A common question we hear is, “Will my VoIP calls sound clear?” In short, the answer is that your calls can sound very clear. But there are several considerations to address. Since VoIP is wholly dependent on your data network, it is important to ensure your network is reliable and able to support voice traffic.
If you are implementing Cloud VoIP your Internet connection is critical. Most Internet connections have different upload and download speeds with the upload speed usually being significantly lower than download. Because your voice calls, or “traffic”, travel both directions – send and receive – you’ll need to be very attentive to the upload speed.
You can test Internet speeds using websites like speedtest.net. When testing, select a server near your office. Since we’re in the Pittsburgh area, make sure you’re not using a test server in another area or state. An active voice phone call uses about 100 Kbps, or .1 Mbps. If you want to have 10 simultaneous calls, then you’ll be using 1 Mbps. When calculating Internet speed you’ll need to allow for your other Internet traffic such as sending email, uploading and downloading files, etc.
If all of that is good, then take a look at your internal data network. Does your router or firewall support Quality of Service (QoS)? If so, you’ll want to enable this. However, one setting that sounds like it should be turned on is “SIP ALG”, yet in many cases this feature actually creates problems.
And your data switches should be business-grade products. To be sure, all data switches are not the same, and there is some truth to the adage ‘you get what you pay for’. While you don’t need the most expensive data switch, you should avoid the low end of that spectrum too.
There are potential pitfalls we can test for including latency, packet loss, and jitter. These are technical terms which describe how long it takes a signal to get to and from your office, and how much of that is lost or re-transmitted. There are industry standard norms that your network should match, and if it does, you’ll have a good experience with VoIP.