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Presented by Persimmon Telecommunications 609.333.6932                                                                              Updated: April 27, 2017
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Telecommunications Abbreviations Dictionary: A-D  E-K  L-Z


  • LAN - Local Area Network
  • LATA - Local Access Transport Area - is a U.S.A. geographic area that includes a local calling area plus a regional calling area. LATAs roughly correspond to metropolitan areas and thus can span across more than one state. However, most LATAs are within a state with each state containing one or more LATAs.
  • LCA - Local Calling Area
  • LCR - Lowest Cost Routing
  • LNP - Local Number Portability - allows phone numbers to be ported (moved) from one carrier to another, for example from a landline phone to a cell phone or a VoIP phone.
  • LTE - Long Term Evolution - a 4G wireless technology using flat IP architecture developed within the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards organization. It has lower latency than the 3G technology. Verizon Wireless has decided to use LTE in it's future plans to complement it's existing CDMA network.
  • M2M - Machine-to-machine, for example cellular M2M communications. Typical applications are utility meter reading and vehicle tracking and diagnostics.
  • M2M - Month to Month - normally large Telecommunications contracts start with a term between 1 and 3 years, sometimes 5 years; once that initial term is up, a contract may be renewed or it may go to a M2M arrangement.
  • MBE - Mid-Band Ethernet
  • MDU - Multi-Dwelling Unit - apartment buildings.
  • MEF - MetroEthernet Forum
  • MEN - Metro Ethernet network
  • MLPPP - MultiLink Point-to-Point Protocol
  • MMDS - Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service aka Microwave Multipoint Distribution Services - A digital line of sight wireless broadcasting and communications system that works in the 2.1-2.7 GHz range. It is licensed by the FCC and can be used to transmit data and phone services over 30 mile distances.
  • MMF - Multi Mode Fiber.
  • MMR - MeetMe Room - room at a Collocation Center in which carriers connect to ports that connect to customers rack equipment. MMRs are required because carriers have no access into the room where the customer racks are located.
  • MNP - Mobile Number Portability
  • MoCA - Multimedia over Coax Alliance
  • MoU - Memorandum of understanding
  • MOU - Minutes of Use - many providers of phone service offer packages with various numbers of MOUs included
  • MPLS - Multi-protocol Label Switching - IETF standard used to prioritize traffic to avoid network congestion or failures. Today, QoS doesn't carry over from one network to another. Once MPLS is widely deployed, it promises to not only accomplish this QoS carryover but to introduce advanced QOS. MPLS offers the ability to integrate voice, video and data across a common platform giving appropriate priority to each using CoS. It can replace ATM, Frame Relay, and Hosted VPN offerings.
  • MPOE - Minimum Point of Entry - Main Phone Closet or Box - typically in the basement or on the first floor.
  • MSAP - Multi-Service Access Platform.
  • MSO - Multiple System Operators - A cable company that operates more than one cable system; i.e., that operates in more than one community. Generally MSO is used to describe large cable companies that operate in many communities.
  • MSPP - Multiservice Provisioning Platform.
  • MSSP - Managed Security Service Provider
  • MTNS - MultiTransport Network Service
  • MTTR - Mean Time to Repair OR Mean Time to Restore (note that these definitions are very different so it's important to know which definition the vendor is using)
  • NaaS - Network as a Service
  • NAC - Network Access Control
  • NAT - Network Address Translation
  • NFC - Near Field Communication - a wireless radio communications standard typically used with NFC tags to track items including item descriptive info that can be read using a smartphone or other NFC-capable device. NFC is a subset of RFID technology that is considered to be more secure than general RFID since most NFC devices must be no more than a few centimeters apart. NFC allows 2-way communication; e.g., between smartphones.
  • NFV - Network Functions Virtualization - the move of network functions from dedicated hardware onto servers. In other words, NFV allows the functions of hardware to be moved to software running on generic servers; e.g., firewalls, gateways, routers, SBCs.
  • NGN - Next-Generation Networks
  • NIC - Network Interface Card - Card used in a PC to connect to a network.
