Glossary of Telecommunications Industry Terms: O to S
Bell Canada, 1998

offensive call
See annoying call.

open architecture
French: architecture ouverte
The manner in which the information highway is designed so that equipment of different manufacturers may be used, and content producers/providers are able to share information and any subsequent revenue opportunities. (See information highway.)

open inter-network accessibility
French: interconnexion de réseaux ouverts
Refers to the capability of users of one network being able to readily access users of another network.

operating time
French: durée des manoeuvres
The time required for dialing a call, waiting for the connection to be established, coordinating the transmission with the personnel or equipment at the receiving end, and disconnecting after the transmission.

See Private Automatic Branch Exchange.

French: paquet
A group of bits, including data and control information, such as a source and destination address, an identification number, and error control information, transmitted as a unit.

packet switching
French: commutation par paquets; commutation de paquets
A technique in which data is sent from a "sending" to a "receiving" terminal or computer in packets of fixed length. Each packet is sent separately and may be interspersed with packets from another location. (See Section 2: Datapac.)

party line
French: ligne partagée
A central office line serving more than one customer.

French: télévision à la carte
The ability to select and view the cable television programming of one's choice for a fee.

See Private Branch Exchange.

See personal computer.

See pulse code modulation.

person-to-person call
French: appel de personne à personne; communication de personne à personne
A type of long distance call. Charging begins only when the person calling begins speaking to the person to whom they have specified they wish to speak.

personal computer (PC)
French: ordinateur personnel (OP); PC; ordinateur individuel (OI)
A micro-computer intended for professional and personal applications.

personalized response system (PRS)
French: système de réponse personnalisée
A computer assistance system which permits operators to pre-record their greeting to customers and other frequently used messages, thereby relieving stress on their voices and increasing operator productivity. (See voice response.)

phase modulation (PM)
French: modulation de phase
A modulation technique in which the phase of a signal is altered to differentiate between a binary 1 and 0.

Phase II costing
French: établissement du prix de revient selon la Phase II
A prospective, incremental, growth-oriented method of costing for telecommunications carriers that deals with new and existing products and services.

Phase III costing
French: établissement du prix de revient selon la Phase III
A historically-oriented method of accounting and costing in which categories of services are studied over a one-year test period to determine whether broad categories of service are meeting their revenue requirements.

See primary interexchange carrier.

See phase modulation.

French: point d'accès; accès; port
The entrance or access point to a computer or multiplexer.

primary interexchange carrier (PIC)
French: fournisseur désigné de services intercirconscriptions (FDSI); fournisseur désigné de services interurbains.
In an equal access environment, the term primary interexchange carrier (PIC) refers to the long distance provider designated by the customer as their preferred long distance provider.

Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX)
French: PABX
A small switching system installed on a business customer's premises which provides internal telephone switching, as well as outside connections. The system can be either mechanically or electronically controlled.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
French: PBX; autocommutateur privé
Telephone service provided for a customer's use consisting of central office trunks, a switchboard and extension telephones which may be interconnected with the trunks or with each other through the switchboard and associated equipment. PBXs may be manual or dial, depending on the method used by extensions to place incoming or outgoing calls.

private line
French: ligne directe
A telephone line for the private use of one party or a point-to-point line connecting two parties for their private use.

private network
French: réseau privé
Any network that is designed and operated exclusively for a particular person, organization or group of users.

French: protocole
A formal set of conventions governing the format and control of inputs and outputs between two communicating processes.

See personalized response system.

See public switched telephone network.

public data network
French: réseau public de transmission de données; réseau public de données
A network established and operated by a telecommunications administration or a recognized private operating agency for the specific purpose of providing data transmission services to the public.

public dial port
French: entrée banalisée par réseau commuté
A dial-in port which provides access to a system or service, such as a packet network, from a terminal connected to the public telephone network.

public switched telephone network (PSTN)
French: réseau téléphonique public commuté (RTPC)
The worldwide dial-up telephone network or a portion of that network (e.g., the Bell Canada PSTN). A phrase often used when referring to data or other non-telephone services carried over a path initially established using normal telephone signaling and ordinary switched long distance telephone circuits.

French: impulsion
A variation in electrical energy above or below a normal level and a given duration, such as a brief surge of voltage or current.

pulse code modulation (PCM)
French: modulation par impulsions et codage (MIC)
A modulation technique in which the signal being transmitted is sampled at regular intervals to determine its magnitude. The magnitude is converted to a digital pulse for transmission. (See pulse modulation.)

pulse modulation
French: modulation d'impulsions
The modulation of the characteristics of a series of pulses in one of several ways to represent the information-bearing signal. The most common pulse modulation in telephony is pulse code modulation. (See pulse code modulation.)

rate centre
French: centre tarifaire
The telephone company location used as a reference point for measuring mileage in the calculation of interexchange rates for measured and flat rate interexchange services.

rate group
French: groupe tarifaire
A classification used by telephone companies to determine a customer's flat rate for local service. A customer's rate group is based on the number of telephone numbers a customer can call from their exchange without paying long distance charges.

rate of return on average common equity
French: taux de rendement de l'avoir moyen des porteurs d'actions ordinaires
The net earnings of a company applicable to common shareholders (before extraordinary items) divided by the company's average total common equity, multiplied by 100.

rate rebalancing
French: rééquilibrage des tarifs
The process by which the rates for long distance services are reduced while the rates for local services are increased to bring the rates for each more in line with the costs of providing them.

rational pricing
French: rationalisation des tarifs
Pricing in which contribution levels have been reduced to market-sustainable levels, while the rate levels for individual services within the utility (i.e., local service) segment have been set at levels that are more closely reflective of the costs of providing such services.

