QoS and VoIP: Why it is Important
Internet service has many functions in today's world. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), in many cases, uses the same bandwidth you may be using for visiting websites, downloading files, email and more. When these functions happen simultaneously, it can slow down your internet speed, and you could even drop VoIP calls.
Quality of Service (QoS) is technology's answer to that issue. On data networks, QoS is a feature that allows certain types of traffic to take priority over others. With this, QoS is vital in today's VoIP-driven office environment.Translated to voice networks, this means some types of phone or video call over your internet service can be set to take priority over others.
The type of behaviors that are given priority can vary greatly, depending on the organization setting the rules. At Office Telesystems, all multi office VoIP solutions require QoS enabled networks to ensure the quality of our VoIP phone systems.
Data networks weren't originally built to handle voice traffic, due to the nature of packet transportation that takes place. QoS allows an organization to decide what items take highest priority.
For VoIP calling, you should have voice calls set as top priority to ensure calls are not dropped to increased internet traffic in your office. Without QoS, offices can suffer from poor voice and video conferencing.
Which Factors Affect Call Quality?There are three major factors affecting call quality over a VoIP system.
- Latency - This refers to the slight delay in packet delivery. Callers generally report round-trip voice delays of 250 milliseconds or more.
- Jitter - Because of unpredictable changes in a network, there can be a variation in the delay of packet receipt, which can lead to dropout.
- Packet Loss - Also known as Data Loss, packet loss can be caused by high congestion. The result is degradation in audio quality.
How to Improve Your QoSThere are some things your business can do to improve your call quality, starting with checking with your ISP (internet service provider) to make sure you have the best plan possible.
A high-quality Internet connection is essential to the quality of your VoIP calls. You may find it necessary to change to a new provider if your current one doesn't offer a plan that can handle the daily transfer load.
- Check Your Router - First, make sure you have a QoS-enabled router and, if not, get a new one right away. If you have an existing router that supports QoS and it's not enabled, you should enable it immediately.
- Improve Your Contention Ratio - The contention ratio refers to the number of users configured to use each unit of data capacity. You want this ratio to be as low as possible—a 5:1 ratio means only five users are sharing one unit of data capacity, while a 50:1 ratio creates a much greater strain.
- Limit Use During Important Calls - In larger organizations, this obviously isn't a possibility, but for smaller businesses and startups, it can be a great solution. When an important VoIP call or video conference is scheduled, ask everyone to refrain from high-bandwidth activities like streaming video or uploading large files.
If you are looking for a cloud VoIP system (hosted) or premise based VoIP system for your one office or more, see our VoIP Phone Systems page at www.officetelesystems.comhttp://officetelesystems.com/Home.html and request a quote.