Making Sense of Telecom Jargon – Part 3

CTI – Computer Telephony Integration

CTI is the set of technologies used to integrate and manage computers and telephone systems.  The functionality falls into two general categories:

  1. Controlling the telephone system through the computer
  2. The telephone system displaying information about the call on the computer

If you have a CTI-enabled system you can dial, answer, and hang-up all through the user interface accessible by any computer.

CTI systems can also include the following features:

  • Caller Id
  • Dialed number display
  • call routing, reporting and desktop automation
  • call recording

ACD – Automatic Call Distributor

When you make a call into a call center for customer service and support, for account questions, or you call in to your doctor’s office, chances are your call will be handled with ACD.

Most commonly, through IVR techology, you will be asked a series of questions that will enable the system to transfer your call to the right department.  You get placed on hold until the next available operator can answer your call.  ACD will notify you of your place in line, and estimated wait time.

MOS – Mean Opinion Score

When it comes to communications (voice or video), the quality of the sound is very important.  It can dictate whether the user has either a positive or a negative experience.  MOS is a quantifiable way to measure the quality of sound once it has been transmitted to the end user.

It is measure on a scale from 1 to 5, with the range looking like this:

1 – Communication was not perceived

2 – Very annoying.  Communication barely perceptible

3 – Annoying.

4 – Fair.  Some imperfections, but sound is clear.  Most cell phones fall into this category.

5 – Perfect.  Radio reception or face-to-face conversation.

A certain number of people are asked to sit and listen to some audio recordings.  The most common phrases used are:

  • You will have to be very quiet
  • There was nothing to be seen
  • They worshiped wooden idols
  • I want a minute with the inspector
  • Did he need any money?

After listening, the subject gives the recording a rating.  The mathematical mean (average) of the sum total of all ratings is found.  Now that recording has a MOS.

This almost wraps up our series on Telecom jargon.  If you have any suggestions for this series, please email them to us at  We’d love to hear from you!


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