Important Telecom Terms

Telecom 101: The Most Important Terms Explained

Most business owners know when they have a communication problem that they need to solve. However, they may start to get a little lost in the sea of telecommunication solutions when they start doing their research. If you do not have experience working with telecom providers then you may have a hard time understanding which solutions can help you solve your biggest challenges and how exactly they work.

Telecom companies use a lot of lingo and throw around terms that can be confusing to someone who is just starting their research on potential products and solutions for their business. That’s why we’ve taken some of the most important terms in the telecom industry and explained what each one is in language that’s easy to understand. By getting to know these terms, you can better arm yourself with the information you need to understand your options.

Telecom Terms Explained

Though this is by no means an exhaustive list of telecom terms, it should help you gain a better understanding of all the moving parts that help businesses better communicate on a daily basis:

4G: 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communication standards. This replaced 3G, allowing users to access the Internet as significantly faster speeds.

Ethernet: Ethernet is a system that connects equipment that is on local area networks.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP): File transfer protocol is the internet standard for transferring files between computers.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): An internet service provider is a company that provides users with access to the internet.

Internet Protocol (IP): Internet protocol is a set of rules used to govern format for data that is sent over the internet and other networks.

Local Area Network (LAN): A LAN is a group of computers and other devices that share a common wireless link and communication line to a server. A LAN will typically cover all computers and associated devices within a targeted geographic area like an office or commercial building. A LAN allows users to share common resources like network storage or printer access.

Telecommunications (Telecom): Telecommunications refer to the electronic exchange of information over significant distances. This is a broad term that incorporates a variety of technologies including the internet, telephones, satellites, radio, and television.

Unified Communications (UC): Unified communications is the integration of different communication tools that help people communicate, share ideas, and collaborate more efficiently. UC integrates the software that supports communication that takes place synchronously (in real-time like instant messaging) and asynchronously (at the user’s convenience like email). Ultimately, this helps make sure that the user has access to all of the communication tools from their device.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP): VoIP allows users to make phone calls over the internet, using a method called packet-switching. Packet-switching is the same method that’s used when you look at a webpage on the internet. Rather than maintaining a constant connection, it connects as needed to send and receive information, which means VoIP sends your calls over the least expensive and congested lines that are available. This results in a more efficient and affordable method of making calls.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN allows you to connect to the internet through a server that is run by a VPN provider. All of the data that travels between your device (desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet) and the VPN server is securely encrypted, allowing for additional privacy.

Wide Area Network (WAN): A WAN is a private telecommunications network that’s distributed geographically and connects multiple local area networks (LANs) through a router. It allows users within an organization to access applications, services, and other resources that are centrally located without having to install them in multiple locations.

WiFi or Wi-Fi: WiFi is short for wireless fidelity. Just like your mobile phone, a WiFi network uses radio waves to transmit information across the network. With a wireless adapter, you can establish a WiFi connection, which allows you to access the internet from your device.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): A WLAN allows users to connect to local area networks (LANs) through a wireless connection.

Interested in a topic that we didn’t cover here? Be sure to check out our blog, which we update monthly with new articles on telecom topics to help you better understand the world of business communications and telecom solutions. If you are interested in which solutions might be right for you or just need help making sense of options, feel free to give us a call: (888) 257-0955.