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Microwave is a kind of leased line that uses a radio link rather than copper or fibre.  Generally it requires a line of sight from the network location to an antenna dish mounted on or near your premises.

Leased line – Ethernet

An Ethernet leased line can be connected to existing office-based Ethernet networks without additional protocol translation equipment.  It ‘presents’ an Ethernet interface to the user.

Leased line

A leased line is a copper or fibre connection providing a data service with a Service Level Agreement (for example, this may cover. download speeds, repair times and so on). Depending upon the type of service ordered the sockets and connectors, and their electrical characteristics, might differ from the usual Ethernet components that you may be familiar with.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

Wireless links can be used instead of copper or optical fibre links to connect users from a wireless base station.  Usually the base station is mounted on a mast or building at your premises.  The connection’s performance is designed to be more stable and predictable than mobile because user equipment is in a fixed location.  Often FWA uses mobile technologies adapted for fixed operations.

Cable (DOCSIS 3.0)

The original Cable TV networks used fibre optic links from the network to street side distribution points and coaxial copper lines to users’ premises.  Coaxial copper lines have a higher capacity over longer distances than traditional ‘twisted pair’ copper telephone lines and this TV technology has been adapted to provide data communications at up to 120Mbit/s download speeds and 12Mbit/s upload speeds.

Fibre on demand

Where a supplier usually offers FTTC to customers as a standard product rather than FTTP (because  of the high deployment costs), or if FTTC would not provide a sufficiently fast service to meet an individual customer’s needs, then some network operators would offer FTTP for an additional charge  by offering what suppliers call an ‘on-demand’ product. Charges are often considerable and are payable upfront.

Fibre To The Premise (FTTP)

Where an optical fibre runs all of the way from the provider’s network to your premises.  Very high download and upload speed (e.g. 10 Gigabytes per second and above) are possible with some types of active fibre systems.  However, lower cost passive optical networks (PON), also classified as FTTP, are often used by suppliers and typically offer asymmetric speeds of up to 330Mbit/s download speed and 30Mbit/s upload speed.

Business Grade

There is no standard definition of Business Grade, but characteristics of a Business Grade line will be that it is oftensymmetric, always uncontended and will have a robust service level agreement from your supplier. Technologies above that would deliver a Business Grade service would be:  Leased line, Leased line – Ethernet, Microwave, Ethernet First Mile (EFM) delivered on an uncontended/dedicated basis. Typically, Business Grade solutions will cost more, reflecting the higher quality and reliability of the service offered. The minimum speed you need to contract with your supplier for to use a Connection Voucher is 20Mbit/s upload or download. Remember that if you already have a Business Grade connection and wish to use a voucher to upgrade your service, your new connection must offer you at leastdouble the speed – that is from 10 to 20 Mbit/s or from 20 to 40, and so on if you choose one of these products.

Next Generation Access (NGA)

The ‘next generation’ referred to is the industry-wide upgrade in technology from current ‘old’ methods that are used to deliver slower broadband speeds.  In the list above, the NGA technologies are : Fibre to the premise, Fibre to the cabinet, Fibre on demand, Cable (DOCSIS 3.0), some newer types of Fixed Wireless Access, and Ethernet First Mile (EFM) delivered on a contended basis (that is,  not a dedicated/uncontended line that only you use). Typically, NGA solutions will be lower cost than Business Grade and are likely to be both contended and asymmetric. The minimum speed you need to contract with your supplier for to use a Connection Voucher is 30Mbit/s either upload or download if you choose one of these products. If you already have an NGA connection at or above 30Mbit/s you should contact your city for requirements for the minimum speed that would be eligible for a Connection Voucher.


Is short for ‘Wireless Application Protocol’. This is a popular mobile internet service which can be used on a handheld device. It enables you to go online outside the office and home.


Is short for ‘Wide Area Network’. This is a type of communications network that uses devices such as telephone lines, satellite dishes or radio waves to span a larger geographic area that cannot be covered by LAN.


Is short for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’. This implies the ability to make voice calls over the internet. In a mobile phone it would mean the ability to make a call using Wi-Fi, EDGE or any other internet service the handset permits.


Allows users to protect their voicemail, and lets the user pick up their messages from any touch-tone phone.


Is short for ‘Very high bit-rate Digital Line Subscriber’. VDSL is essentially an upgrade on ADSL which offers higher bandwidth and faster upload/download speeds.This identifies that voice communications use a very small amount of wire capabilities, and use the rest of the capability to provide improved data services.


Is short for ‘Universal Serial Bus’. This is simply a wired standard used for interfacing between a mobile handset and a PC for various purposes. Be it media and data transfer, backing up of information or even recharging the battery.


Is short for ‘Unique Reference Number’. This is the number required in order to upgrade a mobile number.


Is short for ‘Universal Resource Locator’. Each webpage has its own unique web address (URL). This is how a computer locates the webpage that a user is trying to find.


