Terminology Dictionary

Have you come across a word you’re not familiar with? We’ve compiled a complete list of industry terms and their definitions.

Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA/AdvancedTCA)

A series of specifications regarding the design elements required for next-generation carrier-grade communications equipment to determine high-speed interconnect technologies, next-generation processors, reliability, manageability and serviceability. 


An information form that is represented by a continuous and smoothly varying amplitude or frequency changes over a certain range such as voice or music. 

Analog Telephone Adapter(ATA)

Converts analog signals from a conventional phone into a format for transmission over an internet connection, and vice versa at the receiving end.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

Most homes and small business users are connected to an asymmetric DSL (ADSL) line. Refer to DSL definition below for more info on DSL. ADSL divides up the available frequencies in a line on the assumption that most Internet users look at, or download, much more information than they send, or upload. Under this assumption, if the connection speed from the Internet to the user is three to four times faster than the connection from the user back to the Internet, then the user will see the most benefit.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

The international standard for cell relay in which multiple service types (voice, video, and data) are conveyed in fixed-length (53-byte) cells. 

Automated Attendant (Auto Attendant)

A recorded message that initially greets callers and allows them to dial an extension or navigate a menu to reach the desired person or department, dialing an extension directory, listening to a recorded message, or reaching the “Operator” function. 

Back Haul

Back Haul is a process of extending the use of communication facilities or more efficient circuits by using communicating routing lines that are longer than would be typical for a specific type of service. Back haul allows for cost effective sharing of facilities by either sharing network facilities (such as a switching system) or communication circuits (sharing long haul lines with many more users).

Call Park

A feature that enables users to “Park” callers and then handle another call or action. Parked calls can be “retrieved” by other users.

Circuit Switching

A process of connecting two points in a communications network where the path (switching points) through the network remains fixed during the operation of a communications circuit. While a circuit switched connection is in operation, the capacity of the circuit remains constant regardless of the amount of content (e.g. voice or data signals) that is transferred during the circuit connection. 

CNAM - Caller ID Name

A service that displays the caller’s name on the calling party’s digital readout. This is similar to caller ID except that the calling party’s name is displayed along with the calling number, or instead of the calling number.

CODEC (Coder/Decoder)

A device that can encode or decode a signal.

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC)

A company that builds and operates communication networks in metropolitan areas and provides its customers with an alternative to the local telephone company. 

Conference Rooms

A Star2Star system facility that provides the ability multiple users to access a conference call.

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)

The telephone equipment residing on a customer site.


Anywhere a call can be routed towards is a destination, including Ring Groups, Queues, Recordings, Applications, Automated Attendants, Paging Groups, Voicemail Groups, and Conference Rooms.

Direct Inward Dial (DID)

Stands for direct inward dialing (also known as direct dialing inward), a service that allows you to have numerous individual phone numbers for each person or workstation internally that run off of a small block of dedicated telephone numbers. With DID you can have multiple lines connected to a PBX all at once without requiring each line to be physical connected to the PBX. For example, if an organization has 25 employees and each employee has a separate telephone number, or extension, within its physical location, the organization can rent 10 physical trunk lines from the telephone company that will allow 10 phone calls to take place simultaneously. Others would have to wait for an available line and anyone dialing into the system while all 10 lines are in use would get either a busy signal or be channeled into a voice mail system. A DID system does not require a PBX operator and can be used for fax and voice transmissions.


A feature that allows another call routing action for Ring Groups, Queues, Recordings, Dial External Number (Application) and Menus. E.g. If a caller reaches a Ring Group that rings for 36 seconds use the Failover option to determine how that call is handled after the initial ring time has expired. You can set 9 levels of Failover. Extensions and Mailboxes are endpoints and as such no further Failover option is configurable.

Find Me - Follow Me

A feature that allows users to re direct calls via an intuitive web screen. Calls will follow the Find Me - Follow Me configuration to locate their party. There are 3 configuration styles available for this functionality: Find Me (Immediate) Calls are immediately diverted / forwarded to an alternative number. Find Me (Sequential) Calls can follow a sequence of ringing up to 4 alternative numbers in turn with varying timeout values. Find Me (All) Calls can ring up to 4 alternative numbers simultaneously. 

