Universal Network Management Record.

Unnumbered Command

In a data transmission, a command that does not contain sequence numbers in the control field.

Unnumbered Information Frame

U1 frame. A transmission frame generated by the High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) data link protocol, where no flow control and no error control are implemented.


An UnPBX is a server on a LAN, dedicated to communications. The UnPBX is comprised of four elements. First, it is one or several joined PCs; Second, it has boards inside the PC and software to run them; Third, it's joined to the same phone lines a PBX is joined to ” analog POTS lines to digital T-1 lines; And fourth, it's joined to a local area network. Some of the cards that drop into an UnPBX are proprietary. Most are not. Most UnPBXs run on familiar operating systems ” NT and Unix, etc. Most UnPBXs are open. They offer far more programming "hooks" than any other telephony device, including the " open " PBX. Most UnPBXs drop a phone on your desk via a tip and ring line. You speak on the phone. You can dial on the phone, or dial via the screen on your PC. Some UnPBXs zing your voice over ATM, Ethernet or the Internet. Some use the multimedia-equipped PC to do the dialing, speaking and phoning. You typically do everything else ” from checking your messages to setting up conference calls ” via software on your LAN-attached PC. Some UnPBXs have their own desktop software. Some use a browser ” Netscape or Internet Explorer. Some people call the UnPBX a "total communications server." Here's what the UnPBX does:

  1. Typically, the UnPBX is an office's phone system. It is a PBX in a PC. You dial your mother from your desk through it. It will switch incoming calls to your desktop. You can call the guy in the next office on it. In short, an UnPBX has all the basic PBX functions. The UnPBX is your office's auto attendant / voice mail system. It answers incoming calls, gives out a message, listens for tones and transfers the call to you. It will alert you to the incoming call, prompt you for what it should do with the call ” hold it, transfer it, conference it, dump it in voice mail, etc. If not answered , it will probably put the call in voice mail. It could also dial half a dozen outside numbers and chase you down. It can usually do solid IVR. Punch 1 to find out when we sent your order. Punch 2 to find out how much it cost. Give out and collect information from your customers at 3:00 AM. It is your office's fax and email server. It handles incoming faxes and emails. It tells you that you have mail. It lets you view your fax or email mail or listen to your voice mail. It is your one place for all your mail ” fax, email, voice mail, video mail, etc. One screen showing all your mail. We call it unified messaging. The UnPBX makes you super organized. It is an ACD (automatic call distributor). It's not as sophisticated as what BIG airlines have. But it can come very close. An UnPBX's ACD can make your customers very, very happy. The UnPBX can be a predictive dialer. It can pump out telemarketing and dunning calls with the best of them.

Being open, being standards-based and being programmable, an UnPBX may be more or less than the list above. For example, it may also page you when you have a message. Or it may only page you when you have one from your largest customer.

We haven't scratched what's possible with an UnPBX. Today's UnPBX delivers many benefits. Among them:

  1. It's cheaper. Don't be fooled by the sticker prices you see in Ed's Roundup. One communications system is a lot cheaper than today's multiple, cobbled-together systems.

  2. It's easier to manage. It has one database. One place you assign phone extensions, email addresses, fax locations, email boxes, etc. One place to do billing for all these services. You'll pay the UnPBX off manyfold with just the administration savings.

  3. It's much easier to use. You see the words, the icons, the images. Click. Drag and Drop. You now can use telephony features today's horrid telephones deny you.

  4. You feel in control. You see your messages. They're all in one place. You can join voice mail messages to Excel spreadsheets and forward the multimedia message to your client. It sells.

  5. You can have it your way. Write some software for your UnPBX. Get your reseller or system integrator to do it. Customize your phone system, your IVR system, your fax system, your ACD... all in one box. Gain a major competitive advantage.

Unpublished Phone Number

There are various interpretations of what constitutes an "unpublished" phone number in North America. Some phone companies use these words interchangeably. Some don't. In California, Pacific Bell offers unpublished phone service. Your phone number is not listed in the paper phone directories, but is listed with dial up "Directory Assistance." Pacific Bell also has a more expensive service called "Unlisted Service." Here, your phone number is not included in the paper phone directories or given out to callers to Directory Assistance. Some phone companies have a service whereby you can leave a message for the owner of an unlisted number. "Please call me. You've won the lottery." The owner of the unlisted number then has the choice to return the call or not. He doesn't pay to receive this message. Some telephone companies confuse the definitions and some invent new ones. For example, some phone companies use the term "non-published" number. You won't find the number in a phone book or by calling Directory Assistance. Over 25% of many private phone numbers in major metropolitan areas are unlisted, unpublished or non-published ” a "service" their subscribers pay extra for. To my simple brain, it's a lot easier to simply publish your name as "Apple Plumpudding." See Unpublished.

Unrestricted Digital Information

An ISDN term. An information sequence of bits is transferred at its specified bit rate without alteration.


Wiring not protected by a metal sheathing from electromagnetic and radio frequency interference, but covered with plastic and/or PVC.

