Telecom Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing telecommunications and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting or using the search box below.

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    100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE)

    100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) is a standard in development that will enable the transfer of Ethernet frames at 100 gigabits per second (gp/s). The 100GbE standard is for core switching. A 40GbE standard, in development simultaneously, is designed for server connectivity. Both standards are expected to be ratified in 2010.

  • 3G (third generation of mobile telephony)

    3G refers to the third generation of mobile telephony (that is, cellular) technology. The third generation, as the name suggests, follows two earlier generations. (Continued....)

  • A

    access point base station

    Access point base station is the original term for what is now known as a femtocell.

  • average revenue per user or average revenue per unit (ARPU)

    Average revenue per user or average revenue per unit (ARPU) is an expression of the income generated by a typical subscriber or device per unit time in a telecommunications network... (Continued)

  • B


    A backbone is a larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it.

  • BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)

    BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is a protocol that manages how packets are routed across the internet through the exchange of routing and reachability information between edge routers.

  • broadband

    In general, broadband refers to telecommunication in which a wide band of frequencies is available to transmit information.

  • C

    cable TV or CATV (community antenna television)

    Cable TV is also known as "CATV" (community antenna television).

  • caller ID spoofing

    Caller ID spoofing is a service that allows a caller to masquerade as someone else by falsifying the number that appears on the recipient's caller ID display... (Continued)

  • Carrier Ethernet

    Carrier Ethernet is the use of high-bandwidth Ethernet technology for Internet access and for communication among business, academic and government local area networks (LANs)... (Continued)

  • carrier signal

    A carrier signal is a transmitted electromagnetic pulse or wave at a steady base frequency of alternation on which information can be imposed by increasing signal strength, varying the base frequency, varying the wave phase, or other means... (Continued)

  • CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access)

    CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) refers to any of several protocols used in second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications.

  • CenturyLink

    CenturyLink is a worldwide telephone service provider and the third largest telecommunications provider in the United States, behind AT&T and Verizon.

  • Class of Service (CoS)

    Class of Service (CoS) is a way of managing traffic in a network by grouping similar types of traffic (for example, e-mail, streaming video, voice, large document file transfer) together and treating each type as a class with its own level of service priority.

  • cloud federation

    Cloud federation is the practice of interconnecting service providers' cloud environments to load balance traffic and accommodate spikes in demand.