Jargon Buster

Getting to grips with business communications can be difficult while you’re also running a business. You’ll encounter words, terms and phrases you may have heard before in passing, but you don’t fully understand.

That’s why we’ve created this glossary of all the technical words. It should help give you and your business a fighting chance of getting to grips with the constantly evolving world of business communications.


A tariff (commonly referred to as a ‘plan’) represents the specific service package you’ve chosen from your mobile service provider. It outlines the nature of the service (mobile phone, broadband, VoIP etc) and specifies your monthly allocations for voice, text, and data, along with the fixed monthly cost. Your tariff may also include additional allowances or services, such as international calls or roaming.

When we refer to your ‘service’ or your ‘handset’, this is just the technical way of saying your device. For example, if you have five mobile phones and two desk phones under contract with us, you have seven ‘services’ or ‘handsets’.

Your ‘Package’ refers to the level of your tariff with regards to your capabilities and allowances; the Platinum package is the premium level of tariff with plan.com. Therefore, for a higher price, Platinum customers can view the location of devices more accurately and have access to Bigger Bolt-Ons and cheaper roaming allowances, as well as other benefits. ‘Essential’ is the most basic and ‘Gold’ is an upgraded version in between Essential and Platinum.

Data is defined as the information generated, stored, sent, and received by your digital device, facilitating communication and application functionality.

It’s crucial to note that your phone may use data even when not actively accessing the Internet or apps, as various background services can continuously utilise data once your device is turned on. Data is usually measured in Megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB).

Wi-Fi connects your phone to the digital world, enabling internet access and app usage like email, Facebook, and WhatsApp. This involves establishing a wireless connection between your phone and an external source, typically a wireless router such as at home, work networks, or public spaces like hotels and cafes.

Tethering or hotspot refers to sharing your mobile device’s internet connection with other devices, turning it into a portable Wi-Fi source. Useful when you need internet access for laptops or tablets on the go. Keep in mind that all devices connected to the hotspot use the data from the device providing the hotspot.

Access Point Name (APN) is like an internet gateway for your mobile device, allowing it to connect to the mobile network. It’s crucial for proper functioning of internet-related services such as MMS and mobile data. Make sure to configure the correct APN settings to ensure seamless connectivity.

Roaming is when your mobile device connects to a network outside your usual coverage area. While convenient for staying connected while abroad, be aware that roaming may incur additional charges. If you’re planning on going abroad, check out our range of bolt-ons and add-ons, covering daily travel and monthly trips across the globe. Find out more at https://www.plan.com/roam

A bolt-on is a product that can be added to an existing tariff to increase the inclusive allowance, e.g. additional text messages, minutes or data. This is especially useful if you’re going abroad or need extra data to carry you over to the end of the month.

Add-ons are similar to bolt-ons, but they are only available when a contract is agreed and cannot be added in-life. Find out more at https://www.plan.com/roam

With my.plan, you can set restrictions against specific types of usage (such as UK data or roaming calls) on each service to prevent your account from going above a level of additional charges that you choose.

The SIM is a small, removable card inserted into mobile phones and other cellular devices, which stores essential information, such as the unique identification of the user, authentication keys, and network-specific details. The SIM card enables the device to connect to a mobile network, allowing users to make calls, send texts, and access mobile data services.

A ‘porting authorisation code’ is a code that mobile providers must issue on request which allows you to switch your mobile service and keep your existing number.

The PUK (Personal Unblocking Key) code is a code consisting of 8 digits that you also received with your SIM card. It is used to unblock your SIM card when you entered 3 times a wrong PIN code.

A Personal Identification number (PIN) is a numeric password used to authenticate a user accessing a system (i.e. phone or sim).

MMS is an acronym for Multimedia Messaging Service, a standard way to send text messages that include multimedia content to and from a mobile device over a cellular network.

SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. It is the most widely used type of text messaging carried over a cellular network.

A Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or MVNO, are third-party companies that lease telephone and data spectrum from the main Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), such as O2 and EE.

An embedded SIM is a digital SIM card integrated directly into a device’s hardware, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card. Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are programmable and can be reconfigured remotely. They enable users to switch between mobile networks without changing physical cards, providing flexibility and convenience for connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

plan.com partners are businesses that sell plan.com products as part of their data contract offering to their customers.

Network refers to the infrastructure owned, maintained and operated by network providers such as O2 and EE. It encompasses a system of interconnected communication facilities, including cell towers, base stations, and data centres. This infrastructure enables the transmission of voice, data, and other services, facilitating connectivity within a certain coverage area.