Unshielded Twisted Pair

UTP. A transmission medium consisting of a pair of copper conductors which are electrically balanced. Each conductor is separately insulated (typically with plastic) in order to prevent the conductors from "shorting." The conductors are twisted around each other at routine intervals in order to confine the electromagnetic field within the conductors and, thereby, to 1) maximize signal strength over a distance, and 2) minimize interference between adjacent pairs in a multi-pair cable. UTP conductors come in various gauges and various numbers of twists per foot . The thicker the conductor, the less resistance and the better the performance; the more twists per foot, the better the performance. UTP comes in various configurations; in large cable systems, multiple pairs are combined in binder groups of 25 pairs, and multiple binder groups are combined in a single insulated cable sheath. In small configurations, such as desktop applications requiring one to four pairs, UTP is relatively inexpensive to acquire and to deploy when compared to coaxial cable and fiber optic cable; hence, its increasing popularity in both voice and data applications. For longer explanations , see also UTP Cable, Category 1 through 6, and STP.

Unsolicited Event

Events in switching that happen without control of a program that allegedly is controlling your phone and phone system. Such an unsolicited event might be a user picking up his phone and hanging it up or simply pushing a random button on the phone. Or it may be that the switch actually does something you or your controlling computer don't expect it to do.

Unstructured Supplementary Services Data

USSD. A method of transmitting data and instructions over a GSM cellular network in a two-way, interactive mode. While both USSD and SMS (Short Message Service) use the GSM network's signaling path , USSD session-oriented, rather than being store-and-forward in nature. Thereby, and once a session is established, the radio connection remains active until such time it is released by the user, the application, or a time-out condition. USSD messages can be up to 182 characters in length, compared to the maximum of 160 characters for SMS. USSD is much faster than SMS in a two-way, interactive mode, since it is session-oriented, rather than being store-and-forward. USSD also works on a roaming basis, as USSD commands are sent back to the HLR (Home Location Register), which is associated with the subscriber's home service provider. On the other hand, USSD command strings are complex and difficult to remember. See also GSM, HLR, and SMS.

Unsuccessful Call

A call attempt that does not result in the establishment of a connection.

Unsupervised Transfer

Someone transfers a call to someone else without telling the person who's calling. Also called Blind Transfer.


See Class of Service.

Unusually Heavy Call Volume

"We are experiencing unusually heavy call volume," the machine told me. Fine, I thought, the Mercedes operator and her machine are probably snugly tucked away is a distant warm clime. Not me, I'm sitting on the side of the road with my wife's Mercedes with a crapped-out battery/electrical system. It's minus one fahrenheit. My cell phone is running out of charge. And I'm running out of patience. Why am I including this stupid definition? Because I'm supremely annoyed at Mercedes "service" (or lack thereof) and wanted someplace to mouth off against them.


A term used in the secondary telecom equipment business. Equipment never used and still in O.E.M. original packaging with all appropriate documents and user guides. Such equipment may or may not carry the O.E.M. standard warranty. In other words, manufacturers don't want to see independent (unauthorized) dealers advertising their equipment as new, but "unused" is acceptable.

Up Sell

To sell a higher value product to an existing customer. For example to lease a more sophisticated photocopier to an existing customer. In contrast, cross selling is when you buy a shirt from me. I sell you a tie. You buy a car from me. I sell you a mobile phone for your car. Up selling is when I sell you a more expensive shirt or a more expensive car.


A device for performing frequency translation in such a manner that the output frequencies are higher than the input frequencies.


A technique used for recreating an approximation of data compressed by down-sampling. Up-sampling generally doubles the data at each iteration of the signal by inserting a value between the adjacent compressed values in the case of "down-sampling by two." This operation is fundamental in the Fast Packet Algorithm used in Wavelet Transforms, which are commonly employed in image compression. See Down-Sampling, Fast Packet Algorithm and Wavelet Transform.


  1. Usage Parameter Control: As an ATM term, Usage Parameter Control is defined as the set of actions taken by the network to monitor and control traffic, in terms of traffic offered and validity of the ATM connection, at the end-system access. Its main purpose is to protect network resources from malicious as well as unintentional misbehavior, which can affect the QoS of other already established connections, by detecting violations of negotiated parameters and taking appropriate actions.

  2. Universal Product Code is the US term for the numbering and bar coding system for product identification of consumer items, typically scanned at the point of sale. The UPC is a predecessor and now a subset of the European Article Number(EAN).


Unlicensed Personal Communications Services. The FCC designated 1890-1930 MHz to UPCS. 1920-1930 MHz is presently being assigned by UTAM, primarily for short range, wireless PBX applications. Here are the specific designations: 1890-1910 MHz isochronous, 1910-1920 MHz asynchronous, 1920-1930 MHz isochronous. Isochronous communication is good for voice and asynchronous communication is for bursty data.


A call center term. A technique to increase the revenue of an order that is quality rated. It means getting the customer to by a better quality, more expensive version of the item sold. See also Up Sell.


  1. In satellites , it's the link from the earth station up to the satellite. The link from the satellite down to the earth station is called the downlink. The uplink and downlink operate on different frequencies so that they don't interfere with each other. The uplink is at a higher frequency. For example, C- Band satellites use the 6 GHz frequency range on the uplink and 4 GHz on the downlink. International customers often buy uplinks and downlinks from different suppliers, as each nation typically awards one or more national agencies exclusive franchise rights. See DOWNLINK.

