There is a misconception that if you have a good VoIP phone your calls will sound perfect. While this does play a role, it is important to realize that your hosted VoIP PBX and the components which go into making that service successful are equally important.
What makes Hosted VoIP Calls Sound Bad?
This issue is pretty clear to most people. Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer which your Internet service provider enables.
In order to have a quality hosted VoIP call, you need to have an Internet connection which supports the data transfer. Some services offer a specialized connection to provide reassurance that the data will be transferred at an optimal rate. Other providers allow you the luxury of choosing your own Internet Service Provider. While there are pros and cons to either decision, in the case of call quality, you must ensure that you choose an Internet service which supports the data transfer which your hosted VoIP PBX demands. Take a VoIP speed test to verify your connection is good enough for VoIP.
Hosted VoIP Network Equipment
If you’re going to have a quality service, you’re going to need excellent network infrastructure. This depends on the investment in equipment, software, and level of maintenance provided by your ITSP. This also depends on the quality of the VoIP phone you are using. There are many VoIP service providers out there who do not invest the amount of money necessary to offer business quality VoIP. Make sure you choose a hosted VoIP PBX which has invested the capital necessary to provide quality network equipment.
Packet loss occurs when an Internet connection becomes overloaded with data or traffic. Packet loss can be recognized during a VoIP call. It sounds like an echo, similar to having a conversation in a big empty room. Your hosted VoIP PBX should not allow for more than 1 or 2% of packet loss, and obviously the less the better. If you are experiencing packet loss than you should consider cutting down on tasks which overload your VoIP service. You can also look into higher quality hosted VoIP services which allow for less packer loss.
When you make a call using your hosted VoIP service, that data is broken up into little packets and dispersed through certain channels of the Internet. Eventually, that call will reach the person on the other end. Latency basically refers to the distance that call data must travel to reach your hosted VoIP service provider. According to About.com, “Latency is the time between the moment a voice packet is transmitted and the moment it reaches its destination. It of course leads to delay and finally to echo. It is caused by slow network links. This is what leads to echo.” When choosing a provider, it is important to ensure that latency will not affect your service. Make sure you choose a provider that has worked to eliminate latency from their system.
Ever been on a call and there is a delay in the sound? That is probably Jitter. This can be incredibly annoying. You will hear a delay in your speech and/or the speech of the person you are speaking to. This occurs because the packets of voice data are received at the wrong time. Jitter can occur due to power surges, bandwidth congestion, or other irregularities in the system. If your hosted VoIP service provider has not perfected their system, there is a good chance you could be subject to jitter.
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