Glossary

A

A/C
Air conditioning: Also known as AC, “aircon”, or “environmental control” – this refers to the process of controlling temperature, humidity, air quality and motion in an enclosed area (a telecoms facility for example).
AAA
Triple A: describes a video game that has sold, or is expected to sell in large volume, typically in excess of one million units at retail.
AC power
Alternating current: an electrical current whose magnitude and direction vary cyclically, as opposed to direct power, whose direction remains constant. Access charge A regulated charge made by local exchange carriers (LECs) for use of their facilities to originate/terminate traffic. The majority of such charges are billed to interexchange carriers (see CALC) to ensure LECs are compensated for use of their high-maintenance local access networks.
Access minutes
The term used by the FCC and NECA (US) when measuring traffic between Lata carriers in order to calculate usage charges (aka minutes of use).
Access network
Many wholesale carriers define the access network as the fibre connections and infrastructure that link a core network to PoP and POI switch locations.
Access tandem
A local exchange carrier switching system that concentrates and distributes traffic originating from, or terminating at end offices in the access/local service area. The access tandem provides the interexchange carrier with access to multiple end offices within the local access and transport area (see Lata).
ACD
Automated call distribution
ACH
Automated clearing house
ACNA
Access carrier (or customer) name abbreviation: a code of three-characters assigned to each interexchange carrier that designates the customer (ie another IXC) to which circuits are billed.
Active mobile subscribers
Mobile phone users are considered “active” when they have generated a billable event within the last three months. This prevents mobile operators quoting inflated mobile subscriber figures based on the number of SIMs sold.
ADSL
Asymmetric digital subscriber line
Aggregate bandwidth
The total bandwidth of a channel or device carrying a multiplexed bitstream.
Aggregator
1) An independent entity that brings a number of subscribers together in order to provide long-distance telecoms services at reduced rates. Such providers can include facilities-based carriers; traditional/switchless resellers that resell services under their own brand; and other third-party resellers such as buying co-ops, user groups and long-distance brokers.
2) Access provider to mobile networks, often for the provision of SMS and value-added services, who handles the network operator relationships on behalf of the customer. Typically, aggregators add value via services such as marketing, short-code allocation and billing aggregation.
3) An organisation that combines information/multimedia content from multiple sources and makes it available to subscribers.
AI
Artificial intelligence
Air interface
The radio transmission portion of a mobile network that provides a path between the base station and the mobile device.
Airtime provider
Either an independent entity or retail arm of a mobile operator, selling airtime acquired from GSM networks to individual and corporate end users.
Altnet
Alternate network: a service provider that is independent of established telcos and offers local (CLEC), metro or long-distance communications services.
AMPU
Average margin per user
Analogue transmission
The traditional technology used for voice transmission. Sound waves (or other data) are converted into electrical impulses and sent over twisted pairs of cop           per wire so that they fluctuate in the same pattern as the original signal.
Ancillary telecommunications services
Supplementary capabilities made available to service providers by local exchange carriers, such as emergency calling facilities/short-code dialling, directory assistance and operator services.
ANI
Automatic number identification
API
Application programming interface
APON
ATM passive optical network: the original PON standard based on ATM that is used in the local loop to connect terminals to an all-optical network.
APOT
Alternate/additional point of termination: identifies specific co-location terminations used for the purpose of ordering UNEs and ancillary services.
AR
Alternate routing: a safety mechanism implemented by carriers where alternate paths are used to arrive at the same destination. This ensures that communications can continue in the event of a node failure or heavy network congestion (see also route diversity).
AR
Accounting rate: typically used as settlement rates for bilateral voice agreements between carriers.
Arbitrage
Telecoms arbitrage is where carriers “target” [ie exploit] high-profit market niches created by regulation concerning inter-carrier compensation. For example, a CLEC might have an ISP customer generating large volumes of terminating dial-up modem traffic that can result in the ILEC paying substantial amounts of reciprocal compensation to the CLEC (although inter-carrier compensation resulting from ISP traffic has now been capped in the US).
ARPU
Average revenue per user
ARS
Accounting rate system:  ITU system of international interconnect billing.
ASOG
Access service ordering guidelines:  industry guidelines sponsored by the Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF), and ATIS, that outline the forms, data elements and business rules required for the issue of an access service request (see ASR).
ASR
Access service request:  forms used by carriers to order switched access or special access services from another carrier.
ATC
Access tandem connection
ATIS
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions
ATM
Asynchronous transfer mode
Authentication
Process of establishing the identity of a user/communicating party that is attempting to access the network.
Avatar
An interactive graphical representation of a player in a game set in a virtual world/online environment.