  2. In data transmission, an uplink is from a data station to the headend or mainframe.

  3. As an ATM term, it represents the connectivity from a border node to an upnode.


To transmit a data file from your computer to another computer. The opposite of download, which is receiving a file on your computer from another computer. Upload means the same as TRANSMIT, while DOWNLOAD means the same as receive. Before you upload or download, check at least three times you're going the direction you want. It's very easy to erase files (weeks of work) if you make a mistake and confuse uploading and downloading. (Don't laugh . We've done it several times. Dumb!)


As an ATM term, it is the node that represents a border node's outside neighbor in the common peer group . The upnode must be a neighboring peer of one of the border node's ancestors .


Universal Payment Preamble (UPP). The negotiation protocol that identifies appropriate payment methodology in the context of Joint Electronics Payments Initiative (JEPI), a specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and CommerceNet for a universal payment platform to allow merchants and consumers to transact E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) over the Internet. UPP works in conjunction with Protocol Extensions Protocol (PEP), an extension layer that sits on top of HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). These protocols are intended to make payment negotiations automatic for end users, happening at the moment of purchase, based on browser configurations See also Electronic Commerce and JEPI.

Upper Case

Upper- and lower-case letters are named "upper" and "lower," because in the time when printers set pages using loose type, the " upper-case " letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, " lower-case " letters .

Upper Crust

In the 1500s in England, bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust."

Upper Memory Area

Obsolete: In PC, upper memory is the area between 640KB and 1MB of RAM. This area is made up of Upper Memory Blocks (UMBs) of various sizes. Access to this area was possible in the old days only with a special memory drive such as MS-DOS's EMM386.EXE.

Upper Memory Blocks

See Upper Memory Area.


Uninterruptible Power Supply. A UPS is a device which keeps power coming to a phone system or a computer when the power from the power company shuts down or gets flakey. There are two types of UPSes. The first has an electronic circuit which senses the drop in power and switches over. This takes a few milliseconds , during which time you hope the computer or phone system will continue working. This is typically called a standby power system, or an off-line UPS. The second type of UPS is one that sits permanently between the outside power and the device (computer or phone system). It takes power in from outside and cleans it. If power from outside is dropped or gets flakey, the UPS keep powering the device with clean power. The first type of UPS is called "off line." The second type is called "in line." UPSes span a broad array of capabilities and prices. The variables range include: (1) how quickly the UPS switches in when power drops . Is it quick enough to fool the computer or phone system that it's still getting power? (2) how long the UPS will power the computer or phone system. Does it include a small battery or a big battery? Some UPSes actually include a generator ” in which case you'd better make sure that there's gas in the tank when the thing is meant to start. In general, in-line UPSs are much more expensive than SPSs.

UPS Monitoring

UPS monitoring allows a local area network file server to monitor an attached Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). When a power failure occurs, NetWare notifies users. After a time out specified with SERVER.CFG and ROUTER.CFG, the server logs out any remaining users, closes any open files, and shuts itself down. If you install a Novell-approved UPS, you must also install a printed circuit board in the file server to monitor the UPS. If you have a file server with a microchannel bus (as compared to the more common AT bus), the UPS is monitored through the mouse port and does not require a board. See UPS.


See UP Sell.


Unidirectional Path-Switched Ring. A SONET term. Path-switched rings employ redundant fiber optic transmission facilities in a pair configuration, with one fiber transmitting in one direction and with the backup fiber transmitting in the other. If the primary ring fails, the backup takes over. See also Path Switched Ring and SONET.


According to Newsweek, upspeak is the annoying way teenagers speak.


In a communications circuit, there are two circuits ” coming to you and going away from you. Upstream is another term for the name of the channel going away from you. In a broadband TV network, the definition of the upstream channel or signal is different. It is the channel from the transmitting stations to the CATV headend. See Upstream Channel.

Upstream Channel

In a communications circuit, there are two circuits ” coming to you and going away from you. Upstream is another term for the name of the channel going away from you. In a broadband TV network, the definition of the upstream channel or signal is different. It is the channel from the transmitting stations to the CATV head- end. In yet another definition, in the cable TV industry, the upstream channel is a collection of frequencies on a CATV channel reserved for transmission from the terminal next to the user's TV set to (upstream to) the CATV company's computer. Such signals might be requests for pay movies. See Upstream.

Upstream Operations

Functions that provide a BCC (Bellcore Client Company) control of features and service configurations and subject to BCC control, some service management capabilities for subscribers. These functions include Service Negotiation and Management, Service Provisioning and Repair Service Answering/Work Force Administration. Definition from Bellcore in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.


Universal Personal Telecommunications. According to L.M. Ericsson, Swedish telecom manufacturer, UPT is a "new service concept in the field of telecommunications which aims at making telecommunications both universal and personal. instead of calling a telephone line or a mobile terminal, you call the person you wish to get in touch with and leave it to the network to locate the line or terminal where he/she can be reached." There was an article on UTP in the 1993 No.4 issue of the Ericsson Review. An article in the June, 1996 issue of IEEE Communications Magazine described UPT as a service that enables users to access various services through personal mobility. It enables each UPT user to participate in a user-defined set of subscribed services, and to initiate and receive calls on the basis of a personal, network transparent UPT number across multiple networks on any fixed or mobile terminal, irrespective of geographical location. This service is limited only by terminal and network capabilities and restrictions imposed by the network operator. In short, UPT is still not totally defined and is under discussion by the world's major standards bodies. For more information on UPT, see ITU-T Recommendation F.850, Principles for Universal Personal Telecommunications, Geneva, 1993.


