EFOC-Electronic Mail Gateways


European Fiber Optics and Communications conference.


Enhanced Full Rate. A enhanced full rate codec ( coder /decoder) which improves speech quality over existing GSM cellular networks. EFR supports speech quality comparable to that of a wireline network, also offering improved tolerance for interference. See also Codec and GSM.


Error Free Seconds: A unit used to specify the error performance of T carrier systems, usually expressed as EFS per hour , day, or week. This method gives a better indication of the distribution of bit errors than a simple bit error rate (BER). Also refer to SES.


Electronic Funds Transfer. The moving of bits of data from one bank to another. Done in place of moving little green pieces of paper, called money.


European Free Trade Association.


Electronic Funds Transfer Point Of Sale.


Enhanced Graphics Adapter. Second color video interface standard established for IBM PCs. Maximum resolution is 640 x 350 pixels. See MONITOR.


The 80s' version of Propeller Head or Gear Head.


Scanning the Net, databases, print media, or research papers looking for mentions of your own name .


Exterior Gateway Protocol. An Internet protocol for exchanging routing information between autonomous systems.


  1. The exit point. This typically refers to information being sent out of, as opposed to being sent in to a frame relay port connection or other network element. See also Egress Filtering.

  2. In video it's often called "signal leakage" and it's a condition in which signals carried by the distribution system leak into the air.

Egress Filtering

A security technique in which potentially harmful traffic is blocked from leaving a network.


  1. Error Hold File.

  2. Extremely High Frequency. Frequencies from 30 GHz to 300 GHz.


Exahertz (10 to the 18th power hertz). See also Spectrum Designation Of Frequency.


Electronic Industries Alliance, previously Electronic Industries Association. A trade organization of manufacturers which sets standards for use of its member companies, conducts educational programs, and lobbies in Washington for its members ' collective prosperity . Founded in 1924 as the Radio Manufacturers Association, the EIA is organized along specific electronic product and market lines. Each group or division has its own board of directors, and sets its own specific agenda, designed to enhance the competitiveness of its own business sector. Under the umbrella of EIA, and representative of the range of interests of the organization, are the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA); Electronic Components , Assemblies, Equipment & Supplies Association (ECA); Electronic Industries Foundation (EIF), Electronic Information Group (EIG); Government Electronics & Information Technology Association (GEIA); JEDEC Solid State Products Technology Division; and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Membership is open to companies and individuals. www.eia.org See EIA Interface.

EIA 232-D

New version of RS-232-C physical layer interface adopted in 1987. See also RS-232.

EIA 530

Interface using DB-25 connector, but for higher speeds than EIA-232. Has balanced signals (like EIA-422) except for three maintenance signals which are EIA-423. See also RS-530.

EIA 561

EIA-232E interface on DIN-8 connector (like Macs use). See also RS-561.

EIA 568

An EIA standard for commercial building wiring. The standard covers four general areas; the medium, the topology of he medium, terminations and connections, and general administration. See EIA/TIA 568 below.

EIA 569

Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways & SpacesEIA/TIA, 1991. Lays out guidelines for sizing telecom closets, equipment rooms, conduit, etc . Every architect doing commercial buildings should have to memorize it. Few have even heard of it!

EIA 574

EIA 232E interface on DE-9 connector. (OK, DE is a bit pedantic. Most call it a DB-9, though you'll never find one in a parts book).

EIA 606

Telecommunications Administration Standard for Commercial Buildings. Guidelines covering design and identification of two- level backbone cabling for individual buildings and for campuses.

EIA Interface

A set of signal characteristics (time, duration, voltage and current) set up by the Electronic Industries Association to standardize the transfer of information between different electronic devices, like computers, modems, printers, etc. The most famous EIA interface is the RS-232-C (now called the RS-232-E.) EIA-232 specifies three things: the functions of the interchange circuits, the electrical characteristics AND the connector (EIA-232-E includes two different connectors).

In contrast, the ITU-T's V.24 specifies ONLY the interchange circuit FUNCTIONS. V.28 specifies electrical characteristics compatible with EIA 232. ISO 2110 is the internal standard that defines the 25-pole D-shell connector compatible with EIA-232. Following the merger of EIA and the ITG part of EIA, all formed EIA telecommunications standards are now EIA/TIA publications and the standard referred to is now known as EIA/TIE-232-D, edition D, being the most recent. See EIA, EIA/TIA-RS-232-E and RS-232-E.