  • NIU - Network Interface Unit
  • NNI - Network-to-Network Interface
  • NTU - Network Terminating Unit or Network Termination Unit - A device provided by a carrier which connects to CPE and interfaces it with the PSTN.
  • OCN - Operating Carrier Number
  • ODIN - Open Datacenter with an Interoperable Network
  • OIC - Open Interconnect Consortium - Group of firms, including Intel, Samsung, Dell and Broadcom, that has a goal of defining a framework and standards for the emerging Internet of Things to provide secure and reliable device discovery and connectivity across multiple OSs and platforms.
  • OLPC - One Laptop Per Child - project whose goal is to bring inexpensive computing resources to children in the developing world.
  • ONT - Optical Network Terminal - terminal that supports a number of customers.
  • OSPF - Open Shortest Path First
  • OTT - Over the Top - refers to services provided by a provider other than the provider of the circuit(s) on which the services are riding. For example, some providers will sell you Hosted PBX, Hosted Contact Center, and/or SD-WAN services even though they are not also selling you the circuit(s) for these services.
  • PAE - Performance Assured Ethernet
  • PBB-TE- Provider Backbone Bridging - Traffic Engineering - Emerging IEEE standard for Ethernet transport which provides enhancements known as PBT.
  • PBT - Provider Backbone Transport - Ethernet enhancement which can allow control of data paths in a large carrier network.
  • PBX - Private Branch Exchange
  • PIC - Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier - The Interexchange Carrier to which calls are routed by default sometimes called the Preferred Interexchange Carrier.
  • PL - Private line
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics - graphics format offering advantages of JPEGs (such as true-color support) and GIFs (such as lossless compression) plus new capabilities such as varying degrees of transparency.
  • PON - Passive optical network
  • POP - Point of Presence
  • PoS - Packet over Sonet
  • POTS - Plain Old Telephone System - The telephone system that runs on the PSTN.
  • P-OTS - Packet Optical Transport System - combines the functionality of SONET/SDH, Ethernet and WDM/ROADM
  • PPP - Point to Point Protocol
  • PS/ALI-Private Switch/Automatic Location Identification - ability to identify the phone within an organization from which a 911 call was placed.
  • PSAPs - Public safety answering points - Points at which 9-1-1 calls are answered.
  • PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network -the international telephone system based on copper wires carrying analog voice data on circuit-switched telephone networks. Also, known as the POTS.
  • PtP - Point-to-Point - usually refers to a dedicated circuit run between two points.
  • PTT - Push-to-talk
  • PVC - Permanent Virtual Circuit
  • PVR - Personal Video Recorder
  • QoS - Quality of Service
  • RAN - Radio Access Network
  • RFID - Radio frequency identification - RFID tags use 1-way communication with a range up to 100 meters.
  • RNIE - Redirected Number Information Event - When forwarding a call, a PBX that supports RNIE can pass Caller ID info from an incoming call along with the call
  • ROE - Right of Entry - agreement between carrier and building owner/management re circuit entry into the building
  • RSS - Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication - all of these refer to the same thing - RSS is a commonly accepted XML standard platform, a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites. With RSS a webmaster can instantly deliver information
  • RTP - Real Time Protocal
  • SaaS - Software as a Service
  • SBC - Session Border Control
  • SBC - Session Border Controller - SBCs offer security and quality in the deployment of next generation communications services and architectures such as FMC, IMS and VoIP.
  • SDN - Software defined networking - network intelligence and state are logically centralized.
  • SDR - single-data rate - normally applied to DRAM
  • SDRAM - synchronous DRAM
  • SDSL - Symmetric Digital iSubscriber Line - the download and upload speeds (bandwidths) are the same as opposed to ADSL.
  • SIM - Subscriber Identity Module - Removable SIM cards in cell phones allow phones to be instantly activated, interchanged, swapped out and upgraded simply by inserting or removing a SIM card. In the USA, only GSM cell phones use SIM cards.