Colloquial expression for the uninterrupted amount of time that network or computer resources are working and available to a user. In short, time between failures or periods of nonavailability (as for maintenance).

Upward Compatible

Any device that can be easily organized, fixed or configured to work in either a different, expanded operating environment or some enhanced mode. Software is said to be upward compatible if a computer larger than the one for which it was written can run the program.

Urban Legend

A story, which might start with a grain of truth, gets retold a million times, gets mutated in its various appearances on the Internet and finally is accepted as "fact." The growth of traffic on the Internet - namely that it was doubling every three months in 1999 - was an urban legend, which was, like many urban legends, wrong.

Urban Service

Any of the grades of service regularly furnished inside base or locality rate areas, or outside base or locality rate areas at base or locality rates plus zone connection charges or incremental rates. Another way of saying expanded metropolitan phone service.


See Uniform Resource Identifier.


Universal Resource Locator. An Internet term. A URL is a fancy name for an Internet address. A URL is an address that can lead you to a file on any computer connected to the Internet anywhere in the world. Thus, its name ” Universal Resource Locator.

In more technical terms, a URL is a string expression that can represent any resource on the Internet or local TC/IP system. The standard convention for a URL is as follows :

first, the method of protocol to be used (e.g. http)://the host's name/folder or directory on host/name of file or document

Here's an example of a URL: http://www.harrynewton.com/fantasy/happy.html Let's see what it all means. The http stands for HyperText Transport Protocol. That tells your browser (e.g. Netscape or Internet Explorer) to use that protocol when searching for the address. Http is the "default" protocol of the Internet. But it's not the only one. There are other protocols, including ftp (file transfer protocol), news (for Usenet news groups), and "mailto" (to send email to a specific address).

The www.harrynewton.com is simply the name of my computer. All Web addresses start as numbers. This one is no different. You can reach my home page by giving your browser the following command The Web's own lookup tables do an instantaneous translation to that number from www.harrynewton.com when you type in www.harrynewton.com. The translation mechanism is very much like the translation the phone industry does when you dial any 800 number, e.g. 1-800-LIBRARY ” translate it to a real number, i.e. 212-691-8215.

The /fantasy/ means that there's a folder or subdirectory on my web site's computer disk called fantasy and inside that folder there's a document called happy.html. And that's what we're looking for. See also Web address.


User request manager.


Unit Eruptible Power Supply.

US West

One of the seven Regional Holding Companies (RHCs) formed by the divestiture of the Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) by AT&T. US West's 14-state LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) business originally comprised Mountain Telephone, Northwestern Bell and Pacific Northwest Bell, although those entities later lost their identity as they were folded into the holding company. On June 30, 2000, US West merged with (read was acquired by) Qwest Communications, and now is just part of Qwest. See also US Worst and Qwest.

US Worst

A derogatory term for US West. See US West.


Universal Service Administrative Company.


USA Standard Code of Information Interchange. The original name of the North American version of ASCII code. Differences from CCITT International Telegraph Alphabet #5 are so minor as to be insignificant to most applications. The name change was a result of the name change of the standards organization. When the name changed again to ANSI, most people simply reverted to ASCII.


A measurement of the load carried by a server or group of servers, usually expressed in CCS. Usage may also be expressed in erlangs.

Usage Based

Usage-Based refers to a rate or price for telephone service based on usage rather than a flat, fixed monthly fee. Until a few years ago, most local phone service in the United States was charged on a flat rate basis. Increasingly, phone companies are switching their local charging over to usage-based . Flat-rate calling will probably disappear within a few years . Allegedly, usage based phone service pricing is fairer on those phone subscribers who don't use their phone much. Usage based pricing is not consistent throughout the U.S. Typically, you get charged for each call. And the charging is very much like that for long distance ” by length of call, by time of day and by distance called. See also Flat Rate.

Usage Sensitive

A form of Measured Rate Service. See Usage Based


United States Advanced Network. The USAN platform is an integrated system that interfaces with the MCI network for call access and egress. The USAN platform provides automated voice prompts, billing verification, etc. for a variety of MCI products and services.


Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. An integrated circuit chip that handles the I/O (input/output) functions of a computer port. It converts data coming in parallel form from the CPU into serial form suitable for transmission, and vice versa.


Universal Serial Bus. USB is a low-cost connection ( formally called a peripheral interface standard) for communications between a computer and one or more external peripherals, such as a floppy disk, a hard disk, or digital still or movie camera. Early versions USB 1.0 and USB 1.1 supported data rates of 1.5 million bits per second (for low speed devices like mice and keyboards) and 12 million bits per second for higher speed devices, like drives . The new USB version 2.0 supports aggregate data transfer the older 1.5 and 12 speeds and also runs up to 480 Mbps, with the data rate between the computer and a single peripheral reaching speeds of approximately 900,000 bits per second. USB is cabled in daisy chain fashion, with one device plugging into the next and so on. Up to 127 devices can be supported over a single USB connection. There is some discussion that eventually USB will be overtaken by Firewire. And now some computers come with connections for both USB and Firewire.