An EIA Standard, "Cable Television Channel Identification Plan", which specifies the cable-television channel-numbering plan proposed by the EIA and the NCTA. The cable television channel assignments specified in this document are incorporated by reference into the FCC Rules.


The latest version of the familiar RS-232-C serial data transfer standard for communicating between Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) and Data Circuit Terminating equipment employing serial binary data interchange. (EIA/TIE's exact words.) This standard defines the serial ports on computers, which communicate with such things as external modems, serial printers, data PBXs, etc. See also EIA and RS-232.


EIA/TIA 568 Commercial Building Wiring Standard. This telecommunications standard in early 1991 was out for industry review under draft specification SP- 1907B. Its purpose is to define a generic telecommunications wiring system for commercial buildings that will support a multi-product, multi-vendor environment. It covers:

  • Recognized Media

  • Topology

  • Cable Lengths/Performance

  • Interface Standards

  • Wiring Practices

  • Hardware Practices

  • Administration


Equipment Identifier. A cellular radio term .


Enhanced IDE. See IDE and Enhanced IDE.


European International Directory Enquiries (EIDQ) Group. EIDQ consists of 21 European telecommunications organizations with a direct involvement in the provision of international directory information ” work formerly performed under the auspices of CEPT. Membership in EIDQ is voluntary. The primary objective of EIDQ is to work towards the development of enhanced international directory information services both via traditional operator assisted methods and by new media, such as on-line services. www.eidq.org.


The chorus from "Old McDonald Had A Farm." It's not an acronym, but it's fun to sing. When all of these acronyms start to make your head spin, just sing "Old McDonald Had A Farm." You'll feel better.


See Electronic Interface Format.

Eiffel Tower

The famous Paris landmark built in 1889 for the 1890 World's Fair. On October 21, 1915 the first wireless transAtlantic telephone call took place between H.R. Shreeve, a Bell Telephone engineer listening at the Eiffel Tower and using borrowed French equipment, and B.B. Webb in Arlington, Virginia. The transmission was " Hello, Shreeve! Hello, Shreeve! And now, Shreeve, good night!" During the period following W.W.I, it was often proposed that the Eiffel Tower be dismantled and sold for scrap. Literally the only thing that stalled those plans was the usefulness of the Eiffel Tower as the world's largest radio transmitter/receiver.

Eight Hundred Service

800-Service. A generic and common (and not trademarked) term for AT&T's, MCI's, Sprint's and the Bell operating companies' IN-WATS service. All these IN-WATS services have "800," "888" or "887" as their "area code." Dialing an 800, 888 or 887-number is free to the person making the call. The call is billed to the person or company being called.

800 Service works like this: You're somewhere in North America. You dial 1-800 and seven digits. Your local central office sees the "1" and recognizes the call as long distance. It ships that call to a bigger central office (or perhaps processes the call itself). At that central office it's processed , a machine will recognize the 800 "area code" and examine the next three digits. Those three digits will tell which long distance carrier to ship the call to.

Until 800 portability, happened in May, 1993 each 800 provider (local and long distance company) was assigned specific 800 three digit "exchanges." For example, MCI had the exchange 999. AT&T had the exchange 542. If you wanted a phone number beginning with 800-999, then you had to subscribe to MCI 800 service. If you wanted a phone number beginning with 800-542, you had to subscribe to AT&T 800 service. With 800 Portability that is no longer the case.

Here is a history of what the phone industry calls 800 Data Base Access Service. It comes courtesy Bellcore:

"After divestiture (1984), the seven regional telecommunications companies began to provide limited 800 Service on their own as well as in conjunction with interexchange carriers . The regional companies transported 800 calls only within their own calling areas. The 800 number ” containing 10 digits in accordance with the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) ” was routed onto the long distance carrier's networks."

"The Common Carrier Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) endorsed an incremental approach that would ultimately give the seven companies the right to create their own 800 Service architecture and eliminate reliance on the only existing signaling system (AT&T's). That approach involved assigning to 800 service providers one or more special numbers from the NANP. These numbers, known as "NXX codes," allowed carriers (MCI, Sprint, NY Telephone, etc.) to identify their own 800 numbers and offer their customers 800 numbers ."

