Knowledge Base

Technical Information, and How to guides.

Welcome to ORB Telemedia's knowledge pages, this expanding resource is available for all clients, it's aims, is to explain our services, the technology, and how to get the best experience. As a supplier of freephone, premium rate, IPRN, audiotext, revenue share telephony numbers as well as providing route services, VoIP, IVR's and much more, we know the benefits, and we can pass this on to you, you can save money on outgoing calls and make money on incoming calls, and you can do this all - with just an internet connection, without the need for any fixed line. The terms and technology seems confusing, it is not, we aim to keep it simple, we have tested our VoIP platform on Tooway satellite terminals, 3G roaming services, 4G applications, and we have clients using our VoIP without soliciting a fixed line from incumbent line providers. So how does it all work? Look around our knowledge base to find out more, and further down this page, you will find a list of common acronyms.

Information Zone - link buttons to pages

How to setup your system to make and receive calls via VoIP

International Direct Dial Codes / Country Codes for making phone calls, and the regulators per country

faq - keeping some general account and billing questions simple

VoIP Software for PC´s

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other packet-switched networks. Other terms frequently encountered and synonymous with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband (VoBB), broadband telephony, and broadband phone. Internet telephony refers to communications services — voice, facsimile, and/or voice-messaging applications — that are transported via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The basic steps involved in originating an Internet telephone call are conversion of the analog voice signal to digital format and compression/translation of the signal into Internet protocol (IP) packets for transmission over the Internet; the process is reversed at the receiving end. VoIP systems employ session initiation control protocols to control the set-up and tear-down of calls as well as audio codecs which encode speech allowing transmission over an IP network as digital audio via an audio stream. Codec use is varied between different implementations of VoIP (and often a range of codecs are used); some implementations rely on narrowband and compressed speech, while others support high fidelity stereo codecs.

So why use VoIP?
For residential markets, our VoIP phone services are cheaper than traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) service and can remove geographic restrictions to telephone numbers, e.g. have a PSTN phone number in UK area code Maidenhead, ring in Alicante, Spain. Home routers, can apply basic filtering to ensure your VoIP calls are un-disrupted, in advanced routers, you can set-up dedicated QoS profiles,
For businesses, VoIP negates the need for separate voice and data cabling infrastructure, channelling both types of traffic through the IP network while giving the telephony user a range of advanced capabilities. This of course requires some planning and thought, QoS, VPNś and segregation of the Voice Data, with assured bandwidth, are some of the techniques usually deployed to ensure the reliability of the VoIP SIP Trunks.

Choices: Broadband Only VoIP or a traditional phone + Broadband?
Take the following scenario:
You want to make phone calls, surf the internet and work from a home office, a large number of people would assume the most effective choice is to install a phoneline and solicit a broadband service, but this not necessarily true, or even the the cheapest. Choosing whether to use an internet only service, or a traditional service plus internet, is normally based on both service and cost, users bootstrapping on a budget would choose broadband only then have a mobile phone service on the side, however VoIP could provide the user everything the cellphone or traditional voice service can offer, at a fraction of the cost. The quality in current systems and internet standards means that when correctly setup, a VoIP call is indistinguishable from that of a traditional call, for Fax which is not a Voice based service, this has to be passed through high quality premium VoIP circuits otherwise the compression techniques normally applied also block some of the data, causing a fax to corrupt, fax is supported on T.38 premium circuits, we can provide fax to email, and email to fax, as a value add, add on to your current system.

Simple to Setup - Easy to Test Benefits
Hardware or Software - the choices
Software, is cheap, even free, using software, all you need is a PC/Laptop or Cellphone with appropriate APP and an internet data connection, naturally with a PC/Laptop/tablet device, you will need microphone and speakers, (or headset) - and an Internet connection. With a cellphone APP you will need a data service enabled. Software - downloaded and installed, can have you up and running in minutes, the downside of software is your PC or device needs to be up and running at all times you wish to place and receive calls, an easy solution is to purchase low cost hardware, such as a SIP phone or ATA.

Considerations with Hardware
Types of hardware:
ATA - stands for Analogue Telephone Adaptor - this is a simple device, that plugs into your router or modem, it adapts your normal traditional phone into a VoIP device, by providing all the signals and power sources that your phone would expect, then converts into VoIP for transmission over the internet.

ATA`s require a LAN connection, Your router at home should have a spare Ethernet port to use an ATA, some broadband providers, provide ADSL modems, that interface to USB only, if you have one of these - then you will need to upgrade to a full router, if you do not have a spare ethernet port, a cheap switch can provide the extra port necessary without needing configuration.
some ATA's have built in LAN and WAN ports, if you have a router and currently use all LAN ports, adding an ATA with a LAN port - effectively negates the need for an additional switch.
Power: To function the VoIP router, ATA, and Telephone handset will need power to function in the case of a power cut, your ATA, Internet Modem, DECT handset, and any associated devices such as switch, will need a backup power source such as UPS, normally telephone exchanges for PSTN networks, provide the necessary power over the line, when using VoIP you are providing the power to the routers/modem to keep the ATA connected to the internet, and power to the ATA is needed to keep the phone circuit live.
An ATA is suitable if you already have a traditional phone and want to use it with VoIP, some advanced ATA`s combine both the traditional phone service for incoming and VoIP for outbound, this is a good option for some users.

Dedicated VoIP Phone
If you are starting fresh, and don`t have a phone you wish to continue using dedicated VoIP phones can be cheaper than traditional handsets, a word of caution, if you intend using your new VoIP phone as a standalone device, then check that it connects via Ethernet cable or Wifi, if you purchase a cheap device with USB only connector, you are limited again, in that you have to keep your PC, or Laptop up and running, connected to the internet.