IP Telephone/Internet Protocol Telephony/IP Phone Service/VoIP Phone Service/Broadband Phone Service

Technology using the Internet protocol’s packet-switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over dedicated circuit-switched connections of the PSTN.

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

A widely accepted approach to IT service management which provides a cohesive set of best practice supported by a comprehensive qualifications scheme, accredited training organizations, and implementation and assessment tools. 


A delay impacting the quality of a voice conversation.

Key System Mode

A configuration available on select Star2Star phones that emulates a squared key system using visual shared park positions. 


The number of concurrent out-of-your-Star-Star-network calls that your system is configured with, both outbound and inbound.

Music On Hold/Message On Hold (MOH)

Pre-recorded music or messages that can be uploaded onto the system for playback when callers are on hold. 


Multiplexing is a process used by a communications system to coordinate and allow more than one user to access the communications channels within the system. There are four basic access multiplexing technologies used in wireless systems: frequency division multiple access (FDMA), time division multiple access (TDMA), code division multiple access (CDMA) and space division multiple access (SDMA). 

Multi-Path Remote Call Forwarding (Multi-Path Remote Call Forwarding)

Remote Call Forwarding (RCF) on business accounts with multiple lines.

Network Operations Center (NOC)

The physical space where telecommunications is managed, monitored, and supervised. 


A function that will determine the action/call treatment for callers who press “0” when listening to a user’s voicemail box or the company directory.

OSI Reference Model

A reference model to standardize communication systems. The model standardized nomenclature across existing protocols and provided guidelines for new protocols using 7 layers.


A unit of data that is routed between an origin and a destination on the Internet or any other packet-switched network.

Packet Switching

Sending and receiving data over alternate, multiple network channels. Packets can be sent in order yet be received in a different order - only to be put back in the correct order in fractions of a second.

Paging Group

A feature that provides the ability to directly connect to group members’ phones via the telephone’s external speaker. This feature is particularly useful for company-wide alerts or to specific groups of employees.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

A private telephone network used within an organization with users sharing a certain number of outside lines for making telephone calls external to the PBX. 

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) - Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

The world’s collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned. 

Quality of Service (QoS)

The measuring of transmission rates, error rates, and other characteristics for improved call quality. 


A feature that provides the ability to ring members in a sequential operation, i.e. one at a time. The Queue logic algorithm used is “Round Robin with memory”. Callers placed in Queue will hear Message or Music on hold if enabled. 

Receptionist Mode

A phone configuration option that ensures that incoming calls to an extension will roll down the line appearance keys.

Ring Group

A feature that provides the ability to ring one or more phones simultaneously.

Real-Time Transport Protocol

A protocol that defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over IP networks. TRP is used extensively in communications and entertainment systems that involve streaming media, such as telephony, video teleconference applications, television services, and web-based push-to-talk-features.

Session Border Controller

An interface to a network firewall that facilities the secure hand-off of voice packets from one IP network to another. In an enterprise network the SBC controls the communications session as it crosses the border of the LAN.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

A signaling format for Internet Telephony involving multimedia elements such as video, voice, chat, gaming, and virtual reality.

StarNet Analyzer (SNA)

A Java applet that runs onsite for a minimum of 48 business hours testing the customer’s Internet connection, including speed, packet loss, jitter, and round trip times. The SNA provides a graded report card that will also display MoS scoring. The SNA collects several metrics that are critical to VoIP communications and is therefore a mandatory test for all installations.

Softphone/Software Telephone

A software program on your PC (desktop or laptop) enabling you to make and receive calls over the Internet (VoIP) using a headset, or a microphone and speakers, in place of a telephone.

