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VoIP jargon. What does it all mean?

Posted by Amina Addow on Aug 7, 2020 5:24:01 PM
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VoIP jargon. What does it all mean?

As with any other industry, VoIP has its own unique terminology. This can get confusing really quickly for an outsider without any prior knowledge of the system. 

If you are considering the switch to VoIP, here’s a quick walk through on what the technical jargon actually means.

IP, VoIP, SIP and PBX.

IP is short for Internet Protocol, data sent over the Internet or other network

VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol and is applied to any form of voice calling that is implemented over the internet. 

Session Initial Protocol (SIP) is often used in Voice-over-IP telephony to establish the connection for telephone calls.

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a private telephone network used within a company or organisation.

Softphone, router and quality of service

Softphone refers to an application you install to a computer or mobile phone to make VoIP calls. Most organisations use a combination of desk phones, softphones and mobile devices. 

A router is a hardware that most businesses have to access the internet.

Quality of service (QoS) is a feature on routers which can be used to prioritise voice traffic rather than data.

Cloud, PSTN, ISDN and SOGEA

Cloud is the delivery of services storage and access to data and programs, network, analytics and the internet on-demand.

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network designed for the digital transmission of data and voice over ordinary copper wires and relies on the PSTN to work.

PTSN stands for the Public Telephone Service Network. This is currently the telephone system most businesses use to make calls. Unlike VoIP, voice data is sent by physical copper lines and not the internet.

SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access). This will make it possible to buy a hybrid fibre FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) cable line without phone service.


There you have it, common terms associated with a VoIP phone system. For more tips on how to navigate a switch from traditional landlines read our checklist.

Topics: Latest, VoIP

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