"Bellcore ” Bell Communications Research ” began to develop a new network architecture that would allow an 800 Service subscriber to change to another carrier without changing their existing 800 number (full number portability), in accordance with a September 1991 FCC order. That order declared that 800 data base service should be implemented by March 1993 (later extended to May, 1993) and that the old NXX plan be eliminated as long as access times met certain FCC standards."

"In September 1991, the FCC endorsed the plan initially set forth by the Bell operating companies, which provided that the administration of the Number Administration and Service Center (NASC) be transferred from Bellcore to an independent third party outside the telecommunications industry. Lockheed Information Management Systems Company (IMS) was selected by competitive bid to succeed Bellcore as NASC administrator. NANPA (North American Numbering Plan Administration) since has been shifted to NANC (North American Numbering Council.)"

"How 800 data base service works: The telecommunications network architecture that supports 800 Data Base Access Service is considered " intelligent " because data bases within the network supplement the call processing function performed by network switches. The Service uses a Common Channel Signaling (CCS) network and a collection of computers that accept message queries and provide responses. When a caller dials an 800 number, a Service Switching Point (SSP) recognizes from the digits "8-0-0" that the call requires special treatment and processes that call according to routing instructions it receives from a centralized database. This database, called the Service Control Point (SCP), can store millions of customer records."

"Although each regional company maintains whatever number of SCPs it needs to provide 800 Data Bases Access Service, information about how an 800 call should be handled is entered into the SCP through the off-line Bellcore support system called the Service Management System (SMS). SMS is a national computer system which administers assignment of 800 numbers to 800 service providers. It is located in Kansas City, maintained by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, and administered by Bellcore with information received from 800 Number Administration and Service Center (NASC). The NASC provides user support and system administration for all 800 Service providers who access the SMS/800."

Because 800 service is essentially a data base lookup service, there are a endless "800 services" you can create. Here are the variables that can be used to influence how an 800 phone call is handled and where an 800 phone call ultimately gets sent:

  • The number calling. Virtually all 800 calls in North America (excepting Mexico) now come with the information as to from which number the call came.

  • The number being called.

  • The time of day, week, month etc.

  • The instructions given at that particular moment. A computer might say "Sorry, our phone system is busy. We can't take any more calls in New York. Please send this one and all subsequent ones ” until informed otherwise ” to our phone system in Kansas City.

Here are a few examples of the services 800 providers have created using the above variables:

  • TIME OF DAY ROUTING: Allows you to route incoming calls to alternate, predetermined locations at specified days of the week and times of the day.

  • PERCENTAGE ALLOCATION ROUTING: Allows you to route pre-selected percentages of calls from each Originating Routing Group (ORG) to two or more answering locations. Allocation percentages can be defined for each ORG (typically an area code), for each day type and for each time slot.

  • SINGLE NUMBER: The same 800 number is used for intrastate and interstate calling.

  • CALL BLOCKAGE: You can block calling areas by state or area code. The caller from a blocked area hears the message: "Your 800 call cannot be completed as dialed . Please check the number and dial again or call 1- 800-XXX-XXXX for assistance." (You may want to block callers from areas which didn't see your special commercial, for example.)

  • POINT OF CALL ROUTING: Allows a customer to route calls made to a single 800 number to different terminating locations based on the call's point of origin (state or area code.) You establish Originating Routing Groups (ORGs) and designate a specific answering location for each ORG's call.

  • CALL ATTEMPT PROFILE: A special service that allows subscribers to purchase a record of the number of attempts that are made to an 800 number. The attempts are captured at the Network Control Point, and from this data a report is produced for the subscriber.

  • ALTERNATE ROUTING: Allows a customer to create alternate routing plans that can be activated by the 800 carrier upon command in the event of an emergency. Several alternate plans can be set up using any features previously subscribed to in the main 800 routing plan. Each alternate plan must specify termination in a location previously set up during the order entry process.

  • DIALED NUMBER IDENTIFICATION SERVICE: DNIS. Allows a customer to terminate two or more 800 numbers to a single service group and to receive pulsed digits to identify the specific 800 number called. DNIS is only available on dedicated access lines with four-wire E & M type signaling or a digital interface. The customer's equipment must be configured to process the DNIS digits.

  • ANI: The carrier will deliver to you the incoming 800 call plus the phone number of the calling party. See also ANI, Common Channel Interoffice Signaling and ISDN.

  • COMMAND ROUTING: Allows the customer to route calls differently on command at any time his business requires it.

