Are you noticing more dropped calls or jumbled audio during your business VoIP calls? While cloud phone services can be much superior to traditional phone services, they cannot guarantee high-quality phone service at all times. This is because many factors influence the quality of a VoIP call. Here we discuss the importance of VoIP QoS and how to set it up.
VoIP QoS: Definition, How it Works, Best Practices
VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) is the process of addressing and fixing voice quality issues so your employees can effectively communicate with business contacts. This process is crucial to understanding how your business phone system works and what you need to do to improve it. QoS is one such way to maintain good call quality.
What is VoIP Quality of Service (QoS)?
VoIP QoS prioritizes network traffic passing through a router to provide acceptable-to-good service to users. Quality of service, therefore, helps address voice quality issues within a virtual phone system.
In a VoIP phone system, voice protocols are converted into data packets and transferred between two or more users. However, in order to obtain high call quality, these data packets need to arrive at the destination together and in the right order. And that’s where VoIP QoS comes into play as it sorts out traffic by dedicating resources where needed.
Is QoS needed for VoIP?
VoIP calls can be prone to jitter, latency, and packet loss issues which lead to bad audio quality, network congestion, missed or jumbled audio, dropped calls, etc. And for any business, this is a major issue because it interferes with your teams’ ability to offer uninterrupted service. Important business communications revolve around:
- Sales calls and demos
- Client and lead generation
- Customer success and customer support
- Technical and IT support
- Remote team management
- Internal business meetings
- Meetings with clients and business contacts
- Employee interviews
Network congestion can easily affect the quality of these calls, which in turn, leads to misunderstandings, frustration, low brand trust, low productivity, and more. Without QoS, VoIP calls are not functioning optimally. And that must be addressed.
Troubleshooting VoIP Call Quality with QoS
So, what does QoS do for VoIP phone systems? Routers generally handle data packets via a ‘first in, first out’ order. And all traffic is given the same level of priority. This means that all traffic from every device (phones, computers, mobile phones, etc) on a network get the same level of priority.
When bandwidth usage is high — too many people using the internet — these data packets can end up in long queues. Call quality competes with other applications running on the network. This is true for employees working within an office or remotely.
So, naturally, this affects voice call quality and successful VoIP deployment.
VoIP Quality of Service helps balance out how much bandwidth is needed for a certain type of traffic or certain devices. In other words, it spreads out the available bandwidth across devices and applications to ensure the right traffic gets through hassle-free.
VoIP QoS Settings & Requirements
So, what does your business need to do to ensure high call quality? Here, we will go through QoS settings and requirements to be aware of and best practices your business can implement.
VoIP Standards for High Call Quality: QoS Requirement
In order to improve VoIP call quality, you will need to set up QoS accurately. For good VoIP call quality, Cisco suggests these VoIP standards:
Understanding QoS Settings
Your business needs to troubleshoot VoIP issues to ensure optimal service. Let’s take a closer look at what these recommendations and settings mean.
DSCP is short for Differentiated Services Code Point and EF is short for Expedited Forwarding. This model is designed to provide resources to reduce latency (delay) in traffic. In other words, this value sorts through traffic to prioritize VoIP traffic, leading to better, less interrupted call quality.
Packet loss is the number of packets that get lost during transmission. More than 3% packet loss means low audio quality. Faulty routers, loose cables, and wires, low bandwidth, or poor WiFi signals can lead to packet loss.
Latency is the delay between the time the speaker speaks and the receiver hears them. Fix latency to avoid users speaking over each other or missing important pieces of audio.
Jitter refers to a data packet arriving after the rest of the packet. Data packets may take different paths to reach the destination. This way one or two packets may reach later than the others and this can cause missed calls or jumbled audio. Fix jitter to ensure all packets arrive accurately and voice quality is maintained.
Bandwidth for VoIP refers to the rate at which data is transmitted or transferred through an internet connection. Lower bandwidth leads to slow speed and low VoIP call quality.
How to Set Up QoS for VoIP?
The first step to setting up VoIP QoS for your business phone system is to reach out to your internet provider and VoIP service provider. These sources can provide exact guides on how to prioritize voice traffic.
Next, implement those suggestions and other call quality best practices. Work with your IT team to make sure everything is set in place for optimal call quality. You may even educate your employees on using other services (streaming services) while working.
VoIP Call Quality Best Practices
Here are the top VoIP call quality best practices to ensure your phone system works efficiently and calls are not interrupted:
1. Check and upgrade your internet speed: Make sure your network has enough bandwidth to handle call traffic. Regularly test your internet speed.
2. Upgrade cable connections: Use wired Ethernet connections such as a Category 6 certified cable. These cables can offer low latency and can support high levels of phone communication and data transfer.
3. Check network and equipment configuration: Network and equipment that are not appropriately configured can lead to disruptions and low call quality.
4. Test network connections regularly: Check ping, jitter, latency, and bandwidth regularly for network congestion.
5. Upgrade your VoIP provider: If your service is still affected despite troubleshooting, then it may be time to find a new phone service provider. Research providers to understand what services they offer and how they can help with VoIP call quality issues.
Get VoIP for Business With United World Telecom
United World Telecom offers VoIP phone numbers and services to businesses around the world. Whether you are a small business looking to expand or are a remote company, we can help you create a robust phone system with high voice quality and reliability. Call us today to learn more about our solutions!