StarBox® Voice Optimized SD-WAN

The primary on-premise component of Star2Star’s Hybrid Cloud Communication Solution. There are currently three separate models of StarBox® Voice Optimized SD-WAN: The StarBox® 6000, the StarBox® 2500, and the StarBox® 1000. All three models share an identical management interface and feature set, including:

  • Integrated monitoring and remote management
  • Always-on call recording
  • Manage multiple locations from a single screen
  • Flexible networking configuration with dual WAN ports for automatic WAN failover
  • All solid state, low power consumption (as low as 6W)
  • Long life, high reliability
  • Edge traffic shaping
  • 24/7/365 monitoring


The innovative and feature rich call center application from Star2Star Communications. This application requires no additional on-site hardware to function. Key features include: Agent login/logout, Advanced Ring Strategies (Round Robin-Skills Based-Best Match-Ring All-Least Recent-Fewest Calls-Random), Multiple (10) Action Keys, Enhanced Queue/Agent Reporting, Flexible Announcements (Position in queue-Wait time-Periodic-Hold Time Announcement to the Agent), Real Time Queue Monitoring, Multi-Q Monitoring, Administrative Monitor/Barge In/Whisper, and Caller ID Routing.


Star2Star’s unified messaging application that enables users to participate in one-on-one or multi-party group chats. All StarChat conversations are saved and accessible at a later time.

Standard Voice Conferencing

Star2Star’s flexible, on-the-fly conference calling solution that allows users to create a conference call anywhere, anytime. Up to 150 users can participate in Standard Voice Conferencing call. 


Star2Star’s CRM integration software that integrates user databases with Star2Star solutions. StarContact helps sales, marketing, and customer service teams better understand their customers and enables them to deliver the right message at the right time through the use of automatic screen pops that display information about a customer when they call or are called. 

StarFax Classic

An innovative Star2Star solution that enables users to send and receive faxes using a traditional fax machine by connecting it to an ATA.

StarFax Personal

A solution that allows users to send and receive faxes in the Cloud using their computers. StarFax Personal is a modern, environmentally friendly way to incorporate fax into your business workflow without purchasing or maintaining a traditional fax machine.

StarPhone™ for iPhone/StarPhone™ for Android

Applications that turn user iPhones and Android Devices into full-featured Softphones with advanced presence and voicemail tools. StarPhone™ for iPhone and StarPhone™ for Android allow users to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi networks, saving them minutes.


A rich suite of disaster recovery solutions that protect Star2Star users in the event their system fails for any reason. StarRecovery automatically routes calls to designated employee cell phones, landlines, or remote office locations. Main or departmental numbers can be routed to an auto attendant or ring group. Other features and functionality that are preserved with StarRecovery include unlimited voicemail access, email delivery of voicemail, customized call routing, and conference rooms.

StarScope® 2

A powerful presence management application with call control from Star2Star Communications. Currently available in two versions: Operator (Used by Operators/Administrators/Managers/Call Center) and Casual (Basic user version). 


The means by which Star2Star is able to provide SIP trunking solutions to customers who are unwilling or unable to replace their existing PBX.


An innovative videoconferencing solution that allows up to 12 users to participate in a real-time videoconference. StarVideo also allows file sharing and for additional participants to join a conference in audio only mode.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

A session layer protocol that coordinates the transmission, reception, and retransmission of packets in a data network to ensure reliable (confirmed) communication. The TCP protocol coordinates the division of data information into packets, adds sequence and flow control information to the packets, and coordinates the confirmation and retransmission of packets that are lost during a communication session. TCP utilizes Internet Protocol (IP) as the network layer protocol.

Uninterruptible Power Supply System (UPS)

A battery power supply used to maintain power in the event of a power outage.

User Diagram Protocol

UDP is a high-level communication protocol that coordinates the one-way transmission of data in a packet data network. The UDP protocol coordinates the division of fition into packets and adds sequence information to the packets that are transmitted during a communication session using Internet Protocol (IP) addressing. This allows the receiving end to receive and re-sequence the packets to recreate the original data file or block of data that was transmitted. UDP adds a small amount of overhead (control data) to each packet relative to other high-level protocols such as TCP. However, UDP does not provide any guarantees to data delivery through the network.

Voice over IP (VoIP)

The delivery of voice information using the Internet Protocol (IP).