BT glossary - M

This glossary is here to help you understand some of the acronyms you may encounter in this site. Select a letter below that your word begins with.

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Abbreviation Term Definition


Machine to machine, man or mobile

M2M applications are about making machines talk - they allow information from machines to be shared with people or central information systems, thereby enabling real time control and monitoring. For example, the vending machine can automatically contact the suppliers to let them know a product has run out.



Management Information Systems

A term used less commonly now for IS (q.v.).


Mbits/sec (Mbit/s)

Data transmission in which 1,048,576 bits are sent in a second. One megabyte contains 1,048,576 bytes.



Metropolitan Area Network

A data network intended to serve an area the size of a city. Such networks are being implemented by innovative techniques, such as running optical fibres through subway tunnels.



ADSL broadband requires separate voice and data channels on your phone line at home or the office. Microfilters - sometimes called 'splitters' - are attached to every phone socket on your line to keep the channels separate.



Online shoppers would object vehemently to having to pay to visit a site devoted to offering goods for sale. On the other hand, nobody would object to a levy of, say one tenth of a penny added to his or her monthly internet service bill. This tiny toll is called a micropayment and the prospect of raking in a vast number of these would encourage internet traders to make their websites far more attractive and useful.



Microsoft Disk Operating System

Developed for the PC. It is described technically as a standalone operating system for the Intel 80x86 processor family.



Layers of software between the application program and the operating environment, which insulates application programs from changes in the operating system. The term is also used to mean a layer of software which serves the sole purpose of making two dissimilar pieces of computer code work together; this is often employed to re-use software routines in a new program.



Millions of Instructions Per Second

The number of computer instructions processed per second. A measure of computer power.


Mobile agent

A special kind of mobile code that is able to suspend execution, transfer program data and state across a network, and resume execution elsewhere.


Mobile code

Program code that can be moved across a network and executed remotely. Examples of mobile code include Java applets, JavaScript, PostScript and Microsoft ActiveX controls.


Mobile commerce

This relates to trading decisions or purchases made using the data functions of a normal or enhanced digital mobile phone. All the telephone banking and similar functions that you can do from a normal phone or PC will also be possible from your mobile. You'll also be able to confirm hotel reservations, sell shares and much more. Mobile commerce will allow people will use new-breed mobile phones to send and receive electronic cash, tickets and loyalty points.



Technically, a 'modulator-demodulator'. You need one at your home or office linked to another in the telephone exchange to receive and transmit high-speed digital signals over your copper wire phone line. Your service provider may provide or recommend a particular modem. A modem capable of providing service to more than one computer at your home or office is called a router.



An early web browser program.



Motion Picture Experts Group

A subcommittee of ISO. Evolved from JPEG but set up to consider standards for digital storage, processing and display of pictures that move. MPEG-1 defines standards for digital video for computers, MPEG-2 for television broadcasting. MPEG technology is probably the key to all future digital video-related devices.



Information which combines at least two of the following; text, image, sound, animation or video.




A device that combines several input signals into a single outgoing signal.



Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

A not universally adopted standard that allows users to send files as e-mail.