Glossary of Telecommunications Industry Terms: A to B
Bell Canada, 1998

French: accès
In telephony, a way of entry into a circuit or a network (e.g., obtaining a dial tone). (See equal access; line-side access; trunk-side access.)

See automatic call distributor.

acoustic coupler
French: coupleur acoustique
A type of communications equipment that converts data to sound and vice versa so that a telephone handset may be used to transmit data.

See automatic calling unit.

See automatic dialing-announcing device.

See automatic dialing device.

ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line)
French: ligne numérique à paires asymétriques
A technology in which high-capacity transmission requirements, such as compressed video signals are delivered through copper wire. In this case, "asymmetric" refers to the transmission capacity toward the customer being greater than that from the customer to the network.

alternate operator service provider; AOS provider
French: fournisseur indépendant de services de téléphonistes
A party, other than telephone companies, which provides operator services for long distance calls.

alternate provider of long distance services
French: fournisseur de services interurbains concurrent (FSIC)
A company, other than a telephone company, that provides telecommunications services between exchanges that are not in the same toll-free calling area. (See interexchange carrier.)

See automatic message accounting.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange

American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)
French: American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)
The largest long distance (interexchange) carrier in the U.S.

analog signal
See analogue signal.

analogue signal; analog signal
French: signal analogique
An electrical signal that varies continuously in amplitude or frequency with the information being transmitted (e.g., speech or sound waves).

analog transmission
See analogue transmission.

analogue transmission; analog transmission
French: transmission analogique
In telephony, a method of conveying voice, data, image or video information by a signal that varies continuously in amplitude or frequency with the information being transmitted.

See automatic number identification.

annoying call; offensive call
French: appel importun; appel malveillant
An unwanted or disturbing (i.e., obscene, threatening) telephone call. Information on how to handle this type of call appears in the introductory pages of telephone directories under the heading Customer Information.

AOS provider
See alternate operator service provider.

area code
See numbering plan area.

See audio response unit.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
French: ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is an 8-level code accepted worldwide as a communication standard to achieve compatibility between data services.

asymmetric digital subscriber line

asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
French: mode de transfert asynchrone (ATM)
A switching technology that allows for the high-speed movement of voice, data and video information over a common data communications network.

asynchronous transmission
French: transmission asynchrone
Transmission in which the intervals between transmitted characters are of unequal length. Transmission is controlled by start and stop elements.

See asynchronous transfer mode.

See American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

audio response unit (ARU)
French: unité de réponse vocale (URV)
A piece of equipment that transmits an audible computer-generated response. This response may be a human voice, tones, or both.

authorization process
French: processus d'autorisation
Before an alternate long distance company can approach Bell Canada Carrier Services to implement a change to a customer's long distance service, it must obtain appropriate authorization from the customer. That authorization can take one of three forms: verbal, written or electronic. (See Carrier Services.)

French: livraison automatique
A feature of a computer-based message system in which messages are delivered automatically to terminals equipped to answer incoming calls.

automatic call distributor (ACD)
French: distributeur d'appels automatique (DAA); distributeur automatique d'appels
A switching system which automatically distributes incoming calls to a group of attendants. If no answering positions are available, the calls will be automatically put on hold until an attendant is free.

automatic calling unit (ACU)
French: unité d'appel automatique (UAA)
A device which, on receipt of information from a computer, automatically dials calls over the communications network.

automatic dialer
French: composeur automatique (de numéros)
A device which will automatically dial telephone numbers.

automatic dialing device (ADD)
French: dispositif de composition automatique (DCA)
Automatic equipment, which has the capability to store telephone numbers to be called, used for telephone solicitation with live voice callers.

automatic dialing-announcing device (ADAD)
French: dispositif de composition et d'annonce automatique (DCAA)
Automatic equipment used for telephone solicitation which has the capability to store telephone numbers, which can be used alone, or in conjunction with other equipment, to convey a pre-recorded or synthesized voice message.

automatic message accounting (AMA)
French: comptabilité automatique des appels (CAA)
A system which automatically collects the accounting information required to bill long distance calls.

automatic number identification (ANI)
French: enregistrement automatique des numéros (EAN)
Automatic line identification of outward dialed calls which permits call completion and billing without the need for operator intervention.

French: scrutin; sondage
Balloting is a process, not unlike a political referendum, by which all residence and business customers would be asked to "vote" for a preferred or primary (1+) long distance provider.

band; frequency band
French: bande (de fréquences)
A contraction of the term frequency band. A range of frequencies between two defined limits (e.g., the voiceband in telephony is approximately 300 to 3,000 hertz).