  • FOLLOW ME 800: Allows the customer to change his call routing whenever he wants to.

Now to the question of how to complete an 800 call. There are essentially two ways to terminate an 800 call. You can end the call on your normal phone line ” business or residence. This is the phone line you use for normal in and out calling. That's called not having a dedicated local loop. Or you can end the call on a dedicated phone line. By "dedicated," we mean there's a leased line between your office and the local office of your 800 provider, local or long distance carrier. There are several ways this dedicated "line" might be installed. It could be part of a T-1 circuit. It could be one circuit on one single copper pair. It could even be a phone number dedicated to your 800 number ” a phone number you can't make an outgoing call on.

There is one major problem with 800 lines. They're hard to test. You may have bought an 800 number to cover the country, but you may be unreachable from certain parts of the country for weeks on end and not know it. That's part of the problem of a service which uses multiple databases lookup tables and relies on many exchanges to carry the calls. Many companies ” like the airlines ” recruit their distant employees to call their 800 number regularly. The only part of your 800 IN-WATS line you can test is your local loop ( assuming you have one) from the local central office to your office. If you have a dedicated, leased line, you may have local Plant Test Numbers ” standard seven digit numbers. You can call these numbers. If they work, you know that the end parts of your lines are working. One of our WATS lines is 1-800-LIBRARY. When it had a dedicated local phone number, it had a plant test number of 212-206-6870. So we could call this and all the subsequent hunt-on numbers every day first thing. Just to check. And when we go traveling, we call our own numbers. Just to check. Now we don't have any dedicated local phone numbers, we rely on prayer. The most common problem we have with our 800 numbers is at our local central office. Seems that it crashes every so often for very short amounts of time. When it starts up, it's meant to load all the tables to give us the features we're paying for ” like hunting. Sadly, it doesn't always do this. We then report the trouble to our local phone company. It's usually fixed within an hour or so. Depends on how busy they are. See also 800 at the front of this dictionary. 800 Service now includes 888 (April 1996) numbers and 877 (April 1998) numbers.


Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol; also known as Enhanced Internet Gateway Routing Protocol. Cisco System's newest version of its proprietary routing algorithm, IGRP, EIGRP provides link-to-link protocol-level security to avoid unauthorized access to routing tables.

Eight Way Server

A motherboard with up to eight processors, e.g. eight Intel Pentium chips. Eight-way servers were introduced in 1997 to bring more power to the Windows NT operating system.


Ethernet Inverse Mapper.


Early Implementers Program. A term Novell coined to refer to those companies who had early on committed to adopt its Telephony Services architecture. See Telephony Services.


Equipment Identity Register. A database repository used to verify the validity of equipment used in mobile telephone service. It can provide security features such as blocking calls from stolen mobile stations and preventing unauthorized access to the network. Blacklisted equipment prevents call completion for a user.


European Integrated Railway Radio Enhanced Network. See GSM-R.


Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power. A wireless term. The product of the power supplied to the transmitting antenna and the antenna gain in a given direction relative to an isotropic antenna radiator. This product may be expressed in watts or dB above one watt (dBW). See also Isotropic and Isotropic Antenna.


A ITU-T X.25 packet-switched network operating in Ireland under the control of the Irish government.


In a computer a "bus" is an electrical channel for getting information and commands in and around the computer. It is the way the central microprocessor running the computer gets its information and commands to the various peripheral devices or device controllers, such as video controllers, hard disk controllers, etc. The original IBM PC was "balanced" in that the microprocessor matched the speed of the bus that came in the machine. But the microprocessor got faster and more powerful and the bus lagged behind. So there has been much effort to speed the bus up, including EISA, which stands for Extended Industry Standard Architecture. EISA is the independent computer industry's alternate to IBM's Micro-Channel data bus architecture which IBM uses in some of its high end PS/2 line of desktop computers. EISA, like Micro-Channel (also called MCA), is a 32-bit channel. But, unlike IBM's Micro-Channel, plug-in boards which work inside the XT and AT- series of IBM and IBM clone desktop computers will work within EISA machines. They won't work in Micro-Channel machines. EISA expands the 16-bit ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) to 32-bit. EISA technology is useful in computing environments where multiple high performance peripherals are operating in parallel. The intelligent bus master can share the burden on the main CPU by performing direct data transfers into and out of memory. EISA capabilities are valuable when the system is being used as a server on a local area network or is running a multi-user operating system such as UNIX or OS/2. As of writing, over 200 manufacturers had endorsed EISA. Broader, wider buses than EISA are now available. 64-bit is not uncommon, especially among servers. See Local Bus, PCI and VESA for examples of newer , faster buses.

