Ready for Hosted VoIP? You will require an enterprise class network infrastructure to ensure high quality audio. Review these network infrastructure recommendations to make sure you are ready for Hosted VoIP, because the call must go through.
What is required within your network infrastructure to ensure high quality calls.
Your firewall protects your network from malicious Internet traffic. To facilitate VoIP communications your firewall should allow your VoIP handsets to access HTTP, HTTPS, and UDP traffic on your network.
Your router manages traffic across your network and facilitates communications to VoIP handsets. Your VoIP handsets are network devices which require an enterprise class router with a high speed or broadband Internet connection.
Your Ethernet switch provides end user device connectivity throughout your network. Ethernet switching capable of QoS, VLAN and PoE are recommended when connecting your VoIP handsets to ensure high quality calls.
Traffic shaping allows you to proactively manage how much bandwidth is available to each application or type of service. As a stand alone appliance or included with many enterprise class Firewalls and Routers, adding traffic shaping will allow you to ensure high quality calls.
Cabling and Wiring
Cabling and wiring is often overlooked. However, it is the backbone of every connection within your infrastructure and is critical to ensuring high quality audio. This infrastructure needs to be compliant to modern standards and provide sufficient connectivity to where you wish to provide VoIP handset connectivity.
What you need from your Internet connection to ensure high quality calls.
Internet Service Provider
Each high quality VoIP call requires a high speed or broadband Internet connection to make or receive calls. Your Internet Service Provider may throttle the amount of bandwidth based upon the service type. Contact your Internet Service Provider for information about your existing Internet connection.
Each high quality VoIP call requires approximately 100kbps of Internet bandwidth. For example; with a standard T1 connection (1.5 Mbs.), you can make up to 15 concurrent calls at any given time. However, in many cases both your computers and VoIP handsets share bandwidth, resulting in a reduced amount of concurrent calls possible on your network.
Dedicated Internet Connection
You can elect to provide dedicated Internet service to facilitate your VoIP communications. With a dedicated Internet service you can ensure the available bandwidth required for your environment to provide high quality calls.
What to expect when the network infrastructure is not ready for Hosted VoIP.
Jitter is one of the most frequent problems in VoIP communications. High levels of jitter along the end to end connectivity can result in bad call quality or long delays in the conversation. Jitter occurs when latency jumps or spikes regularly beyond 20ms, in either direction, and results in low quality calls.
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 and is often the result of slow network links. Latency between your VoIP handset and our data centers should be less that 100ms; anything above may result in low quality calls.
Packet Loss can occur for a variety of reasons including link failure, high levels of congestion that lead to buffer overflow in routers, Random Early Detection (RED), Ethernet problems, and the occasional misrouted packet. Packet loss greater than 1% may result in low quality calls or dropped calls.