When USB was introducted and is intended to replace legacy ports such as serial, parallel and PS/2. USB supports plug-and-play connectivity to suitable peripherals, meaning that devices are correctly detected and configured automatically as soon they are attached. Further, USB supports "hot attach/detach," which allows adding and removing devices at any time, without powering down or rebooting. Cables can be up to 30 meters long, and include built-in power distribution for low-power devices. The length of the cable connection can be extended through a simple bridging device. Multiple devices can be connected through daisy-chaining in a multi-drop tiered star topology. USB is sophisticated in that it will handle certain "important" data streams ” e.g. voice and video ” with preference. USB supports three basic types of data transfer:

  • Isochronous (i.e., streaming) real time data which occupies a prenegotiated amount of bandwidth with a prenegotiated latency. Examples include voice and video.

  • Asynchronous interactive data such as characters or coordinates with few human perceptible echo or feedback responsible characteristics. Tele-gaming is an example.

  • Asynchronous block transfer data which is generated or consumed in relatively large and bursty amounts and has wide dynamic latitude in transmission constraints. File storage is an example. See also 1394.

USB was jointly announced in March of 1995 by Compaq, Digital, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom as a new "open and freely licensed" serial bus.

Universal Serial Bus. In March of 1995, Compaq, Digital, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom announced a new "open and freely licensed" serial bus called Universal Serial Bus ” USB for short. The bus (which could also be called a special purpose local area network) is 12 megabits per seconds and supports up to 63 devices. The idea of Universal Serial Bus is to replace the PC cable clutter. USB's proponents showed a diagram of a future PC with only three ports out the back ” a USB, a graphics port (for your monitor) and a LAN port. Gone were the parallel, serial, graphics, modem, sound/game and mouse ports. USB is designed to handle a broad range of devices ” telephones (analog, digital and proprietary), modems, printers, mice, joysticks, scanners , keyboards, tablets. USB is designed to be "completely Plug and Play," meaning that devices will be correctly detected and configured automatically as soon they are attached. USB also has "Hot attach/detach," which allows adding and removing devices at any time, without powering down or rebooting." USB uses a connector, currently in design. The mockup I saw was the size of your pinky finger. Topology is tiered star, with up to five meters per segment. At each star is a hub or pod with connections to other devices and pods. Hubs function as repeaters, providing power for devices, routing signals in each direction and providing terminations for each line. Some devices, e.g. proprietary PBX phones, are expected to come with their own built in pods. A phone pod will allow a PBX manufacturer to pass call and media control to the desktop PC. PBX makers are likely to go for this choice, since it enables them to continue selling proprietary PBX phones, which, today, are a very profitable part of their business. USB is sophisticated in that it will handle certain "important" data streams ” e.g. voice and video ” with preference. Serial Bus has three basic types of data transfer:

  • Isochronous or streaming real time data which occupies a prenegotiated amount of Serial Bus bandwidth with a prenegotiated latency. (This would be for voice and video.)

  • Asynchronous interactive data such as characters or coordinates with few human perceptible echo or feedback responsible characteristics (e.g. tele-gaming).

  • Asynchronous block transfer data which is generated or consumed in relatively large and bursty amounts and has wide dynamic latitude in transmission constraints. Does USB mean T-1 or E-1 To every desktop? Potentially, yes. It's certainly powerful enough. USB is 7.8 times the speed of T-1. In the meantime, ISDN may be the major beneficiary , according to its proponents. Timetable: 0.9 specification: call 1-800-433-3652 and for $35, they'll send you the 250-page document. Or pick it up for free through the World Wide Web. The address is www. teleport /.com/~USB.

See also FireWire, which is faster than USB 1.1., but not faster than USB 2.0. See the next definition.

USB 2.0

USB 2.0 increases USB's transfer rate to 480 million bits per second, about as fast as USB 1.1, its predecessor. FireWire is USB 2.0's competitor. It works at 400 million bits per second. USB is compatible with the original USB standard..


Universal Synchronous Data.


United States Distance Learning Association. Their mission: To promote the development and application of distance learning for education and training. Constituents include K-12 education, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, and military and government training. www.usdla.org


Equipment which was previously in service (i.e. used someplace else) and may not have been tested , refurbished or remanufactured before you bought it. Used simply means it's no longer new. No more, no less. See also Certified, NATD, and Refurbished.

Used Or Out Of Service

A term used in the secondary telecom equipment business. Equipment taken from service. Can be in any condition. Generally expected to work and be complete.


The USENET is an informal, rather anarchic, group of computer systems that exchange "news." News is essentially similar to "bulletin boards" on other networks. USENET actually predates the Internet network. These days, the Internet is used to transfer much of the USENET's traffic. You can find newsgroups covering every conceivable subject from nude sunbathing to molecular physics. See Internet MUDS and USENET Newsgroup Organization.