Either End Hop Off

EEHO. In private networks, a switch program that allows a call destined for an off-net location to be placed into the public network at either the closest switch to the origination or the closest switch to the destination. The choice is usually by time of day and is usually done to take advantage of cheaper rates.

Either Way Operation

Same as half-duplex.


Ethernet Interface Unit.


Electronic key exchange.


Electronic Key Telephone System.


Emulated Local Area Network: A logical network initiated by using the mechanisms defined by LANE (LAN Emulation). This could include ATM and legacy attached end stations. See also LANE.

Elapsed Carrier Connect Time

The time used to bill IXCs. Timing begins on originating traffic when the end office receives the wink-start signal from the IXC. Timing ends when the calling party disconnects or the IXC returns disconnect supervision. Timing begins on terminating traffic when the end office returns the wink-start signal and ends when the called party disconnects or the IXC returns disconnect supervision.

Elapsed Time

Conversation time or the time from answer to disconnect, in MM:SS:T format.

Elastic Buffer

A variable storage device having adjustable capacity and/or delay, in which a signal can be temporarily stored.

Elasticity Of Demand

The relationship between price and the quantity sold. The theory is the lower the price, the more you'll sell. In telecommunications, this has traditionally been true, though sometimes it has taken time for demand to catch up with dramatic price cuts.

Elastomeric Firestop

A firestopping material resembling rubber. See also firestopping.


The beginnings of an Internet directory protocol.


Enterprise Local Exchange Carrier. Generally , a larger corporation operating as their own LEC as a means of obtaining better carrier rates for themselves , possibly selling services to others for a profit to enhance revenue in the process. ELECs are a new breed of LEC. The ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) for around 100 years have had the exclusive right and responsibility for providing local telephone service. During the recent past, many state PUCs (Public Utility Commissions) have allowed competition for local exchange service; hence, the origin of the CLECs (Competitive LECs). ELECs actually are a subset of the CLEC concept, although they actually preceded it by a few years . It works like this:

Let's say that you are the telecommunications manager for a large college or university, or for a large corporation with theme parks and hotels around the country. In other words, your enterprise owns a piece of property on which sit a lot of buildings. You provide a wide range of voice, data and video services to management, staff, and guests in dorms or hotels. In a very significant sense, you are providing communications services to what, in effect, is a self-contained town or small city. You go to the state PUC and file for certification as a LEC. You also file local exchange tariffs, defining available services, the terms under which they are offered , and all associated costs. You arrange to interconnect your PBX with an IXC, just like an ILEC would connect a CO to an IXC POP. The IXC pays you access charges for all interLATA traffic you hand off to it, just as they would pay an ILEC for that traffic. You have just become the manager of a telephone company ” perhaps a very profitable telephone company. You also have become the manager of a facilities-based long distance resale company.

Take this scenario one step further. Perhaps you become your own facilities-based IXC, with leased-line connections between your properties. Take it still one step further. In addition to hauling your own interLATA traffic, you market your long distance service and your Internet access service to other companies close to your ELEC properties, connecting those companies to your switch via dedicated circuits leased from the LEC. Once built, you can run this ELEC as a separate profit center, or you can sell it to a traditional LEC or CLEC. See also CLEC and LEC.

Electret Microphone

Electret is a combination of ELECTRicity and magnET . An electret microphone operates on the basis of a dielectric (non-electrically conducting) material in which a permanent state of polarization, or electrical bias, has been established. The dielectric material is then spread over a conductive metal backplate. A back-electret microphone involves a diaphragm of dielectric material which is not electrically biased, but which is spread over a conductive metal back-plate which is electrically biased . Variants on standard condenser microphones, electret microphones are very inexpensive and require very little electrical energy to operate . Electret microphones are preferred for today's telephone handsets, since they are more sensitive (and cheaper) than the older carbon microphones, which many old-fashioned people (like me) still prefer because (a) I think it sounds better, (b) It's far less susceptible to interference from external sources, such as neon signs and (c) It works reliably with hearing aids (i.e. people who wear hearing aids have no trouble with carbon mics.).

