How to make your network ready to reap the benefits of VoIP.
Your phone system connects you to your customers, your employees, and everyone you do business with. That’s why you need to optimize your network to perform its best when moving to VoIP. The cost savings of VoIP are significant, but will be meaningless if your system is not performing its best.
Beware of Hosted VoIP providers who just ship your IP phones, leaving you on your own to optimize your network for VoIP. Here are some tips to help your network to deliver the high-quality voice, video, and UC features that your business demands.
Bandwidth Speeds: Upstream and downstream bandwidth speeds can vary widely based on your LAN, your Internet connection (ie, cable modem, DSL, T1, etc.) and more. Why not check to see that you are actually receiving the speeds your internet provider has promised? Make sure your connection, bandwidth speeds and Internet provider can meet your needs — and if not, make some changes.
Latency and Delay): Delay is caused by latency on your network. Latency is the amount of time it takes between one person talking and the other person hearing what was said. Latency doesn’t normally cause quality issues, unless it is over 150ms, where the delay might be noticeable in a phone conversation. Latency issues can normally be solved by simple network tuning.
Packet Loss: Packet loss is the failure of one or more transmitted packets to arrive at their destination. This can cause noticeable effects in any kind of digital communications, including voice. Packet loss can provide jitter and silent gaps in VoIP calls.
Jitter: Jitter means that voice packets are arriving with varying delays. This can be caused by changes in network traffic, and can usually be fixed by using QoS, or reducing the amount of traffic that your equipment handles. Users often report jitter as poor audio quality. Jitter can be reduced by making adjustments to your network to improve the call quality, as described below.
Quality of Service (QoS): QoS is a feature available in network switches that allows you to prioritize your voice traffic. This ensures that phone calls receive the bandwidth needed regardless of other traffic on the network. QoS is vital to quality and reliability of your VoIP phone system.
So what do you need to do to prevent these problem?
- Avoid wireless connections and DSL within your VoIP network.
- Make sure your router supports QoS, and that QoS prioritizes voice over other data types.
- Network switches need to be configured for QoS, with segmentation for larger networks.
- Managed Gigabit switches work best if configured correctly.
- Don’t forget that the quality of your cables is important too.
Schedule a Free Phone System and Telecom Assessment to find out if your network is ready for VoIP and how much you can save by migrating to a VoIP Phone System