INDEPENDENT NEWS

Telecommunications - Glossary Of Terms

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2000 12:53 AM
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
0867 – an access code introduced by Telecom for channelling Internet traffic to Internet service providers.
2G – an abbreviation for ‘second generation cellular technology’, which is capable of supporting digital cellular services.
3G – an abbreviation for ‘third generation cellular technology’ which is capable of supporting very high-speed data services over a cellular network.
ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line – a common variant of xDSL technology that allows the use of a copper wire to send high-speed data (e.g. high speed Internet service downloads) in one direction and lower-speed data (e.g. a control channel) in the other.
Bandwidth – the physical characteristic of a telecommunications system that determines the speed at which information can be transferred. In analogue systems, it is measured in cycles per second (Hertz) and in digital systems in binary bits per second (Bit/s) or bytes per second (a byte being 8 bits).
Bill and keep – a reciprocal pricing rule under which two ‘two-way’ networks agree to carry traffic from each other’s network without charging each other. Each network operator bills the traffic at its originating point and keeps the revenue.
Bundling – the packaging of a number of services together such that the price of the bundle is less than the price of the individual services or smaller bundled packages of those services.
Co-location – use of an existing site owned by another service provider for the purpose of facilitating network build out.
Copper circuit – the main transmission medium used in local telephone access networks to connect a telephone or other apparatus to the local exchange. Copper circuits are designed for voice telephony and have limited ability to carry broadband services such as video, unless combined with a technology such as ADSL.
Data tail - a service that provides (an access seeker) the ability to transmit data to a customer by accessing the Telecom (access provider) data network at any point that is technically feasible (other than at the physical level, i.e. the copper circuit).
Digital divide – the risk that those with lower incomes or living in more remote areas will have access to a lower quality of telecommunications services than available to others, and as a result may not be able to adequately participate in the information economy.
Essential facilities – also known as ‘bottleneck facilities ‘– facilities that a competitor must have access to in order to compete in a particular market.
Information disclosure – a means of assisting competition by lowering the information asymmetry between an incumbent and other service providers and potential new entrants.
Interconnection – the connection of two networks thereby allowing customers on one network to connect with customers on the other network, or to access services provided by the other network.
Kiwi Share – a special share in Telecom that requires Telecom to provide a specified range of services to residential users.
Kiwi Shareholder – the holder of the Kiwi Share, who is the Minister of Finance acting on behalf of the Government.
Local loop – the line from a telephone customer’s premises – usually a circuit of two copper wires – to the telephone company’s nearest local exchange.
Local loop unbundling – a requirement on the incumbent in the telecommunications market to make available to other providers individual components of its network, so that other providers can offer a full range of competitive telecommunications services.
Number Administration Deed (NAD) – an industry-based mechanism for the centralised and independent administration of telephone numbers, which includes a process to address number portability issues.
Number allocation - access to blocks of telephone numbers by service providers who provide individual numbers to customers.
Number portability –the ability of customers to retain their telephone numbers when changing telecommunications service providers.
PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network – the switched telephone networks of the major operators, on which calls can be made to all customers of all PSTNs.
Radio spectrum – the range of frequencies used, for example, by broadcasting radio, terrestrial television and satellite television. Spectrum is required for the provision of any kind of cellular telephone service.
Roaming – the ability for cellular phone users to make or receive calls on other service providers’ networks when outside the coverage area of their own cellular network service provider.
TSLRIC – a cost-based pricing methodology reflecting ‘forward-looking costs’ of an efficient operator, comprising direct costs, the cost of capital, and a share of common costs. This is commonly known as the Total Service Long-Run Incremental Cost.
Universal service obligations – a requirement for specified service(s) to be made available to customers on a widespread basis. These services may not be sufficiently profitable in a purely commercial environment.
Wholesale – the sale of telecommunications services at a discounted or wholesale price to other telecommunication services suppliers who then resell them to customers.
xDSL – (Digital Subscriber Line) describes a range of technologies that allow the high-speed bidirectional transfer of digitally-encoded data over a copper wire (e.g. a television picture). Variants include: ADSL (Assymmetric Digital Subscriber Line); SDSL (Symmetrical DSL); HDSL (High bit rate DSL); VDSL (Very high bit rate DSL).

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