USENET Newsgroup Organization

USENET conversations are organized in hierarchical newsgroup trees. There are seven core newsgroup hierarchies or trees: comp (computers), misc (miscellaneous topics), news (newsgroup information), rec (recreation), sci (science), soc (society), talk (conversation). Each tree branches into different levels of newsgroup sub-topics.

User Accessible Tables

There are many tables (databases) inside a phone system. They include the extensions with privileges and long-distance dialing selections (see LEAST COST ROUTING). In the old days, most PBX and phone system tables were not accessible to the user, on the assumptions that

  1. The user would screw the tables up, and/or

  2. Really didn't care about getting access. Things have changed. Users now want faster and greater control over their own destiny. So, many manufacturers are making their tables user accessible.

User Account

Each user has a user account that is part of local area network security and controls the user environment. Some account features are assigned to each user automatically, some must be assigned, some are optional.

User Agent

  1. Generally refers to the windows and menus used to make interfacing to UNIX easier.

  2. UA. An OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) process that represents a human user, or organization, or application in the X.400 MHS (Message Handling System). The user creates, submits, and takes delivery of messages on the user's behalf , and in some cases, can even create the message. UA is thus an X.400 electronic mail term: It is software that prepares the message for transmission to the Message Transfer Agent. The user can be an individual or a distribution list. Users are known by their originator/recipient (O/R) addresses.

User Context

A user session created by an operating system in response to a logon request, and typically characterized by privilege sets that strictly define the user's authority to access system resources and information on a LAN. Contexts restrict unauthorized access to facilities and data and protect the system itself from user and applications interference, accidental or otherwise . Contexts are a feature of most multi user operating systems, usually integrated with the security system.

User Datagram Protocol

UDP. A packet format included in the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite and used for short user messages and control messages. The transmission of UDPs is unacknowledged .

User Data

X.25 call control field used to transfer information concerning layers above X.25 between the originating and terminating DTEs.

User Error

See Cockpit Problem.

User Event

Input from the user (for example, clicking the mouse, pressing a key, etc.) that causes a multimedia project to perform a specific function (for example, play a movie, change pages, etc).

User Friendly

Computer programs or systems which are designed for simple operation by non-technical users. At least that's the theory.

User ID

  1. Persistent information in an ASC (AIN Switch Capabilities) that the ASC communicates to the SLEE (Service Logic Execution Environment) as a parameter in a message to the SLEE. The SLEE uses this parameter to identify the set of information related to the user (e.g., customer record) that service logic needs to perform its task. If a user does not subscribe to any Advanced Intelligent Network Release 1 feature but invokes an AIN Release 1 feature, the user ID in the ASC may correlate in the SLEE to a set of default information to be used by service logic.

  2. A compression of "user identification"; the unique account signature of an Internet user; that which precedes the @ (at) sign in an E-mail address.

User Loop

A 2- or 4-wire circuit connecting a user to a PBX or other phone system.

User Message

Part of a CPN message directing a destination node to accomplish some task.

User Parameter Control

Traffic policing to ensure that the defined peak traffic rate is not exceeded in the ATM switch. See UPC.

User Plane

An ATM term referring to the functions which address flow control and error control. The User Plane cuts through all 4 layers of the ATM Protocol Reference Model.

User Segment

The part of a satellite system that includes the receivers on the users' premises.

User To User Messaging

An ISDN service enabling voice and computer data to be transmitted simultaneously ” for example, enabling one person to transmit a spreadsheet file to another so both can examine it on their individual screens, and for each to have the ability to change the spreadsheet and have the changes appear instantly on the other person's screen, and then discuss the changes. Also called User to User Signaling, or UUS. With UUS, the ISDN user can send a short message (up to 40 characters) from the ISDN terminal at the time of call setup. This will be displayed at the called terminal even before answering.

User's Set

Apparatus located on the premises of a communications user. Designed to work with other parts of his system.


A compression of "user identification"; the unique account signature of an Internet user; that which precedes the "at" sign in an E-mail address.


The name by which you or someone else is known by on the Internet. Used when logging into an access provider or when entering a member's only area on the Web.


  1. Universal Single Frequency.

  2. Universal Service Fund. See Universal Service Fund.


United States Independent Telephone Association, the old name for the United States Telephone Association. See USTA.


Universal Service Obligation. The obligation under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997 to ensure that standard telephone services, payphones and prescribed carriage services are reasonably accessible to all Australians on an equitable basis, wherever they reside or carry on business. Telstra is the current universal service provider in Australia.


Uniform Service Order Code (pronounced "U-Sock") is a structured language that allows for the development of software to support service order systems in the telephone industry. The service order process utilizes the USOC, along with field identifiers (FIDs), to provision, bill and maintain services and equipment. USOCs can be either three or five alpha/numeric characters. A plus (+) sign indicates a variable suffix position. Suffixes define options of the USOC i.e. color , jurisdiction, speed. To prevent confusion the letter "O" is used and zero is not; the number "1" is used and the letter "I" is not. USOCs are designed for tariffed services, official company services, coin services, equipment, detariffed services, etc. The Bell operating companies in the United States and many independent telephone companies use USOCs to communicate both within their company and between companies. Many new companies in the industry are using the USOC information to interpret incumbent telephone company records when they are supplying service to a new customer. The different companies may have different names for the same services, but the USOC name is generic and therefore becomes a common naming device between companies.


