Adrift In A Sea of Acronyms

The IT industry is notorious for using acronyms. Many people not involved may be confused by them. Random strings of letters march through web-pages in three and four letter sequences, striking fear and confusion in the hearts of us 'non-techys'.

I've decided I will represent us, the ordinary folk, and in this vein I present this short guide to what these dyslexic sequences actually mean.

As you are on the SureVoIP website, I suppose I should start with VoIP.

VoIP – stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the technology which allows voice services to be delivered using the internet. Rather than calls being delivered through traditional phone lines, a VoIP service delivers an upgraded telephony service using an internet connection rather than a copper phone line.

One down! Lets move from VoIP to SIP. Those enquiring or specifying a VoIP service will probably have heard of this one, but I doubt if many know what it actually means.

SIP – stands for Session Initiation Protocol. This is the 'language' which VoIP speaks. VoIP equipment must use this language in order to speak to other VoIP equipment, so they can understand each other. Think of it as a bit like moving to Spain. In order to buy your shopping or order in a restaurant, you need to speak Spanish (not the best analogy but bear with me). If you don't speak the correct language, you won't get far. Likewise, if your phones don't speak the correct VoIP language, they simply won't work.

Our next acronym will be familiar to those who operate or are thinking of operating there own phone system on their premises. Lets look at PBX.

PBX – stands for Private Branch eXchange. In the context of those with their own equipment, this means a piece of hardware somewhere on the premises which is responsible for making and receiving telephone calls. Gets a bit more confusing when it refers to 'Hosted PBX'. This will refer to a VoIP system (see above).

Our next set of initials is ITSP. It relate to telephony, and SureVoIP is one! Let's see what it means.

ITSP – stands for Internet Telephony Service Provider. Quite simply, a telephony provider which delivers your phone calls using VoIP.

The next two are possibly familiar to all, DDI and PTSN. They both refer to traditional telecoms.

DDI – stands for Direct Dial In. Quite simply, the phone number which people have to dial to reach you directly. In an office environment, this means the number to call your own desk phone, as opposed to reaching your company switchboard.

PSTN – stands for Public Switch Telephone Network. The collective name for the interconnected series of networks which link mobile, landline and VoIP phones to each other. It is this which allows you to call a landline from your mobile, or a VoIP phone from a traditional landline. 

I hope this brief explanation has given you some insight into the world of IT. If we can be of any further help, whether it is for clearing up any more acronym confusion, or discussing what VoIP can do, just contact us and let us know.

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