See Regional Bell Operating Companies.

Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs)
French: sociétés exploitantes Bell (SEB)
Seven independent regional holding companies which were formed, coincident with the divestiture of AT&T in 1984, to take over ownership of the Bell operating companies within their region. These companies are: Nynex; Bell Atlantic; BellSouth; Southwestern Bell; US West; Pacific Telesis and Ameritech. The RBOCs have set up numerous unregulated subsidiaries which are engaged in a variety of communications-related and non-communications businesses. (See divestiture of AT&T.)

regional dynamic routing
French: acheminement adaptatif - réseau régional
Dynamically controlled routing within a geographic region. (See dynamically controlled routing.)

regulated rate of return
French: taux de rendement réglementé
Bell Canada's utility services are subject to rate of return regulation (i.e., return on average total capital), which is determined by the CRTC for regulatory purposes. After taking into account the costs of debt and preferred equity capital, this represents the regulated rate of return on average common equity. The regulated rate of return on average common equity is calculated by taking the net income applicable to common shareholders adjusted for regulatory purposes (before extraordinary items), and dividing it by the average total common equity, multiplied by 100.

French: répéteur
A bi-directional device used in channels to amplify or regenerate signals.

French: revente
The secondary sale or lease of telecommunications services originally purchased --generally at bulk discount rates -- from a carrier, such as Bell Canada. Resellers are usually Bell customers and are entitled to the same provision of company services under the same terms and conditions as any other customer.

See Rogers Network Services (RNS).

Rogers Network Services (RNS)
French: Rogers Network Services (RNS)
Rogers Network Services (RNS), a division of Rogers Communications Inc., was established in 1988 to provide private line voice, data, image, and broadcast services. Federally regulated by the CRTC, the company operates in Metropolitan Toronto and other major centres in Canada.

French: routeur
A specialized switching device which allows customers to link different geographically dispersed local area networks and computer systems. This is achieved even though it encompasses different types of traffic under different protocols, creating a single, more efficient, enterprise-wide network.

French: acheminement
The assignment of the communications path by which a message or telephone call reaches its destination.

seamless integration
French: intégration transparente
Refers to a situation in which a caller/user does not experience any difficulties or interruptions when their call entails an interconnection between different networks or systems.

Service Provisioning Measurement Plan (SPMP)
French: Programme d'évaluation de la qualité du service (PEQS)
Based on monthly interviews with approximately 20,000 customers who have initiated orders for service (e.g., installation or repair) and the work has been completed. Customers are asked if they were satisfied with access to the Business Office/Customer Service Centre, appointment convenience, as well as employee courtesy, helpfulness, professionalism and workmanship. Their reaction is one element in determining whether or not Bell is meeting its quality of service standards.

French: partage
The use, by two or more persons, of telecommunications services jointly leased or purchased from a telecommunications carrier.

French: signal
A detectable impulse by which information is communicated through electronic or optical means or over wire, cable, microwave, laser beams, etc.

French: détournement (de client)
Customers are "slammed" if their long distance service is changed without their knowledge or without their authorization. The long distance company that "slammed" the customer is assessed a "slamming fee" if it is unable to produce appropriate authorization within 15 days following initiation of a dispute. (See slamming dispute.)

slamming dispute
French: litige
A situation in which a customer whose long distance service has been changed without their knowledge or without their authorization should call their preferred carrier who can initiate a resolution of the disagreement on their behalf. (See slamming.)

French: logiciel
Computer programs, procedures, rules and any associated documentation needed for the operation of a computer system.

Special Needs customer
French: client des services adaptés
A person who may not have the ability to lift or hold a telephone handset, to dial, to hear another person's voice and the ringing telephone, or to speak at a level which can be heard clearly.

See Service Provisioning Measurement Plan.

French: poste
One of the input or output points of a communications system.

station-to-station call
French: appel de numéro à numéro
A call in which the calling party dials the desired telephone number, the call is completed without the assistance of an operator (except under the circumstances described below), and the call is billed automatically to the telephone number from which the call is placed. Under certain circumstances, an operator may be required to complete a station-to-station call. For example, an operator may be needed to record the originating telephone number, where no automatic recording equipment is available or where the caller is disabled and unable to dial the call him/herself. An operator may also be required when a customer-dialed call has been involuntarily interrupted and/or the calling party experiences network difficulty when dialing the call over the telecommunications company's network.

French: Stentor
The Stentor Alliance was formed in 1992 by Canada's leading telecommunications services providers. The Alliance works with customers across Canada to economically deliver leading-edge local, national and international telecommunications services. These companies maintain the world's longest, fully digital, fiber optic network. This network forms the backbone of a Canadian information highway which the Alliance is committed to completing by the year 2005 under the Beacon initiative.

The members of the Alliance are: Alberta Government Telephones (AGT); Bell Canada; British Columbia Telephone Company (B.C. Tel); The Island Telephone Company Limited; Manitoba Telephone System (MTS); Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited (MT&T); Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited; New Brunswick Telephone Company Limited (NBTel); and SaskTel. Québec Téléphone and NorthwesTel are associate members of the Stentor Alliance.

storage; memory
French: mémoire
A term used to describe any device (generally electronic or magnetic) capable of retaining information.

French: standard
Equipment used to manually interconnect lines and trunks. A manually-operated switching position which is part of a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) service furnished to a customer and is used to control the interconnection of lines and trunks. (See Private Branch Exchange.)

switching centre
See central office.

switching entity; switching unit
French: autocommutateur
A single switching machine. One or more switching units constitutes a switching centre.

switching unit
See switching entity.

French: système
A set of equipment or apparatus which is combined to perform a function within a carrier's telecommunications network (e.g., switching system).

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