User Service Order Profile.


Universal Operations Services. A software application that supports UIS by providing traditional network operations functions.


  1. Usage Sensitive Pricing. A tariff for local service under which the subscriber only pays for the telephone service he uses. This is done for gas and electric service.

  2. Universal Service Plan. A plan in Australia to make basic local telephone services available at an affordable price to all consumers.


User Service Profile Identifier. An ISDN term.


United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Universal Synchronous Receiver/Transmitter. Integrated circuit that performs conversion of parallel data to serial for transmission over a synchronous data channel.


Unstructured Supplementary Services Data. Look there for a full explanation.


Universal Synchronous Serial Interface. Noted in Adtran, Inc marketing literature a USSI interface is one which readily runs RS-530A,RS-449, RS-232,V.36, X.21.


United States Telecom Association. USTA. The largest trade association of telecommunications companies, USTA has a membership of over 1,200 companies. USTA has its roots in the National Telephone Association, formed in 1897 to unite independent (i.e., non-Bell) telephone companies. Subsequently, the organization changed its name to USITA (United States Independent Telephone Association). After the break-up of AT&T in 1984, the RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies) were admitted as members , and the name was shortened to USTA (United States Telephone Association). After the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers), ISPs (Internet Service Providers), wireless and cable companies were admitted and the organization changed its full name to United States Telecom Association, I suppose to reflect the convergence of voice and data. Membership is limited to facilities-based carriers . The organization, headquartered in Washington, lobbies the FCC, Congress and other regulatory, legislative and judicial bodies to ensure that no regulations are enacted or laws passed that will act to the detriment of its members. USTA also provides a little education for its members. See also USITA .www.usta.org.


See United States Telephone Suppliers Association.


  1. Universal Time.

  2. Upper Tester. An ATM term. The representation in ISO/IEC 9646 of the means of providing, during test execution, control and observation of the upper service boundary of the IUT, as defined by the chosen Abstract Test Method.

  3. User terminal.


Unlicensed Transition and Management for Microwave. Relocation in the 2.0 Ghz Band. UTAM Inc. is an open industry organization pledged to relocate incumbents (POFS) presently operating in the 1890 to 1930 MHz band. Designated by the FCC as the frequency coordinator for the UPCS spectrum. "Memorandum and Opinion and Order - June 1994," FCC Docket 90-314.


  1. Coordinated Universal Time (It's translated.) is the basis for legal time, worldwide. UTC is calculated based on International Atomic Time (TAI), which is calculated from the coordinated readings of more than 200 atomic clocks located in meteorology institutes and observatories around the world, including the U.S. Naval Observatory. UTC varies from TAI in that it is adjusted by the addition of occasional leap seconds, as the rotation of the Earth is not as precise as the rotation of electrons. UTC replaced Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is calculated solely on solar time. See also Greenwich Mean Time.

  2. UTC, The Telecommunications Association. UTC, formerly known as the Utilities Telecommunications Council primarily represents the interests of the utility industries (electric, gas, steam , and water) worldwide, but is open to vendors , manufacturers, and other interests. It is worthy to note that the utility industry is second only to the "telephone" industry in the procurement of telecommunications products and services. www.utc.org


Universal Trunk Data Record.


  1. In some computer languages, a small program executed as a shell command is called a "tool." In other computer languages, such as BASIC, it is called a "utility."

  2. A "public utility," such as an electric, gas, sewer, telephone, or water company. In telecommunications parlance, a "utility" generally refers to an electric company. Some electric utilities also are in the telephone business. Some of them have built fiber optic networks, allegedly for remote meter-reading and SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) purposes such as load shedding. These applications don't require nearly the bandwidth supported by fiber optics. The electric utilities built to capital cost of these networks into the rate base, with the blessings of the various state regulators. Their thinly disguised plans were to build information grids, much like their power grids and along the same rights-of-way, and then to deny others (e.g., telephone and CATV companies) the rights to use the same power poles to string their own fibers. It was a rip-off.

Utility Communications Architecture

UCA. An architecture for networks used to monitor and control electric power distribution systems.

Utility Computing

IBM's idea that you'll buy computing power over the Internet. So you (the corporation) won't have to own huge computers which are only used part of the time. The concept is working yet and several observers have called it "futility computing."

Utility Nodes

Nodes running software needed to control, monitor and diagnose network activities. May have a database connected to the node.

Utility Program

A computer program in general support of the processes of a computer; for example, a diagnostic program.

Utility Routine

A routine in general support of the operation of a computer, including input/output, diagnostic, tracing or monitoring.


The extent to which a circuit, link, path, switch, or other network element is being used, either at a given point in time or over a period of time. Utilization generally is expressed as a percentage. For example a T-1 offers a total signaling rate of 1.544 Mbps, and supports a total transmission rate of up to 1.536 Mbps. If, on the average over a period of a month, it is used to support an offered load of only 768 Kbps, it can be said to be 50% utilized. Utilization of 100% is rare, as the network element would suffer congestion some percentage of the time. See also Congestion and Utilize.


An absolutely awful word created the people who believe that speaking or writing in big words is a demonstration of their superior intelligence.


