Why VoIP Call Quality is Only as Good as Your Internet

 In Internet & WI-FI, Telecoms

It’s one of the most common discussions we have with business owners. “Is VoIP call quality really as good as people say it is? And more importantly, is VoIP right for my business?”

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t quite as straight forward as it might first appear. Let’s understand the technology first. Traditional phone lines connect your premises to the exchange using a length of copper. They do have problems from time to time but on the whole, that’s a pretty solid, stable connection. VoIP, instead of using the copper cable, connects back to the exchange using your internet service.

So how good is your VoIP call  quality? It’s as good as your internet.

We often hear of businesses that are at the end of their tether with their VoIP phones. “These phones are rubbish!” They tell us. But the poor call quality is only the symptom. The phones are fine, but the underlying cause is the poor internet connection. So how do you know if your internet connection is strong enough?

One thing to keep in mind is that VoIP will demand even more of your existing connection. The truth is that standard broadband connections drop out for a few seconds many times a day, but it’s unlikely you’d notice. In the day to day of email and web browsing, it’s unlikely you’d notice an email not arriving soon after it was sent, or webpages taking a second or two longer than usual to load. That just won’t do with voice traffic. Each voice conversation is unique, so there are no cookies to help, and we can’t deliver slow speech can we?

It has to be in real time.

Therefore, if the internet connection isn’t fast enough and stable enough, the system has no choice but to drop the call.

So what’s the solution? You simply must invest in a decent internet connection.

For smaller offices you could use a fibre optic broadband connection. It’s still a shared service but should suffice. We’d also always insist if you are using a fibre broadband service that you have two connections, one for VoIP and one for your other data traffic like email and web browsing.

The best solution is a dedicated fibre optic leased line. These used to be the reserve of the enterprise and corporate world with services far beyond the budgets of SME’s. But that’s just no longer the case.

Also, as we all do more online, our requirements and the requirements of our neighbouring businesses (who share broadband bandwidth capacity with us) continue to grow. Getting a leased line is almost inevitable!

I remember when my mum and dad bought the first computer for their business, and what a big deal it was but they had to make the investment. And so do SME’s now, in a good internet connection.

Once you have that fast connection the world is your oyster! Move to VoIP with confidence, and you’ll have bandwidth to spare for offsite back-ups, Office 365, remotely viewing your CCTV – whatever you need!

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