VoIP PBX Glossary

Description of VoIP Terms Used In World of VoIP Phone Systems

There is much terminology VoIP users need to get themselves familiarized with in order to ensure that they have a better understanding of the VoIP phone systems that they are using.

Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA)

An ATA is a device that helps convert analog telephone signals into other used formats. In terms of VoIP services, an ATA converts the signals into digital Internet Protocol that is then used to place and receive calls. ATAs can be multi-functional. There are ATAs that only provide Internet telephone services whereas other advanced multi-function ones also convert digital signals into various other formats like video, audio, as well as, text or data. The basic function of an ATA is to convert voice or audio signals as well as control signals like touch tone or placing a call on hold into other formats that can be sent or received over the internet.

Auto Attendant

An auto attendant or simply attendant is the automatic response system that handles incoming voice calls and then routes them to the correct phone or extension. The voice presenting options that state “press 1 for…” or “press 2 for Mr. X” is an example of an auto attendant.


A bandwidth represents the amount of data that can be sent or received from one point to another, in a given amount of time. You will need a high bandwidth for successful VoIP calls. Bandwidth is generally measured as 1000 bits per second (kbps).


In terms of VoIP, a codec converts digital signals to analog ones and vice versa. Since most VoIP calls are voice calls, a codec may also be referred to as a ‘vocoder’ or voice encoder. They have good compression ability that saves network bandwidth.


Integrated Voice Response or IVR is an integrated software information system that allows callers to use the keypad to provide responses and then provides them with voice responses of real time date or pertinent information.

IPBX or IP PBX or Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange

An IP PBX is a private telephone system that is located locally and which allows users to place calls over the Internet using Internet Protocol.  This is generally pertaining to a small geographic region’s telephony system like the telephone service within a building or between buildings that are close by.

IP Phone

An IP Phone is also known as a VoIP phone and is a device that is used to place telephone calls over the Internet or for carrying calls to the PBX. An IP Phone looks similar to a regular phone but connects to a router using a specific connector that makes it a software loaded phone system.


VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is simply the routing of voice conversations over a high speed broadband Internet connection using Internet Protocol or IP. They generally carry telephone signals as digital data that is compressed using speech data compression techniques.