Software / Softphones and Mobile Handset Device Apps
Readily available and often free, simple software to connect your VoIP service in minutes, we have used, Bria, Phonerlite, and many others.

Confused about telecoms acronyms?
Throughout the telecommunications and broadcasting media industry you may find various acronyms and definitions, / terms but what do they stand for? As part of the knowledge base, this page will be periodically updated.
3G third generation
ADSL asymmetric digital subscriber line
AIT Artificial inflation of traffic, usually occurring when Arbi' opportunities occur, morally questionable but not illegal, unchecked without controls, can cause problems with contracts and network access
Arbi' Arbitrage: In telecoms arbitrage traffic exploits network price differences to the arbitrator's advantage
ASP application service provider
ASIC application specific integrated circuit
ATA analogue telephone adaptor - presents a VoIP line, as traditional PoTs line for using VoIP with normal fixed line phones
ATM asynchronous transfer mode
BLEC building local exchange carrier
BSP broadband service provider
CAPs competitive access providers
CATV cable television
CDMA code division multiple access
CLEC competitive local exchange carrier
CMTS cable modem termination system
CO central office
CoS class of service
COFDM code orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing
CPE customer premises equipment
CRC cyclic redundancy check
DBS direct broadcast satellite
D-ISDN broadband integrated services digital network
DLC digital loop carrier
DLEC digital local carrier
DLSw data link switching
DOCSIS Data Over Cable System Interface Specification
DSL digital subscriber line
DSLAM digital subscriber line access multiplexer
DSP digital signal processor
DTMF dual tone multifrequency
DWDM dense wavelength division multiplexing
EDGE Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution
EOM A billing term - end of month.
FDM frequency division multiplexing
FDMA frequency division multiple access
FLP field labour provider
FOIP fax over internet protocol
FPGA field-programmable gate array
GPRS general packet radio service
GSM global system for mobile communications
HDSL high-bit-rate digital subscriber line
HFC hybrid fiber-coaxial
IAD integrated access devices
IC integrated circuit
ICP integrated communication provider
IDSL ISDN digital subscriber line
ILEC incumbent local exchange carriers (formerly RBOC)
IP Internet protocol
IPRN International Premium Rate Number (works outside country of call origin)
ISDN integrated services digital network
ISP Internet service provider
ITU International Telecommunications Union
IVR Interactive Voice Response / an automated call handling agent, usualy controlled by DTMF or voice prompts
IXC interexchange carrier
LEC local exchange carrier
LAN local area network
LMDS local multipoint distribution service
MAC media access control
MCNS multimedia cable network system
MCS mission critical site
MDU multi-dwelling unit
MMDS multi-channel
MOIP modem over ip
MOM message-oriented middleware
MPEG moving pictures experts group
MPLS multi-protocol label switching
MTU multi-tenant unit
NAT network address translation
NCC network control center
NDIS network drive interface specification
NIC network interface card
NOC network operations center
OEM original equipment manufacturer
OSS operational support system
OXC optical cross-connect
PAN personal area network
PE provider edge
POP point of presence
POTS plain old telephone service
PRN Premium Rate Number (can be domestic, or international), sometimes referred to as an audiotext number
QAM quadrature amplitude modulation
QoS quality of service / used to limit classify data
RADSL rate adaptive digital subscriber line
RF radio frequency
RFP request for proposal
SATCOM satellite communications
SDH synchronous digital hierarchy
SDSL synchronous digital subscriber line
SIP session initiation protocol
SOHO small office/home office
SONET synchronous optical network
STUN Session Traversal Utilities for NAT
TA terminal adapator
TCP transmission control protocol
TDM time division multiplexing
TDMA time division multiple access
ToD Time of Day, referred to in billing, sometimes labeled POW, representing Peak/Offpeak/Weekend timings.
TP transponder (or) test point
TRI telephony return interface
UADSL universal ADSL
UDP user datagram protocol
UMTS universal mobile telecommunications service
USB universal serial bus
VAS value added service(s)
VDSL very high bit-rate subscriber line
VOD video-on-demand
VoDSL voice over digital subscriber line
VoIP Voice over Internet protocol
VPN virtual private network
WAN wide area network
WBI Web-based Intranets
WLL wireless local loop
xDSL any type of DSL service (ADSL HDSL IDSL SDSL or VDSL)
XML extensible markup language

Using ORB Telemedia VoIP service with broadband only networks
ORB Telemedia VoIP services have been fully tested, work with internet only services and are 100% compatible with satellite internet such as tooway.
Tooway is a satellite internet service, also sold as skydsl, sold alone it is normally purchased by clients in rural areas, such clients often have broadband only but not phone service. Such services (broadband only no phone) also exist in cities, and on traditional copper based networks are commonly called / designated as unbundled local loops these are available in countries usually from the traditional carriers, such as Germany from DTAG, Spain from Telefonica and many others. The fact that these exist, are not so well publicised, because of course it is more profitable to receive a steady lease and higher profit margin from the associated calls. Consequently the incumbant carriers are not going to announce there is cost effective ways to slash costs on traditional networks. Internet access as a standalone product, can also be delivered via many different types of transmission media, such as Wifi, fibre, co-axial cable, in the UK cable companies lead the way to provide standalone DSL/SDSL/ADSL services, Virgin media cable is a good example. ORB VoIP works on nearly all internet services worldwide with exception of a couple of Middle Eastern states where censorship blocks many VoIP protocols and signalling, to these regions we can provide callback and access number portals, to keep call costs at an affordable / cheap level.