voice mail

<messaging, business>

Any system for sending, storing and retrieving audio messages, like a telephone answering machine.

A voice mailbox is typically associated with a telephone number or extension. When the number is called and the line is busy or not answered, the caller hears a message left by the owner and is given instructions for leaving a message or other available options, such as paging the individual or being transferred to an operator. The owner of a mailbox can change the outgoing message or listen to incoming messages after entering a PIN. Members of a voice mail system can generally forward or broadcast messages to other members' boxes.

The experience of two people trying to reach other by telephone but always reaching each other's voice mail is referred to as "(tele)phone tag".

Last updated: 1996-11-03


Hackish way of referring to the plain old telephone system, comparing it to a digital network. Usenet sig blocks sometimes include the sender's telephone number next to a "Voice:" or "Voice-Net:" header; variants of this are "Voicenet" and "V-Net".

Compare paper-net, snail-mail.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1995-02-16

Voice over IP


(VoIP) Any technology providing voice telephony services over IP, including CODECs, streaming protocols and session control. The major advantage of VoIP is lower cost, by avoiding dedicated voice circuits.

Currently VoIP is being deployed on internal corporate networks, and, via the Internet, for low cost (and low quality) international calls. It is also used for telephony applications such as voice and fax mail.

The ITU standard is H.323, which is a whole suite of protocols, while the IETF has developed the much simpler SIP to solve the session control problem and MGCP/Megaco to solve the gateway problem.

Last updated: 2003-11-30

voice recognition

speech recognition

Nearby terms:

vocodingVoDvoice mailvoice-netVoice over IPvoice recognition

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