Is short for ‘Universal Mobile Telecommunications System’. This is a third-generation mobile cellular system for networks based on the GSM standard. It essentially implies a sort of hybrid combination of 3G with its speed and GSM with a more globalised standard.


Is short for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’. This is a method of transmission using encryption to protect confidential data, such as credit card numbers, home addresses and other personal data against fraud.


Is short for ‘Simple Mail Transfer Protocol’. This is the technical standard used for transmitting email messages.


Is short for ‘Small Medium Enterprise’ (business).


Allows users to unlock a SIM card in case they have entered 3 incorrect PIN2 codes in a row.


Is short for ‘Personal Unlocking Key’. Also can be known as ‘Personal Unlock Code (PUC)’. This is used in 3GPP mobile phones to reset a PIN that has been lost or forgotten.


Is short for ‘Near Field Communications’. This is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity. Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions; data exchanged, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi. Communications is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip called a ‘tag’.


Is a digital line that can host up to 30 channels, but have a minimum of 8 channels


Is a digital line that can host up to 2 channels, and has the ability to support 2 concurrent phone calls


Is short for ‘Integrated Service Digital Network’. This is a digital line that is primarily used for the purpose of voice calls, but it can also be used to host data.


Is short for ‘Internet Message Access Protocol’. This is an email protocol used by Internet Service providers.


Is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc.


is short for ‘International Mobile Equipment Identity’. This is a unique 15-digit code used to identify individual GSM mobile phones. The IMEI can be displayed on most phones by dialling the code *#06#. Also, it can be found behind the battery. But on an iPhone, the IMEI can be found on the SIM Tray.


is short for ‘Fibre To The Cabinet’. This is a new type of broadband that uses fibre optic cables to increase the speed of the customer’s broadband connection. This involves running fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange or distribution point to the street cabinets, which then connect to a standard copper phone line to provide the customer a faster broadband connection

Data Usage

The amount of data sent or received from a wireless device over a period of time


Centrex (Central Office Exchange Service) is a service provided by the local company (usually BT) and allows companies access to powerful state of the art telephone facilities so that they do not need to purchase their own


Call Detail Records – An alphanumerical file containing the details of a call passed over the network. Typically including the CLI, number called, duration of call, time of call and where appropriate the cost of the call. These files are received from the carrier in bulk and processed by the billing platform.


Bandwidth describes how much data you can send through an internet connection and is usually measured in bits per second. Generally, increased bandwidth equals faster internet connections


Authentication Centre – a network security device that checks the customer can use the GSM system


Answer Seizure Rate – the % of calls successfully connected by the network. Disallowing failed calls, unanswered calls, engaged lines and misdialed numbers


Asynchronous Transfer Mode – a dedicated connection switching technology that organizes digital data into 53-byte cell units and transmits them over a physical medium using digital signal technology. The pre-specified bit rates are either 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mbps, though speeds on ATM networks can reach 10 Gbps


Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line – a method for moving data over regular phone lines. An ADSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection and the wires coming into the premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. An ADSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a leased line


Integrated Service Digital Network.  This is essentially a digital network that will provide seamless communication of voice and data. The ISDN information is transferred in a digital form, which provides superior sound quality to the analague service.
O2 offer two ISDN products: ISDN2 and ISDN 30. The former provides two channels over the same wire at 64kbs. Then ISDN 30 provides a max of 30 channels and is an economic option if a company has more than 8 telephone lines.


Ethernet is a type of Internet network. Ethernet is used to connect computers whether in a company,  home network or single computer to a cable modem or DSL modem for Internet access.


High Speed Packet Access service is available in those areas where customers have the greatest demand for mobile broadband using USB Modems and Data Cards, offering an improved customer experience with faster speeds for uploading (HSUPA) and downloading (HSDPA) data, video, music files etc


Technology improves the speed data travels using the 3G network. With download (HSDPA) speeds up to 3.6mbps and a theoretical maximum upload (HSUPA) speed of 7.2mbps.

With continued investment in technology this speed will improve even further with the next generation of technology, 4G, being available in the near future!


(Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) technology using software which enhances the speed the data travels so can offer GPRS at twice the speed. With download Speeds up to 80 - 100kbps.


The Third Generation of mobile network technology, improving the speed at which we use data on the move.

O2’s current 3G network population coverage is at 90%, and covers practically all of the areas where there is a proven demand for data usage.  Major investment in the 3G network infrastructure will continue with more sites being deployed to further extend the coverage and improve the customer experience. Available to only 3G mobiles, they are able to connect to the internet 7 times faster than GPRS, with speeds up to 1.6 mbps, which is near mobile broadband. Faster access means it is quicker and easier to download attachments to your phone allowing you to successfully work on the train or out of the office.

2G and GPRS

O2's mobile Coverage offers 90% UK land covering and 99% of the UK population with further investment continuing to extend the coverage.
Speeds for GPRS are up to 56kbps.