Electric Banana

Telecom installers ' slang for Tone Probe.

Electric Lock

A cellular phone feature that provides security by locking a cellular phone so it can't be used by unauthorized persons.

Electrical Closet

Floor-serving facility for housing electrical equipment, panel- boards, and controls.

Electrical Service Equipment

That portion of the electrical power installation, the service enclosure or its equivalent, up to and including the point at which the supply authority makes connection.

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

EEPROM. An EEPROM is a memory chip that holds its content without power. It can be erased, either within the computer or externally and has a lifespan of 10,000-100,000 write cycles.

Electrically Powered Telephone

A telephone in which the operating power is obtained either from batteries located at the telephone (local battery) or from a telephone central office (common battery).

Electrician's Scissors

Used to cut cables. They have flat blades and look like very heavy scissors except they have notches on the side of one blade that are used to strip cable.


Electricity is the flow of electric charge. Normally this is thought of as electrons flowing through wire but it can also be protons or electrically charged ions flowing through a fluid.

Electro Optical Transducer

A device used to convert electrical signals into light signals and vice versa. It is used at the ends of fiber optic transmission systems.


The deposition of a conductive material from a plating solution by the application of electric current.


The direct conversion of electrical energy into light.


The production of chemical changes by passage of current through an electrolyte.


A chemical solution used in batteries, chemical rectifiers, and certain types of fixed condensers.

Electrolytic Process

A printing process where paper is treated with an electrolyte and a stylus passes the signal current through the paper to produce an image. Paper is roll- fed past the stylus and changes color depending on the intensity of current passing through the stylus.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

EMC. The ability of equipment or systems to be used in their intended environment within designed efficiency levels without causing or receiving degradation due to unintentional EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). EMI is reduced by, amongst other things, copper shielding.

Electromagnetic Emission Control

The control of electromagnetic emissions. e.g., radio, radar, and sonar transmissions, for the purpose of preventing or minimizing their use by unintended recipients. A military term. Electromagnetic emission is reduced by, amongst other things, copper shielding.

Electromagnetic Energy

The transmission of energy in the form of waves having an electronic and magnetic component.

Electromagnetic Force

EMF. Also called Voltage.

Electromagnetic Interference

EMI. Interference in signal transmission or reception caused by the radiation of electrical and magnetic fields. That's the easy explanation. Here's a more comprehensive explanation: Any electrical or electromagnetic phenomenon , manmade or natural, either radiated or conducted , that results in unintentional and undesirable responses from, or performance degradation or malfunction of, electronic equipment.

Electromagnetic Lines Of Force

The lines of force existing about an electromagnet or a current carrying conductor.

Electromagnetic Radiation

EMR. The combined electric and magnetic field components of a radio wave. Electromagnetic radiation can be harmful to you and me. But it is way beyond the scope of this definition to discuss all its ramifications . Suffice: our society is swarming with radio waves. There are waves from radio and TV towers , from microwaves and cell phones, cell sites, mobile phones, cordless phones, and microwave ovens. The EMR EMR we are exposed to has been rising significantly by factors of thousands since the Second World War. There is strong evidence that excessive electromagnetic radiation damages human cells in a way that is potentially cancer causing. And that's why governments all over the world regulate and limit electromagnetic radiation of devices such as cell phones, radar, portable phones, microwave ovens, etc. Being personally careful is critical.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

The entire range of wavelengths (the inverse of frequency) of electromagnetic waves extending from cosmic and gamma rays down through visible light and heat to every form of radio communications signal. The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is basically just a name that scientists give a bunch of types of radiation when they want to talk about them as a group. Radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes ” visible light that comes from a lamp in your house or radio waves that come from a radio station are two types of electromagnetic radiation. Other examples of EM radiation are microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma- rays. Hotter, more energetic objects and events create higher energy radiation than cool objects. Only extremely hot objects or particles moving at very high velocities can create high-energy radiation like X-rays and gamma-rays.

Electromagnetic Wave

The electric wave propagated by an electrostatic and magnetic field of varying intensity. Its velocity is 186,300 miles per second.

Electromechanical Ringing

The traditional bell or buzzer in a telephone which announces incoming calls.