‘Voice over internet protocol’, also known as ‘Hosted’, is a technology that allows users to make voice calls using the internet, either over a fixed or mobile connection.

4G and 5G are fourth and fifth generation broadband cellular network technology. It’s what allows customers outside of Wi-Fi to make calls, send texts and use data. Most devices on the market will currently be 4G enabled. The number of 5G-ready devices is beginning to expand and 5G will soon be the standard.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables data transmission from one device to another in close proximity. 


The my.plan platform is an online digital interface accessible through web and mobile applications, which empowers customers to efficiently manage their devices/services. The platform provides controls, in-depth information regarding data usage, access to invoices, and so much more.

my.plan includes built-in security features to help protect your devices from cyber threats, like malware and botnets. Users can activate a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for more secure browsing, as well as block invasive pop-up ads, so you can rest assured you are as safe as possible while using the internet.

A ‘Virtual Private Network’, is a private network that uses a public network (usually the internet) to connect remote sites or users together. This gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. The my.plan platform allows users to instantly activate a VPN.

Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. Types of malware can include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware. These can be blocked using the MALWARE slider under the CONTROLS tab in my.plan.

A botnet is a network of devices, connected via the Internet, working together to provide a service – anything from running a chat room to performing distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), stealing data, or sending spam. However, botnets can be blocked using the BOTNET slider in the CONTROLS tab in my.plan.

AdBlock is a content-filtering and advert-blocking service, which allows users to prevent page elements, such as advertisements, from being displayed. This feature can be toggled on and off in the CONTROLS tab in my.plan.

Users of my.plan can restrict certain types of content on services / devices of their choice, such as Social Media, Adult and Gambling apps and websites. Users can also set the quality, and thus the data usage, of streaming on services of their choice, or block streaming completely.

Activating the Streaming Content Data Restriction helps to prevent a service from accessing sites and applications that have been categorised by an independent body as providing streaming content such as streaming film, television, video or music. The list of sites and services is constantly being revised and updated. This control also features a slider so that the streaming quality, and therefore the amount of data, can be set to various levels, or blocked completely.

Activating the Social Media Content Data Restriction helps to prevent a service/device from accessing sites and applications that have been categorised by an independent body as providing social media content such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The list of sites and services is constantly being revised and updated.

Add-ons are similar to bolt-ons, but they are only available when a contract is agreed and cannot be added in-life. Find out more at https://www.plan.com/roam

Activating the Gambling Content Data Restriction helps to prevent a service/device from accessing sites and applications that have been categorised by an independent body as providing gambling content and services such as online betting and games.

Activating the Adult Content Data Restriction helps to prevent a service/device from accessing sites and applications that have been categorised by an independent body as providing adult content such as pornography, sexually explicit materials, graphic violence, adult services and adult chat.

Cost Centres allow you unparalleled insight into your usage and charges. You can easily assign your connections/devices to different Cost Centres, which you can group by and name after your different departments, locations, roles, or whatever best suits your business. This allows you to manage your costs and make informed decisions to maximise cost efficiency.

Cost Centres generate an additional page on your invoice that groups and summarises the charges for each Cost Centre, split down into rental charges, extras and usage.

Captive Pages are special webpages used by plan.com for communicating vital information directly to the user’s device. These pages become active when a service hits a Spend Limit, leading to restrictions on allowances to prevent additional charges. They play a pivotal role in ensuring users are informed and in control during such situations, facilitating a transparent and user-friendly experience.

Pro-rated billing is a customer-friendly approach to billing that ensures you only pay for the specific duration you use our services within a billing cycle. Whether you start or end a service partway through the month, we calculate charges proportionally, providing a fair and transparent billing experience.

Each year, we adjust the prices of our products and services in-line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation, plus 3.9%.
To calculate the updated prices, we use the latest CPI “12-month rate” published by the UK government. This rate changes every month, so we use the most recent rate published to the anniversary of your first bill. The increase is then applied on each subsequent anniversary.

IMEI number is the ‘International Mobile Equipment Identity’. It is a unique identification number assigned to all mobile devices irrespective of their brand and model.
An IMEI consists of random 15 numerical digits.

Customer Support

Our experienced team of Customer Support Executives is on-hand to provide personalised support for all plan.com customers. Our phone lines are open weekdays 8am – 8pm and weekends 8am – 5pm. We aim to respond to emails and voicemails within 24 hours.

+44(0)3300 88 18 18