  • SIP - Session Initiation Protocol - protocol used for most Internet Telephony solutions
  • SLA - Service level agreement
  • SMF - Single Mode Fiber.
  • SMS - Short Message Service - text messaging - sending short messages to and from mobile phones.
  • SMS/800- 800 Service Management System - the operations support system used to maintain North American toll free call processing records, toll free number availability, and toll free number reservation status.
  • SSE - Simple Sharing Extensions - a specification that extends RSS from unidirectional to bidirectional information flows.
  • SSID - Service Set Identifier - a case sensitive series of up to 32 alphanumeric characters that uniquely identify a wireless local-area network (WLAN). The SSID is sometimes referred to as the "network name".
  • SSL - Secure Socket Layer
  • STP - Standing Tree Protocol
  • SWC - Serving Wire Center
  • T-MPLS - Transport MPLS
  • T1 - DS1 (as opposed to DSL) - highly reliable voice or data service - see T1 Service Glossary for more info.
  • TDM - Time Division Multiplexed
  • TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access - a wireless technology using TIA/EIA IS-136 protocol that allows multiple cell phones to share bandwidth.
  • tfn - Toll Free Number
  • TN - Telephone Number
  • TRS - Telecommunications Relay Service - link between telephone users and people who use text telephones (aka TTYs).
  • UBR - Unspecified Bit Rate - an ATM bandwidth-allocation service that uses available bandwidth with no guaranteed throughput level.
  • UC - Unified Communications
  • UDP - User Datagram Protocol
  • UMA - Unified Mobile
  • UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System - a third-generation (3G) cell phone technology that is being developed into a 4G technology. Theoretically, it can support data transfer rates up to 14 Mpbs depending on the implementation.
  • UNE - Unbundled Network Element - defined by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as any "facility or equipment used in the provision of a telecommunications service," as well as "features, functions, and capabilities that are provided by means of such facility or equipment." The most important UNE to most CLECs is the local loop, or "last mile", which gives CLECs access to the ILEC's customers.
  • UNI - User Network Interface.
  • UWB - Ultrawideband - a short range transmission alternative to Bluetooth.
  • VBR - Variable Bit Rate
  • VCC - Voice Call Continuity
  • VDSL - Very high speed DSL.
  • VLAN - Virtual LAN
  • VOD - Video on Demand.
  • VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol - Method of providing voice or phone service via internet connections
  • VoWLAN - Voice-over-WLAN
  • VPLS - virtual private LAN service - A Layer 2 service offering any-to-any connectivity and a full mesh.
  • VPN - Virtual Private Network - classic VPN uses IPsec to encrypt transmissions for connections made over the Internet.
  • WAN - Wide Area Network
  • WDM - Wavelength Division Multiplexing aka DWDM. See DWDM for more info.
  • Web 2.0 - Web 2.0 is sort of an attitude or an approach to the World Wide Web. It generally refers to a second generation of services available on the web that lets people collaborate and share information online. Examples of Web 2.0 are Wikipedia, Flickr, Google Maps, Del.icio.us, Google AdSense, Yahoo's new My Web 2.0, 43 Things, and blogs and wikis in general.
  • WebRTC- Web Real Time Communications - a standard that enables web browsers for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing.
  • WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy - a security protocol meant to safeguard wireless packet transmissions that is inferior to WPA.
  • WFM - Wideband FM - Frequency Modulation which uses a wider bandwidth than normal FM and which thus typically has an improved signal-to-noise ratio.
  • WIC - WAN Interface Card - A router has a WIC per T1 in a bonded T1.
  • Wi-Fi - Wireless Fidelity, a set of standards known as 802.11
  • WiMax - Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
  • WLAN - Wireless LAN
  • WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access - a security protocol meant to safeguard wireless packet transmissions that is defined in standard 802.11i and that is superior to WEP.
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language - XML is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML. Originally designed to meet the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing, XML is also playing an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide variety of data on the Web and elsewhere.

Telecommunications Abbreviations Dictionary: A-D  E-K  L-Z

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