Glossary of Telecommunications Industry Terms: T to Z
Bell Canada, 1998

tandem switching
French: commutation de transit
The use of an intermediate switch or switches to interconnect the switch serving a calling party to the switch serving a called party.

French: télécommunications
The transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, images, sound or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio optical system, or other technical system.

Telecommunications Act
French: Loi sur les télécommunications
The Act under which Canadian telecommunications common carriers, such as Bell Canada are regulated. Long distance resellers are not subject to regulation unless they have obtained substantial (0.5 per cent) market share or they own their own transmission facilities.

The Act, which came into effect in October 1993, replaces the Railway Act, which had regulated the telecommunications industry since 1908. It stipulates that the CRTC may forebear from regulation for categories of services where it considers sufficient competition exists. Broadcasting and cable companies are excluded from the Act. (See forebearance.)

telecommunications common carrier; common carrier
French: entreprise de télécommunications; télécommunicateur; transporteur public
A person, firm or corporation responsible for the provision of telecommunications services in a given territory, and who provides access to these services for a fee.

telecommunications infrastructure
French: infrastructure du réseau de télécommunications
The underlying structure or framework of the telecommunications system (i.e., cable, switching equipment, amplifiers, etc.) which allows for the transmission of voice, video and data.

Tele-Direct International
French: Tele-Direct International
Tele-Direct International, through its affiliates, provides directory publishing services to telephone companies around the world including Hong Kong, the Middle East, India and the Caribbean. (See Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc.; Tele-Direct (Services) Inc.)

Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc.
French: Télé-Direct (Publications) Inc.
Tele-Direct (Publications Inc.) is a BCE subsidiary that provides directory publishing services to Bell Canada. (See Tele-Direct (Services) Inc.; Tele-Direct International.)

Tele-Direct (Services) Inc.
French: Télé-Direct (Services) Inc.
Tele-Direct (Services) Inc. provides directory publishing services to Canadian telephone companies, such as New Brunswick Telephone Company Limited (NBTel) Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited, NorthwesTel and more than 40 independent telephone companies across Canada. (See Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc.; Tele-Direct International.)

Teleglobe Canada Inc.
French: Téléglobe Canada Inc.
Canada's overseas telecommunications carrier.

French: télégraphie
A communications system for transmitting signals generated by a telegraph key.

French: télémarketing
A systematic, controlled and purposeful program in which the telephone is used as a marketing tool to seek and maintain customers.

French: téléphone
A device used mainly for voice communications which converts audible signals into electrical waves, which can then be transmitted over communications channels.

telephone, cellular
French: téléphone cellulaire; cellulaire
A cordless telephone. Messages are transferred from one point to another via radio waves. (See cellular.)

telephone, digital cordless
French: téléphone sans fil numérique (TSFN)
A small, lightweight, inexpensive telephone. Its use is limited to the vicinity of transmission points located in public places or in conjunction with home or office telephones.

telephone, pushbutton
French: téléphone à poussoirs
A telephone set or system in which each instrument has a series of buttons for selecting the line to be used, holding a line, or other functions. This does not refer to the technique used for dialing calls.

French: téléphonie
The branch of telecommunications which incorporates the transmission and reproduction of speech.

Telesat Canada
French: Télésat Canada
Established in 1969, Telesat Canada operates a commercial satellite communications system throughout Canada.

French: 1) point de raccordement
2) terminal
1) A point where information can enter or leave a communications network. 2) An input/output device designed to receive or send source data.

third-number billing
See third-party billing.

third-party billing; third-number billing
French: facturation à un troisième numéro
A procedure whereby long distance calls can be charged to a telephone number different from that of either the calling party or the called party (e.g., a home or office number).

toll office
French: central interurbain; centre interurbain
A switching centre where inter-city circuits terminate.

