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Telecom Terms Simplified

When shopping for new  telephone equipment, it can be hard to keep up with all the new terms and acronyms. Considering that many are transitioning from analog systems to VoIP phone systems, some may be wondering what VoIP really is and whether or not they really need it. We’ll go over some common terminology to make your shopping experience a bit easier.

phone systemVoice over IP (VOIP)

VoIP is technology that allows voice to be transmitted over the Internet. Voice is converted into digital data and organized into small packets, which then are marked with a destination IP address and routed over the Internet. It is reconverted back to voice when it reaches its destination.


IP stands for Internet Protocol, and is technically the network layer protocol in the TCP/IP communications protocol suite. More simply put, IP defines the way the data packets, or datagrams, travel. It works similarly to the way you follow the GPS navigation in the sense that you have a destination and it directs you there.


Kbps = kilobits per second. Kbps indicates transfer speed. For example, if the modem speed is 1 Kbps, it can transfer data at the speed of 1 thousand bits per second. The Kbps of your router and modem will determine the call quality of your office.


Bandwidth is the volume of data that can travel over a communication line in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, it is expressed in bps (bytes per second), while analog devices use Hertz (Hz) for cycles per second. The bandwidth determines whether a system can handle VoIP services or not.


SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is an IP telephony signaling protocol. An SIP Phone is a phone that uses SIP to complete voice calls over the Internet. Not all phones are SIP-enabled, so it is wise to inquire about support or suggestions for SIP phones.


This is software which basically turns your PC into a phone, using VoIP technology to make voice calls over the Internet. Audio is enabled through a microphone and speakers plugged into a sound card. Ideal for traveling situations, this software allows you to make phone calls with your laptop with just a headset.

PBX (private branch exchange)

This is a telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other both in-house and outside of the network. 

Hosted PBX

A Hosted PBX eliminates on-premise equipment by hosting the equipment in remote data centers and providing management through a web interface. Much like Software as a Service (SAAS), a Hosted PBX makes systems easier to manage. 

DID (Direct Inward Dialing)

This provides a block of numbers for calling into a company’s PBX system. This allows clients or customers to call a direct phone number for each employee without requiring a physical line into the PBX for every possible connection. This ultimately eliminates the need for a switchboard operator, allowing calls to go through faster and providing customers a more personable experience.

Still confused? Let our staff clear some things up for you. Give us a call Monday-Friday 7:00am-5:00pm at 1-800-564-8045. Or you can visit us online at, where you’ll find our great stock of new and refurbished business phones, phone systems, and equipment. You can also find us online on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.


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Product Name
Cisco SPA525G2 5-Line Color Display IP Phone
USD $299.00
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Available in Stock

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