The promised benefits associated with voice over IP (VoIP) are touted throughout the industry. Providers and users alike will share their success stories, trying to overshadow any of the horror stories that pop up from time to time. As much as we like to focus on the improvements companies and residents alike experience with VoIP services, users can experience significant problems if the underlying technology isn’t implemented properly. And, while horror may be too strong a word, lost business is certainly not a happy result.
A recent Carrier Bid article highlighted some of the issues that can arise when devices like that VoIP switch aren’t implemented correctly. While a residential user at home may never notice a break in the connection and just consider an echo here and there as a necessary evil, such excuses will never fly in the corporate environment. Putting your best voice forward is dependent upon quality connections. If certain considerations are not taken during deployment, the connection could be anything but quality.
One of those factors is relying on different VoIP and Internet service providers. The blending of one provider’s VoIP service with a different provider’s Internet is generally a bad idea. The VoIP provider who doesn’t have complete control over the Internet connection can’t monitor issues like jitter, latency and throughput. As a result, when these problems occur on one end, you can’t do anything about it on the other – leaving you struggling while two different providers are likely to point their fingers each other.
Another factor is packet switching, or the method by which data is broken into pieces and transmitted across the Internet. Taking different paths to reach the same destination is common for data packets, requiring reassembly when they arrive. This process is fine when the data being sent isn’t time sensitive. Unfortunately, that doesn’t describe voice and video. Class of Service has to be in place to optimize packet switching with voice and video, keeping real-time traffic intact.
Finally, a poor Internet connection is always a problem for VoIP connections, regardless of how careful you are with deployment. The old phone network makes it tough to achieve the proper Internet bandwidth needed for the VoIP switch. A typical call requires 64K of bandwidth. A business with 10 or more lines will use almost all of the T1 bandwidth, guaranteeing problems with the connection and eliminating clarity in the call.
Making sound decisions – no pun intended – on the VoIP deployment is important, but not as important as partnering with the right provider. SippySoftware has a proven reputation in the market, providing quality deployments and ensuring that the decisions made support the end goal for clear and reliable communications.