A phenomenon in which metal migrates along a current path in current rails, which are power-carrying circuits. Eventually, this phenomenon causes an open in the circuit or a shorting of an adjacent circuit. It is caused as the metal ions move in the direction of the current flow through metal wires comprising the circuit. Electromigration is particularly likely to affect the very thin and very tightly- spaced power distribution lines of sub-micron chip designs. As the phenomenon occurs only after months or years of use, it cannot be prevented by production testing, but only through careful circuit design. (Just in case you don't have enough things to worry about, Newton's Telecom Dictionary is pleased to bring you this source of consternation.)

Electromotive Force



An electron is a light, subatomic particle that carries a negative charge. Electrons are found in atoms where they balance out the positive charge of the protons in the nucleus. Electrons in an atom are arranged in layers or shells around the nucleus. All atoms follow the pattern where the shells fill in from the inside to the outside. Each layer must fill to capacity before the next layer can be started. See electricity.

Electron Gun

Device in a television picture tube from which electrons are emitted toward screen.

Electron Tube Rectifier

A device for rectifying an alternating current by utilizing the flow of electrons between a hot cathode and a relatively cold anode.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

EMC. The ability of a system or product to function properly in environment where other electromagnetic devices are used and not be a source itself of electromagnetic interference. See also RFID.

Electronic article surveillance

EAS. Simple electronic RFID tags that can be turned on or off. When an item is purchased (or borrowed from a library), the tag is turned off. When someone passes a gate area holding an item with a tag that hasn't been turned off, an alarm sounds. EAS tags are embedded in the packaging of most pharmaceuticals .

Electronic Bidding

A process by which bidders in an auction use computers to place their bids.

Electronic Blackboard

This is a teleconferencing tool. At one end there's a large "whiteboard." Write on this board and electronics behind the board pick up your writing and transmit it over phone lines to a remote TV set. The idea is that remote viewers can hear your voice on the phone and see the presentation on the electronic blackboard. The product has not done well because it is expensive ” typically several hundred dollars a month just for rent, plus extra hundreds for transmission costs. In Japan, there are similar boards called OABoards ” Office Automation Boards. They do one thing differently ” they will print a copy on normal letter- size paper of what's written on the board. This takes about 20 seconds. Some of these Japanese OABoards will also transmit their contents over phone lines. So far, neither the OABoards nor the electronic blackboards have found a sizable market in the United States.

Electronic Bonding

EB. A term for the exchange of information between carriers' Operations Support Systems (OSSs). Through secure gateways, the carriers can exchange information such as trouble tickets, which is very important in a multivendor network. The specific technique generally is either EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) or Telecommunications Management Network (TMN). See also EDI and TMN.

Electronic Bracelet

A device attached to the legs of criminals who have been sentenced to confinement in their homes . The device allows them to move around a confined area. In most iterations, the device emits a regular signal to a nearby receiving station. If the criminal leaves the permitted area or tampers with the device, the in-home receiving device will dial local police authorities and effectively say, "the crim has flown his coop." An electronic bracelet is not the same as an electronic leash, which is a beeper .

Electronic Bulletin Board

A computer, a modem, a phone line and a piece of software. Load communications software in your computer, dial the distant electronic bulletin board. The system will answer and present you with a menu of options. Typically those options will include leave messages, pick up messages, find out information, fill in a survey and upload and download a file.

Electronic Business Card

Also known as vCard. See Versit and VersitCard.

Electronic Call Distribution

Another term for Automatic Call Distribution. See Automatic Call Distributor.

Electronic Cash

E-Cash. A term referring to money that is exchanged over the Internet or some other form of electronic network.

Electronic Commerce

Using electronic information technologies to conduct business between trading partners , using or not using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), using or not using the Internet. See EDI and OFX.

Electronic Commerce Services

ECS. A set of e-mail authentication and certification services announced by the U.S. Postal Service in October 1996 and scheduled for early 1997 rollout. The service will provide an electronic postmark aimed at making e-mail authentic and traceable and, therefore, legally binding in support of electronic commerce. E-mail fraud effectively will become mail fraud, as a result. The service initially will be priced at 22 cents . ECS seems like a great idea! Hopefully, it will be more successful than the USPS' failed 1980s attempt at offering e-mail services. Critical to its success is the support of leading Internet e-mail vendors such as Microsoft and Netscape, both of whom are planning such support.