  1. Universal Test and Operations Interface for ATM. Refers to an electrical interface between the TC (Transmission Convergence) and PMD (Physical Medium Dependent) sublayers of the PHY (Physical) layer, which is the bottom layer of the ATM Protocol Reference Model. Utopia is the interface for devices connecting to an ATM network.

  2. Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) is a Utah interlocal agency formed in 2002 to deploy a publicly owned advanced fiber optic last mile (i.e., local loop) telecommunications network within founding 18 cities, which comprise approximately one-third of the state's population. The FTTP (Fiber-To-The-Premises) project is intended ultimately to connect as many as 15,000 homes and businesses at speeds of 100/1000 Mbps to the backbone, which will run at 5.6 Terabits per second. A terabit is a thousand gigabits.


Unshielded Twisted Pair. A pair of wires that is twisted, so as to minimize crosstalk with other pairs of wires in the same cable (which are each twisted at a slightly different rate) but not shielded . See Unshielded Twisted Pair.

UTP Cable

Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable. Most UTP cables have eight conductors. They are organized into four pairs. Each pair has a ring conductor and a tip conductor. The tip is colored white, usually with colored stripes. The ring is a solid color, usually with white stripes . The conductors of each pair are twisted around each other at a constant rate. However, each pair has different twist lengths. These exact lengths vary between manufacturers and types of cables. See Category of Performance. The conductors in most UTP and ScTP cables are 24 gauge copper wire. (Some manufacturers use 22 gauge. Conductor size doesn't matter if the cable is rated at the Category of Performance you've specified.) UTP cable can have solid copper or stranded conductors. Solid is less expensive than stranded, but stranded conductors are more flexible because they're made of tiny individual strands of copper. See Unshield Twisted Pair.

UTP RJ-45 Plug

These are used to terminate four pair UTP patch cords. A clip on the plug holds it into the jack. See Unshield Twisted Pair.


Universal Tone Receiver.


UMTS Radio Access Network; used in 3G wireless; comprised of NodeB and RNC


Universal Telephone Service.


A word used in voice recognition to mean a vocalized sound that is typically a word.


UNIX-to-UNIX Copy Program. A standard UNIX utility for exchanging information between two UNIX-based machines in a network. UUCP may also be referred to as the UNIX-TO-UNIX Communications Protocol and is widely used for electronic mail transfer. In short, UUCP is the name of a Unix command, but it is now also used to refer to the protocols used by it to transfer files between Unix machines. There are a number of such protocols, and the two machines choose between the ones supported by each. Free implementations also exist for VMS and MS-DOS. The Internet newsgroup comp.mail.uucp has more information.


Short for UUDecode, which is a software utility used to decode UUEncoded files. See UUEncode.


Short for UUEncode, which is a de facto encoding protocol used to transfer binary files across the Internet and on-line services. See UUENCODE.


UNIX-to-UNIX encoding. Software that allows you to take a binary computer file, e.g. a Word for Windows document or a PowerPoint presentation, convert it to ASCII for sending the binary file across the Internet or some other e-mail service and then, once received, converting it back to binary. In its Uuencoded form, the file is visible as ASCII, but it makes absolutely no sense. Direct e-mail services, like America On Line, MCI Mail or CompuServe, allow you to "attach" a binary file to a message ” without ever affecting the message. The person at the other end receives it as a binary file. However, once the message passes across an X.400 gateway, from one e-mail service to another (including or not including the Internet), you need Uuencoding. Also called MIME encapsulation. See Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension for an example of UUencoding.


User-to-User Information. An ISDN term. UUI comprises information of end-to-end significance sent over the ISDN D (Data) channel in the context of UUS (User-to-User Signaling), as defined by the ITU-T and ETSI. UUI services, which remain to be defined completely, must be subscribed by the sending party; the target party side of the connection has no acceptance or rejection procedure. UUS falls into three categories. UUS1 provides for the transmission and reception of UUI during call set-up and termination, through ISUP (ISDN User Part) call-control messages. UUS2 provides for the transmission and reception of UUI subsequent to call set-up, but prior to the establishment of a connection. UUS3 provides for the transmission and reception of UUI only while the connection is established, i.e., during the active phase of the circuit-switched call. UUS1/2/3 messages comprise packets of 128 bytes, with maximum numbers of packets established for each UUS category. UUI information is sent within standard Q.931 signaling messages, as separate signaling messages which are either associated with an existing call or are sent as non-call messages. UUI information sent as an associated call message might include the caller's name or account number to be transmitted to the destination. Detailed information can be found in ITU Q.931, or related ITU documents I.257.1 and D.231. See also ISUP.


Universally Unique IDentifier. Also known as Globally Unique IDentifier (GUID). See Globally Unique Identifier.


See User to User Signaling.


  1. Ultraviolet.

  2. A microvolt.

  3. Unified Voice.


UVGA stands for Ultra Video Graphics Array and refers to 1024 pixels by 768 pixels. See SVGA and VTGA.


See Ultra Wideband.


Universal Wireless Communications Consortium. See that definition for detail.


Local surcharge for emergency reporting services.

Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
ISBN: 979387345
Year: 2004
Pages: 133

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