of a power distribution system.
  13. Hook Switch (Switch Hook)
    1. The switch that is pressed when you hang up a telephone handset.
  14. I & W
    1. Installation and Maintenance
  15. Junction (J) Box
    1. A metal or plastic box used as an access for cable or wire (coax, fiber, UTP, STP). When companies build a network in a building, building management usually require the J box to be located close to the building's entry point.
  16. Keitai
    1. A mobile phone, a cell phone, a portable phone in Japanese.
  17. Land Line
    1. Traditional wired phone service.
  18. M-P
  19. Modem
    1. 1. According to the Vermonters' Guide to Computer Lingo, modem is what landscapers do to dem lawns. (This is a joke.)
      2. (Modulate/Demodulate) A device that transmits digital information over a telephone line (standard POTS line) or a private circuit (56K line). Modems modulate the digital information before transmitting it.
  20. Number Portability
    1. Describes the capability of individuals, businesses and organizations to retain their current telephone number(s) and the same quality of service when switching to a new local service provider.
  21. On the Horn
    1. To be "on the horn" in England is to be on the phone.
  22. Physical Address
    1. A number of digits which identifies the physical location of a communications channel or port within a system.
  23. Q-Z
  24. Queue
    1. A stream of tasks waiting to be executed, or a series of calls, messages, or packets awaiting the availability of a network resource.
  25. Refurbished
    1. A term used in the secondary telecom equipment business. Refurbishing means that telephone equipment has been cleaned, polished, resurfaced and whatever else it takes to return the equipment to a "like-new" appearance. Refurbishing usually means it has been completely tested and is ready for installation.
  26. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
    1. SIP is a signaling protocol, used for controlling multimedia communication sessions such as voice and video calls over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
  27. Snips
    1. Heavy duty scissors, used for cutting metal.
  28. Toner
    1. Tone generator used for identifying cable pairs.
  29. UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply
    1. A device providing a steady source of electric energy to a piece of equipment. A continuous on-line UPS is one in which the load is continually drawing power through the batteries, battery charger and invertor and not directly from the AC supply. When the line is weak or down, it transfers the load without any user intervention. UPS are typically used to provide continuous power in case you lose commercial power.
  30. Visual Voice Mail
    1. An application displaying and controlling voice messages on a desktop computer. Usually associated with unified messaging.
  31. VoIP
    1. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the internet.
  32. Wan Router
    1. A carrier-class router designed for Internet Service Providers to process up to several terabits of data per second. WAN routers support optical networking and electrical transport technologies.


As with any specialized industry, there are myriads of words carrying various meanings within the industry. At S&W we not only are quite familiar with those words, but we also try to help you get past the complicated lingo and obtain the right technology for your telecommunication's project. For a complete dictionary, check out one of our favorite sources : Newton's Telecom Dictionary.