Electronic Common Control

See ECC.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act

ECPA. A federal act passed in 1986, the ECPA grants employers the right to review stored communications (e.g., e-mail, voice mail, and other computer data) stored on company systems. Supporters of the act mainly are businesses that insist that they have the right to monitor the use of company resources. Opponents mainly are individuals who insist that they have the inherent right to privacy. Check your privacy at the front door, my friend. See also Call Accounting, Keystroke Monitoring, and Network Accounting.

Electronic Custom Telephone Service

Provides deluxe key telephone features and simplified access to certain AT&T Dimension PBX phones.

Electronic Data Interchange

EDI. The process whereby standardized forms of electronic commerce documents are transferred between computer systems often run by different companies and without human intervention. EDI is used for placing orders, for billing and paying for goods and services via private electronic networks or via the Internet. According to studies, it costs about $50 a process paper-based purchase order and about $2.50 to process the same order with EDI. Internet-based EDI can lower the cost to less than $1.25. The form and format of EDI documents may be defined by vendor specifications, ITU-T standards, the ANSI X.12 standard, or the United Nations EDIFACT standard. See EDI for a fuller explanation. See also the next definition. See also http://www.ediinfo-center.com/html/hotline.html and http://www.ecworld.org/Members/edi-uk.html.

Electronic Data Interchange Association

EDIA. An organization which works to provide a common platform to communicate global EDI activity, bypassing language conventions and national boundaries.

Electronic Data Processing

See EDP.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF. A foundation established in July 1990 by Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus, to "ensure that the principles embodied in the Constitution and Bill of Rights are protected as new communications technologies emerge." The EFF addresses a wide range social and legal issues arising from the impact on society of the increasingly pervasive use of computers as the means of communication and information distribution. Efforts include working to defeat the Communications Decency Act, in order to protect the right to free speech over the Internet. EFF also works to support both legal and technical means of enhancing privacy in communications, specifically focusing on the unfettered use of encryption algorithms. See appendix for address. www.eff.org.

Electronic Funds Transfer

EFT. A system which transfers money electronically between accounts or organizations without moving the actual money.

Electronic Hug

My friend Jennifer Durst carries a Blackberry. She is starting a company. It is hard work. Every so often I send her an electronic hug. My message to her Blackberry simply reads: "Electronic Hug." She says this makes her feel good and doesn't cost her any time or money since, under her Blackberry plan, she is entitled to unlimited messages. When I sent her this definition, she blackberried back, "I think you should mention something about what an efficient means of showing support and affection this is for start-up entrepreneurs who don't have time for the usual means."

Electronic Image Mail

The transmission of slow scan TV or facsimile via "Store and Forward." Not a common term.

Electronic Interface Format

EIF. A standardized file format required by Verizon to communicate with DCAS.

Electronic Key Exchange

A security procedure by which two entities establish secret keys used to encrypt and decrypt data exchanged between them. The procedure used in CDPD is based on a form of public key cryptology developed by Diffe and Hellman.

Electronic Key System

A key telephone system in which the electromechanical relays and switches have been replaced by electronic devices ” often in the phone and in the central cabinet. The innards of the central cabinet of an electronic key system more resemble a computer than a conventional key system. These days, virtually all key systems are electronic. Most manufacturers have stopped making electromechanical key systems (such as 1A2).

Electronic Leash

Pagers or beepers are often called "electronic leashes" because they allow your boss to contact you, to control you, to keep you on a leash. At one stage, beepers were carried by doctors and technicians who could never be "out of touch." As a result, beepers got a bad reputation and "real" people, i.e. bosses, wouldn't carry them. But that's getting better now and real people are now carrying them. See also ELECTRONIC BRACELET.

Electronic Lock

Lets you lock your cellular phone so no one can use it. If you use Electronic Lock, you'll have to punch in some extra digits ” like a password ” to unlock the lock.

Electronic Mail

A term which usually means Electronic Text Mail, as opposed to Electronic Voice Mail or Electronic Image Mail. Sometimes electronic mail is written as E- Mail. Sometimes as email. These days electronic mail is everything from simple messages flowing over a local area network from one cubicle to another, to messages flowing across the globe on an X.400 network. Such messages may be simple text messages containing only ASCII or they may be complex messages containing embedded voice messages, spreadsheets and images. See Electronic Text Mail, Electronic Voice Mail, Electronic Image Mail and Windows, Windows Telephony.

Electronic Mail Gateways

A collection of hardware and software that allows users on an E-mail system to communicate and exchange messages with other mail systems that use a different protocol.

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

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