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VoIP and Asterisk Glossary

Listing of common VoIP, IP-PBX and Asterisk terms along with their definitions.

IP-PBX & Asterisk Glossary

APIApplication Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions, procedures, methods or classes that an operating system,
library or service provides to support requests made by computer programs.
AsteriskOpen source PBX, telephony engine, and telephony applications toolkit.
Asterisk ApplianceA stand-alone embedded Asterisk based PBX
Asterisk BoardsAsterisk compatible telephony boards
Asterisk BRIAsterisk system compatible with BRI
Asterisk CardsTelephony cards used to integrate existing analogue telephone handsets and analogue lines into the Asterisk PBX.
Asterisk DistributionMethod to access Asterisk products.
Asterisk FXOAsterisk compatible Foreign Exchange Office.
Asterisk FXSAsterisk compatible Foreign Exchange Services.
Asterisk HardwareComputer components designed for use with Asterisk
Asterisk IP-PBXAn open source communications platform based on IP (Internet Protocol) PBX (Private branch exchange) as a business telephone system.
Asterisk ISDNAsterisk compatible Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). This telephone system network integrates speech and data on the same lines while adding features that were not available in the classic telephone system.
Asterisk PBXAn open source communications platform based on PBX (Private branch exchange) as a business telephone system.
Asterisk ServerAsterisk’s platform upon which equipment providers can build a network infrastructure. The server supports a mix of traditional and VoIP
telephony services, enabling new telephone systems to be build, or slowly convert existing systems to new technologies.
Asterisk SolutionsProducts and services designed for use with Asterisk.
Asterisk SystemSee Asterisk
Asterisk TelephonySee Asterisk
Asterisk VoIPOpen source telephony platform and tool kit with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities.
AstribankA USB channel bank especially designed for Asterisk Open Source PBX systems.
AudiocodesManufacturer of VoIP (Voice Over IP) technologies and products.
BRIBasic Rate Interface (BRI) is an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) channel consisting of two 64 kbit/s “bearer” channels (B channels) and one 16 kbit/s “delta” channel (D channel). The B channels are for voice or user data. The D channels are for control and signaling and/or networking. The two B channels can be bonded together.
BRI Channel BankA channel bank with BRI ports.
BRI ISDNISDN with BRI ports.
Call ManagerA system which organizes the shared lines for incoming and outgoing telephone calls.
Channel BankA device that performs multiplexing or demultiplexing of a group of communications channels into one channel of higher bandwidth or higher digital bit rate.
CLECCompetitive Local Exchange Carriers. A telecommunications carrier/service provider that competes with other, already established carriers.
Cyber-AttackWhen referencing IP-PBX, refers to unauthorized use of the IP phone network, typically for purposes of toll fraud.
DAHDIDigium Asterisk Hardware Device Interface. See Zaptel
DemultiplexingThe reverse of multiplexing.
DigiumThe creator and primary developer of Asterisk, the industry’s first open source telephony platform. Asterisk is the basis for all Xorcom products.
ElasticsCommon misspelling for Elastix.
ElastixAn appliance software that integrates tools available for Asterisk based PBXs into a single interface.
Elastix ApplianceSee Elastix above.
Embedded AsteriskPlatforms created with Asterisk built in.
EPABXElectronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange. See PBX
FXOForeign Exchange Office (FXO). An FXO is any device that sends and receives voice frequency signals, accepts ringing signals, can “on-hook” and “off-hook”. FXO interfaces are also available for computers and networking equipment.
FXO CardCard with an FXO interface.
FXSForeign Exchange Station (FXS). This is a telephone interface which generates ringing voltage, provides battery power, sends a dialtone, understands when the phone goes on-hook or off-hook, and sends and receives voice signals. An example of this would be the phone jack, unless plugged in, calls can’t be made.
FXS CardCard with an FXS interface.
High AvailabilityA characteristic of a system, in this case IP-PBX, which describes the duration (length of time) for which the system is operational. High availability is specifically desirable in businesses which depend on communication for their livelihood.
iPBX , IPBX , IP-PBXIP (Internet Protocol) PBX (Private branch exchange) business telephone system designed to deliver voice over a data network and interoperate with the normal Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
ISDNIntegrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). This is a telephone system network which integrates speech and data on the same lines. Additional features advance this system as compared to the traditional telephone system.
MultiplexingThe process where several analog message signals or digital data streams merge into one signal over a shared medium.
PABXPrivate Automatic Branch Exchange. See PBX
PBXPrivate branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone exchange system used by business offices. Users of the PBX share a certain number of external lines for making telephone calls as opposed to connecting an external telephone line to every telephone in the organization.
PCI CardThe Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) is used to attach peripheral devices to a computer motherboard.
PRIPrimary Rate Interface (PRI) is an access interface to the ISDN.
R2R2 is an access interface to the ISDN, primarily popular in Latin America.
SBCSession Border Controller. Hardware or software usually located between a public network (“untrusted”) and a service provider network in the enterprise (“trusted”). Historically, SBC was used to solve SIP NAT-related problems, but nowadays SBC governs voice traffic on the SIP network.
SIPSession Initiation Protocol is a communications protocol for signaling and controlling multimedia communication sessions. SIP is used widely in Internet telephony for voice and video calls over IP networks.
SMBSmall and Medium-sized Business(es). Also known as SME – Small and Medium-sized Enterprise(s).
SMPSymmetric multiprocessing. In this computer-architecture two or more identical processors connect to one shared main memory.
Soft PhoneA software program used for making telephone calls over the Internet via computer. The program is designed to function like a traditional phone.
SOHOSmall Office / Home Office
VoIPVoice Over Internet Protocol (Voip) is used to transmit audio/voice through the Internet or other packet-switched networks.
ZaptelAn open computer telephony hardware driver API. The name has recently been changed to DAHDI.