TOPS* (Traffic Operator Position System)
French: TOPS* (système de positions automatisées de téléphonistes)
A work station and the associated electronic switching system that permit the processing of operator-handled calls (e.g., "0" plus, automatic coin rating and hotel/motel requirements).
*Trademark of Northern Telecom Limited

See Section 2: Call Trace

Traffic Operator Position System

transmission system
French: système de transmission
Facilities used for the transfer of information from one geographic location to another. An information transmission medium generally consists of copper conductors, fiber or microwave radio.

French: répéteur (de satellite)
An electronic device on a satellite that is used to amplify signals prior to their re-transmission to earth.

French: circuit
A circuit or channel connecting two exchanges or switching devices. It is a circuit that is capable of being switched at both ends.

trunk-side access
French: accès côté circuit
A circuit that is connected to the "trunk side" of a local telephone switch. This type of access is provided to alternate providers of long distance service so that their customers can make long distance calls without dialing extra digits.

umbrella prices
French: prix de protection
Refers to regulated prices for services (e.g., long distance) that are offered by telephone companies at levels high enough to allow competitors to enter the market uneconomically and charge lower prices. (See uneconomic entry.)

uneconomic entry
French: entrée non économique (sur le marché)
Refers to a situation in which an industry's long-term unit costs of producing a good or service increase because entry from competitors occurs. For example, when the prices of services are artificially maintained above their costs to cross-subsidize local service, an entrant could undercut the existing price, yet have higher unit costs than the telephone companies. This would result in an increase in industry unit costs.

universality of service
French: universalité du service
Accessibility to telephone services at an affordable price by anyone who wishes to have it.

French: passage à un groupe tarifaire supérieur
Occurs when the telephone count in an exchange (i.e., the number of phones that can be reached toll-free, times a weighting factor) outgrows its current rate group and moves it to the next highest local rate group. Each rate group has a minimum and a maximum number of permitted telephone lines which determines the basic local rate customers pay for telephone service.

usage sensitive pricing (USP)
French: tarification à l'utilisation (TU)
Charges for service(s) that are based on usage.

user class of service
French: catégorie d'usagers du service
A category of data transmission provided in a network in which the data signaling rate and terminal operating mode are standardized.

See usage sensitive pricing.

utility service
French: service public
A service for which there is little or no choice of suppliers.

See Video Dial Tone.

See visual display unit.

Video Dial Tone (VDT)
French: service de vidéo commuté; tonalité vidéo
Video Dial Tone (VDT) is the visual counterpart to basic exchange service audio dial tone whereby video information is switched over a public network. As with audio dial tone, VDT can be used to connect one or more locations for the transmission and exchange of visual and auditory information.

French: vidéo à la carte; vidéo à la demande
A technology that allows individuals to retrieve, via a television set or a computer, video material stored in a remote database when one wants it (i.e., on demand). The material, which can include films, training videos, or any other video information, can be viewed (at any time) by an individual and manipulated with VCR-like controls (i.e., pause, rewind, fast forward). The same material can also be viewed simultaneously by different people in different locations, allowing them to watch the same or different portions of the video at the same time.

visual display unit (VDU); display unit
French: écran de visualisation; écran; terminal à écran; unité d'affichage; unité de visualisation; visuel
A device, such as a television screen, which produces a visible display of data. It is usually equipped with a keyboard to allow communication with a computer. A hard copy of the images produced on the screen may be reproduced using a printer.

voice response (VR)
French: réponse vocale (RV)
The handling of calls by a computerized voice. For example, an operator may hand off a call to a voice response system, which will provide a customer with information. (See personalized response system.)

See voice response.

wideband network
French: réseau à large bande
A wideband network is capable of carrying less information than a broadband network, but more than a narrowband network. Services include: video teleconferencing; file transferring and video telephony. Technically, wideband services are those which require between 64,000 and 1.5 million bits or more of information per second. (See broadband network; narrowband network.)

wireless communication
French: communication sans fil
The transmission of information signals without a physical connection, through technologies such as cordless telephones, cellular telephones or microwaves.

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