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Glossary S-Z

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SIP Address

A string that is assigned to a VoIP phone number(s) to identify it and allow it to be found and communicated with over the Internet using the SIP protocol. The string is similar in format to an email address and on the Telebroad system looks something like   sip:113842@reg.telebroad.com. 

A sip address is unique to each VoIP user and sets him apart from any other VoIP user in the world. Phone numbers can be ported from one user to another but a sip address stays with a user for as long as he maintains his account. Phone numbers, of course,  are still more convenient to use. With Telebroad's TeleConsole account your phone number(s) are automatically assigned to your SIP address. But if you decide to use a separate softphone you can connect it and set up your SIP address as explained here.

Soft Key (Softkey) and Hard Key

Where a hard key is a physical button with a fixed function, a soft key's function changes contextually or based on the user's customization needs (the later are commonly referred to as DSS keys.) 

Physical soft keys are usually located next to a screen so a label with their current function can be displayed on it. Touchscreen soft keys are simply displayed on the screen itself. Business SIP desk phones, such as the ones sold by Telebroad, all use soft keys to provide users with various functions. An example of a hard key on such a phone is the mute button it always serve the same function. But a soft key button next to the screen can enable DND while the phone is idle or end a call while it is in progress.

Note that line keys are technically softkeys because their routing functions can be programmed by the user, but in our buying guides we list them separately from soft keys to give users more specs to compare.  


A portmanteau for a software telephone. It is a desktop computer software or a mobile app that duplicates the functions of a physical VoIP telephone, allowing users to make and receive calls over any Internet connection and enjoy many additional communication features. Besides its mobility advantages over a hardware telephone, a softphone usually also benefits users with a more convenient interface and easier access to messages and call logs. 

Telebroad's TeleConsole provides a softphone functionality and is available in web, mobile, and PC versions. If you prefer to use a 3rd party softphone refer to this article about how to connect it to your Telebroad phone number.


SMS stands for Short Message Service and is a synonymous term for text messaging. It is a technology for sending text messages to and from mobile phones or VoIP platforms that supports it. Defined in 1985, the SMS protocol allows for messages with up to 160 characters. Longer messages are spit into several messages with a total limit of 1600 characters. See also MMS.



Time-Division Multiplexing is a traditional telephone technology that allows the simultaneous transmission and receiving of multiple data sources over one signal. It works by splitting the signal into multiple short segments. Each segment carries information from a different source. The relevant segments to each source are assembled together at the receiving end. While TDM offers good reliability and call quality it still requires dedicated physical phone lines. It has been steadily replaced in many organizations with VoIP which is cheaper,  more mobile, and much more adaptable to various business needs.  

If you are considering a switch from TDM to VoIP, Telebroad will help you keep your existing numbers and ensure the transition is as seamless as possible. There is no hardware installation required. SIP phones are optional or you can handle all your communication from computers or mobile devices using the TeleConsole. You may need to change your router to one which is VoIP compatible, but in many cases software adjustments to your existing router are possible. The entire system will run on your existing broadband connection. 


Unified Communications (UC)

An implementation of a phone system that takes various (business) communication methods and concepts and unifies (integrates) them under one platform. The unified methods may include (but keep evolving) phone calls, conferencing, email, internal company chats, PBX and extension dialing, SMS, faxing, queues, hunt groups routing, and more. The platform is also able to share users' information such as availability status and contacts. 

While various systems may be at work on the back-end side, the user of a UC platform can access all his communication needs seamlessly from one software or app. Telebroad's UC platform is called PBXellent and the user software to access it is called the TeleConsole. The platform runs as a cloud service that requires no special hardware.  


VoIP Gateway

A networking device that converts analog telephony signals to digital data for VoIP communication and vice versa. While it performs a similar function to an ATA adapter, a VoIP Gateway can handle multiple lines and call simultaneously compared to only two calls/lines on a typical ATA. Additionally, a VoIP Gateways equipped with FXO ports can connect to the PSTN (traditional phone system) and provide a backup phone service in case of an Internet/VoIP outage. 

A VoIP Gateway needs to have FXS ports to connect analog telephones, fax machines, or other analog equipment to your IP network. There are also GSM VoIP Gateways that can bridge cellular-to-VoIP communication and less common VoIP Gateway with PRI/BRI ports for connecting ISDN lines to a VoIP network. 

You can read more about VoIP Gateways and ATAs here


WAN Port/Multi-WAN

WAN stands for Wide Area Network. A WAN port on a router (or a broadband modem) is where the Internet signal is delivered to from the Internet service provider. Having two (or more) WAN ports gives you the ability to connect to two different Internet service providers simultaneously. 

You can use both ports together to increase reliability and maximize the bandwidth available to users. You can also use one port as your primary service and the other in case of an outage with the first provider.

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