List of telephony terminology

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This is a List of telephony terminology and acronyms which relate to telephony networks.



  • Blue box - a device that was used to bypass the normal long distance call switching tones typically used to obtain free calls.





  • fax - (contraction of facsimile) a device connected to the telephone network to enable documents to be scanned and sent to a receiving fax machine
  • frame - A distribution frame, a set of open wiring racks where circuits are cross connected to trunks and equipment













Acronym Name Notes
1ESS Number 1 Electronic Switching System (Alcatel-Lucent) US
1FR Flat rate service US
2G second-generation mobile telephone  
2.5G Enhanced 2G mobile telephone  
3G third-generation mobile telephone  
4ESS Number 4 Electronic Switching System (Alcatel-Lucent)
4WTS Four-wire termination set US
5ESS Number 5 Electronic Switching System (Alcatel-Lucent)
ACD Automatic Call Distribution/Director  
ACTS Advanced Coin Telephone Service US
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line  
ANI Automatic Number Identification US
AMA Automatic Message Accounting US
BOK Unblocking UK
CCIS Common Channel Interoffice Signaling  
CID Caller ID  
CLEC Competitive Local Exchange Carrier US
CLI Caller Line Identification Europe
CLID Caller Line ID UK
CTI Computer telephony integration  
COSMOS Wire records  
DDCO Direct Dial Central Office (Opposite of DID) US
DDD Direct Distance Dialing US
DDI Direct Dialing In UK
DECT Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications  
DID Direct Inward Dialing US
DMS Digital Multiplex System (e.g. DMS-100) Can
DNIS Dialed Number Identification System US
DSL Digital Subscriber Line  
DTMF dual-tone multi-frequency  
FDM Frequency-division multiplexing  
GPRS General Packet Radio Service  
GSM Global system for mobile communications  
GST Ground Start Trunk US
IDDD International Direct Distance Dialing US
IDF Intermediate distribution frame US
ILEC Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier US
ISD International Subscriber Dialing UK and India
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network  
IVR Interactive Voice Response (a.k.a. VRU)  
KSU Key Switching/System Unit US
LST Loop Start Trunk US
MDF Main Distribution Frame  
MF Multi-frequency US
PABX Private Automatic Branch eXchange Europe
PBX Private Branch eXchange US
PMBX Private Manual Branch eXchange UK
POTS Plain Old Telephone Service  
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network  
RCMAC Recent Change Memory Administration Center US
REN ringer equivalency number  
SMS Short Message Service (i.e. text messages)  
SF Single Frequency supervision tone (2600) US
SIP Session Initiation Protocol US
SP Lock Unlocking UK
SS7 Signaling System 7  
STD Subscriber trunk dialling UK and India
T-CXR T-carrier (e.g. T-1) US
TAPI Telephony Application Programming Interface  
TR Tip and ring US
TSPS Traffic Service Position System  
TXE Telephone eXchange Electronic UK
UAX Unit Automatic eXchange UK
VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol US
WAP Wireless Application Protocol  
WATS Wide Area Telephone Service US
WTAI Wireless Telephony Applications Interface