12 Telecom Acronyms You Need to Know

6 minute read

Team Cimpl

Companies worldwide are adopting more technology than ever. However, new trends often mean new acronyms, and those give everyone a hard time after a while, especially if you’re new to managing them all! Are you a little confused about the terms TEM, BYOD, MDM, or ITAM? We feel for you; it can get a little complex. That’s why we put together a list of some of the most common telecommunications acronyms so that you can get help clarifying their meaning in one single place. Make sure you bookmark this blog!

Telecom Expense Management

Telecom Expense Management refers to the systems deployed by a business to process, validate, and audit company/employee-initiated telecom expenses. These costs include expenses incurred for local usage, long distance, roaming and data (there’s more, of course, but these are the big ones).

Expense management includes the policies and procedures which govern such spending, as well as the technologies and services used to process and analyze the data associated with it. When talking about Telecom Expense Management, you’ll likely come across terms such as:

MACD: Telecom billing begins with a MACD – an order for a Move, Add, Change or Deletion of services. It’s what happens to IT assets and services when an employee joins, leaves, or moves inside a company.

USOC: refers to the Universal Services Ordering Code. Each code is a 3-5 alphanumeric code that identifies a type of telecom equipment or service, and is pretty commonly used to designate phone jack types. Ones that many of us have heard of are RJ11 and RJ45 – phone and Ethernet jacks, respectively.

PRI, BRI, Microlink, 1FL, DSL, Analog Trunk: These are a collection of circuits that carry voice and video from the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) into an organization or home. They vary depending on the service type, scale of operation, and the terminating equipment.

  • PRI (Primary Rate Interface), also known as a Megalink, is the ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) North American standard that can carry multiple channels from the CO (Central Office) to your telephone system. The PRI is a single wire known as a T1 that can carry 24 concurrent, separate conversations or data streams. Think of it as a big pipe that can be sliced 24 ways to support 24 concurrent conversations. PRI is typically for business us


  • BRI (Basic Rate Interface), also known as a Microlink, carries digitized voice, data, or video streams to the PSTN and is typically used for video conferencing. BRI is for home use. IP (Internet Protocol) is quickly replacing BRI for video transmission.
  • 1FL (literally translates as 1 “flat” line). The flat doesn’t refer to shape – it’s a reference it being “not measured”. Basically, 1FL is used for unlimited local calling. The industry refers to this as a common business line that carries a single voice service from the CO to your premises. This is typically used for a single fax or telephone service.
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is for transmitting digital data over a phone line. This is widely used to provide fast internet access over a conditioned phone line.
  • Analog trunk is a service that usually comes in multiples and carries voice from and to the central office terminating on your premise equipment. The multi-trunk configuration is accessed through a single phone number and rolls over the next available circuit until all are actively carrying a conversation or data stream.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

BYOD is a simple term with complex implications. Readers have heard this term often by now, but just for completeness: BYOD refers to the policy of letting employees bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace and connect to the corporate network.

BYOD is a very popular trend, and I encourage you to read our blogs about the concerns, laws and IT implications of BYOD in the workplace to have a clear, constantly-updated understanding of the benefits and challenges that come with it.

MDM (Mobile Device Management)

MDM is software that secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises. MDM functionality typically includes over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablet computers, ruggedized mobile computers, mobile printers, mobile POS devices, etc.

ITAM (Information Technology Asset Management)

ITAM (also called IT inventory management) is the set of business practices that join financial, contractual and inventory functions to keep track of the company’s IT assets, such as software and hardware and their specifics. IT inventory management is important to support life cycle management and to help organizations manage their systems more effectively and save time and money by eliminating unnecessary purchases and wasted resources.

It is interesting to note that Canada’s enterprises are now adopting Cloud systems and ITAM together in order to work smarter. Learn more about how the combination of those trends are transforming business.

M2M (Machine to Machine)

Refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type. Key components of an M2M system include sensors, RFID, a Wi-Fi or cellular communications link and autonomic computing software programmed to interpret data and make decisions.

Take back control of your IT and telecom assets

We hope that today’s list clarified the ambiguity associated with some of those acronyms and that it will help you find the best solution to your IT and telecom expense management needs. If you are interested in staying updated about the new IT trends, follow us on Twitter!

At Cimpl, we’re Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management and we strive to achieve customer success. Our solution Cimpl is designed to help you cut IT expenses, improve business performance and track IT and telecom assets.

Book a demo to find out more. It’s that Cimpl.

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