French: largeur de bande
The difference between the high and low frequencies of a transmission band used to measure network capacity. A voice channel bandwidth is generally between 300 and 3,000 hertz limits, or 2,700 hertz wide. Analogue transmission is measured in cycles per second. Digital transmission is measured in bits of information per second. (See analogue transmission; digital transmission system.)

basic telephone service
French: service téléphonique de base
In the context of the objective of affordable, universal telephone service, basic service refers to residential telephone service provided to the general body of customers. Examples of current basic service features include: the provision of dial tone; access to operator assistance; a personal listing in the telephone directory; repair service; and long distance calling.

French: baud
A unit of transmission speed used to express the capacity of a digital transmission. That speed is defined as either the number of signal elements per second (where all elements are of equal length and represent one or more information bits), or, the reciprocal of the time duration of the shortest signal element being transmitted.

BCE Inc.
French: BCE Inc.
BCE Inc. is Canada's largest telecommunications company. Its subsidiaries include: Bell Canada, Canada's largest telecommunications services supplier; Northern Telecom Limited, an equipment manufacturer; Bell-Northern Research Ltd., a research and development establishment; BCE Mobile Communications Inc., a cellular/paging/mobile data company; and Tele-Direct Publications Inc ., a telephone directory publisher. Another subsidiary, Bell Canada International Inc., makes investments in telecommunications companies internationally. BCE has more registered shareholders than any other Canadian company. (See Bell Canada; Bell Canada International Inc.; Bell Mobility; Bell-Northern Research Ltd.; and Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc.)

See Bell Canada International Inc.

Bell Canada
French: Bell Canada
Canada's largest supplier of telecommunications services. It provides advanced voice, data and image communications to approximately nine million customers in Ontario and Québec. Bell is federally regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and is a member of Stentor - an alliance of Canada's major telephone companies. (See Stentor.)

Bell Canada International Inc. (BCI)
French: Bell Canada International Inc. (BCI)
BCI seeks investments in international telecommunications markets that provide a synergy with BCE's other telecommunications activities. BCI administers investments in telecommunications services, cable television/telephone and cellular services in the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand and Colombia.

Bell Mobility
French: Bell Mobilité
BCE Mobile Communications Inc., operating under the Bell Mobility banner, is the Canadian leader in mobile communications. BCE Mobile is more than 65 per cent owned by BCE.

Bell-Northern Research Ltd. (BNR)
French: Recherches Bell-Northern Ltée (BNR)
Bell-Northern Research is a world leader in the design and development of advanced telecommunications systems. BNR operates or supports laboratories in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Japan and China. The majority of BNR is owned by Northern Telecom Limited, and the remainder by Bell Canada.

Bell Operating Companies (BOCs)
See divestiture of AT&T; Regional Bell Operating Companies.

See Business Exchange Measured Service.

binary digit
See bit.

bit; binary digit
French: bit (b); élément binaire (eb)
A contraction of the term "binary digit". A bit is the smallest possible unit of storage of computer information and can be one of two values. These values are typically represented by 0 and 1, low and high, or on and off.

bit rate
French: débit binaire
The number of bits (binary digits) transmitted in a specified length of time. This rate is usually expressed in bits per second (bps).

French: blocage
A condition in which no calling paths or circuits are available to complete a call. In this situation, a recorded message directs the calling party to hang up and try the call again. Blocking is also referred to as a busy condition and, in some cases, a busy tone (not a recorded message) informs the calling party that the call cannot be completed. (See Section 2: call blocking; per-call blocking; per-line blocking.)

See Bell-Northern Research Ltd.

bridge, bridging
French: 1) pont de conférence
2) dérivation

Equipment and techniques used to interconnect multipoint circuits (i.e., conference calls).

broadband channel
French: 1) canal à très large bande (radiocommunication)
2) voie à très large bande (telephony)

A transmission channel that can carry high speed data, image, voice or video.

broadband communications
French: communication à très large bande
Communications that require high levels of transmission capacity (or bandwidth). For example, unlike voice communications -- which require the transmission of relatively small amounts of information -- video and multimedia services require the transmission of very large amounts of information.

broadband network
French: réseau à très large bande
A network capable of transporting voice, image, video and data signals at a rate of more than 1.5 million bits of information per second. (See narrowband network; wideband network.)

French: diffusion
The sending of messages or video to many or all points simultaneously.

Business Exchange Measured Service (BEMS)
French: service local d'affaires tarifé à l'utilisation (SLATU)
A usage-sensitive rating structure for business local service in which business customers pay a reduced flat rate for access to the telephone network and a separate per-minute charge for their outgoing local calling. Incoming calls, long distance calls, operator-handled and directory assistance calls, and local calls internal to a business's own system are excluded.

French: évitement; contournement
The routing of calls through networks other than the public switched telephone network in order to avoid the fees which subsidize local rates. For example, customers might route Canadian and overseas long distance calls through carriers in the United States.

French: multiplet
A group of consecutive bits forming a unit of storage in a computer and used to represent one alphanumeric character or symbol. A byte usually consists of eight bits but it may contain more or fewer depending on the model of the computer.

D to F
G to N
O to S
T to Z