Improving VoIP Call Quality with QoS

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems and technology are better developed than they used to be and have improved telecommunication for most businesses compared to the traditional PTSN system.

Advantages for VoIP include:

  • Lower cost
  • Better convenience and portability
  • Improved collaboration and features 

However, nothing works flawlessly, and VoIP has its own challenges. As VoIP calls are transmitted through an internet connection rather than the telephone lines, there are issues that can occur during the call. Calls routing across networks connected to the internet must compete with an enormous amount of data running simultaneously… and as such, irregular call quality issues are inevitable and can sometimes interrupt regular business activity. Overall, Quality of Service (QoS) technology can enhance the call quality for VoIP networks.

Why is QoS Important for VoIP Systems? 

QoS is any technology that runs on a network to help manage network resources, reduce packet loss, and lower network jitter by ranking the network’s internet traffic. It manipulates a router or switch to let more important traffic pass through first—enabling clear audio quality.

For businesses, especially SMBs, a non-stop internet connection is essential to process VoIP calls without interruptions. Organizations that use a VoIP system for handling customer support, staff meetings, new hire interviews, and webinars to promote their businesses need uninterrupted, clear calls, and implementing QoS technology can also help provide a great customer experience.

Understanding VoIP Disruptions 

When it comes to VoIP calls, there are countless potential problems and disruptions you may encounter. With this in mind, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind common VoIP disruptions, such as choppy audio, echoes, no sound, and other disturbances in order to better prevent these things from happening. 

Here are the top causes for poor VoIP call quality:

  1. Packet loss. For a call to reach the other party, all the packets carrying the audio data are required to reach the destination. However, during the transmission of VoIP calls, some data packets may be lost, which leads to unclear audio and overall poor call quality. Packet loss exceeding 3% causes significantly disrupted audio.
  2. Network jitter. The jumbled and stuttering audio on a VoIP call is typically a sign of network jitter. Jitter estimates the variations in time and order for the arrival of each packet at the destination. Network jitter of more than 30 milliseconds affects the quality of VoIP calls. So, for instance, packet four arrives before packet two, or if packet four is incoming within 20 milliseconds, but packets two and three take 40 milliseconds to arrive, you may experience network jitter.
  3. Latency. Latency calculates the time each packet requires to reach its designated IP address. A high latency indicates that each packet is taking a long time to arrive at the destination. Hence you may feel like the other person’s voice reaches you after a couple of seconds. Delays in the arrival of packets more than 150 milliseconds create significant disturbances in calls.

Some organizations may not see the value of QoS until they start to lose customers due to annoyances and poor experiences—especially now when there’s more digital traffic than ever before.

Benefits of QoS

Companies experience tremendous benefits once they’ve invested in QoS technology. Some of the most impactful benefits include: 

🗹  Enhanced user experience. Adding this technology to a corporate network ensures the appropriate bandwidth needed for business operations and calls. Employees can perform typical daily tasks like conference calls, phone calls, webinars, and more, without the frustrations of dropped calls, static, and choppy conversations. Without the concern of the call quality and frustrating interruptions, employees are more productive, creative, and are better able to collaborate, resulting in  more sales and expanded business growth.  

🗹  Unlimited Resource Prioritization. Companies sometimes make the mistake of spending money to upgrade network bandwidth when it’s not even needed. QoS doesn’t require additional bandwidth; instead, it regulates the existing bandwidth and manages data transfer by prioritizing and rearranging ‌web resources.

🗹  Easier to manage. By monitoring network data, QoS technology allows network administrators to manage resources with greater ease.  

🗹  Packet loss prevention. By prioritizing the delivery of high-performance and important applications, QoS prevents packet loss caused by network congestion, a faulty router, loose connection, or poor signal.

🗹  Latency reduction. By prioritizing applications and speeding up the time it takes for a network request to send and process from the sender to the receiver, latency issues are greatly reduced.

Other Factors

VoIP call quality is significantly improved when a business adds QoS technology to its network. However, other factors may affect the quality of voice calls. For instance, DSCP headers used for packet prioritization can be stripped away by intermediary network equipment resulting in packet loss.

Keep in mind, QoS doesn’t affect upload and download speed — it’s managed by your Internet Service Provider and can affect VoIP call quality when data traffic is heavy (even if it’s high-priority data.)

Sometimes, fixing issues with VoIP calls can be difficult, especially with a complex network. Partnering with a managed service provider can help make sure that your VoIP system is set up for optimal performance.

Overall Impact of QoS on Call Quality 

Customers and employees need to rely on consistent voice quality for a positive experience.

QoS technology plays a vital role in enhancing the overall quality of VoIP calls, and by implementing QoS within your network environment you can expect clearer business voice calls without the frustration of  patchiness, dropped calls, connection interruptions, and unintelligible audio.

Visual Edge specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S., including remote offices. The company has more than 30 years of technology service with a national network of expert engineers. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.