Communicating over an internet connection rather than a traditional phone line has many benefits, including potentially lower costs and ease of access. However, there are still many roadblocks to overcome to ensure that VoIP quality is at its highest. And because your enterprise depends on seamless communication with clients and remote offices, it’s crucial to improve voice quality.
First, we’ll look at how VoIP is beneficial, and then cover several simple strategies that will help you improve its quality.
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Put simply, this means having phone service delivered through your internet connection. It helps your enterprise lower calling rates, as this service is usually more affordable, though some companies still use both VoIP and traditional phone service.
VoIP can also help you integrate all of your phone data with other applications across the business. Software like customer relationship management (CRM) programs can be greatly improved once it’s connected to phone data.
However, even when VoIP is deployed and the benefits are clear, it can be hard to maintain good call quality at all times, given variable network quality.
1. Consider the WLAN frequency
The two frequency options provided by modern routers are 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. The higher frequency typically provides quicker data transfer speeds and the lower frequency generally has better range and reliability. If your VoIP call quality is poor, try changing to the other frequency to see if doing so improves things.
2. Deal with jitter
Jitter refers to data packets being received and organized out of order in your network; it’s caused by congestion or poor configuration. With VoIP, the audio is actually broken up into these data packets, sent, and received. If the order of these packets arrives scrambled, this is when jitter occurs, and audio cannot be understood.
To combat jitter, a solution could be a jitter buffer. This tool helps you to restore the correct sequence of data packets, and those are then sent to the network in intervals that will allow the audio data to arrive exactly how it was intended. Another solution to the jitters is to try a Category 6 cable instead of your regular Ethernet cord.
3. Manage feedback
A big issue that VoIP users experience is an annoying echo, aka feedback. This is caused when one microphone picks up audio from that phone’s receiver. This can be combatted by lowering the call volume on all devices on the call.
Another solution is to use a headset instead of letting the audio emitted from the computer’s speakers, which can interfere with the computer’s microphone.
Finally, try using a phone that has a lower frequency. The lower frequency won’t pick up as many ambient sounds, so there won’t be as much potential for feedback.
4. Configure bandwidth
Your business has a certain bandwidth limit with its internet service. When much of this bandwidth is in use, call quality can become poor. To get more bandwidth during VoIP calls, ask others to pause downloads and not to engage in other VoIP calls at the same time. Also ensure that automatic functions, such as backups and transfers, take place outside of office hours so they don’t take up bandwidth during important call times.
Quality of Service (QoS) is a form of protection or measure of performance, that’s deployed by IT professionals to reserve part of the overall bandwidth just for VoIP. It’s a preventative measure that keeps enough bandwidth for these calls at all times.
5. Get a handle on mobile VoIP
Because some employees may start to employ VoIP on various wireless devices, it’s important to bring mobile equipment into the quality conversation. Since mobile devices depend on a strong wireless connection, it can be even harder to manage voice quality when dealing with extra struggles like wireless device interference.
One suggestion is to install a Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phone, which has its own frequency or spectrum and thus avoids interference from other devices using wireless internet. A DECT phone is a good option for those who move around the office space and need to use VoIP calling.
VoIP call quality depends on many factors, so it may take time and trial and error to find the underlying problem. Try these solutions first to improve the call quality that your business depends on.
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.