With the growing popularity of VoIP phone services, more and more businesses are using VoIP to communicate reliably and cost-effectively. This includes businesses trying to expand their global reach and grow in target markets.
Voice over IP or cloud telephony makes it easy to communicate across geographical areas via the internet. However, restrictions and unreliability can interrupt this comfort if your VoIP phone system is not properly optimized or compliant.
In this article, we’ll discuss optimizing VoIP for India — from understanding regulations to implementing best practices.
Using VoIP in India
While VoIP runs sufficiently well on its own, the best way to make the most out of your VoIP phone system is by optimizing it. To do this, you’ll need to:
- First, understand local VoIP regulations to maintain compliance,
- And second, build your VoIP infrastructure with the right tools and strategies.
Together, this will optimize your phone system so it connects and terminates calls effectively without any interruption. After all, without the ability to properly communicate with customers, how will your business grow?
Related: Is VoIP Legal Around the World?
Restrictions to Pay Attention to
While VoIP telephony is not illegal in India, there are a few restrictions. And if you plan on doing business within the country, then you need to understand how VoIP works there. These regulations are overseen by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Here are the key restrictions in India to pay attention to:
- No call routing should happen against the interest of the local PSTN service provider with respect to toll bypass.
- IP to PSTN/landline calls are not allowed — cannot terminate VoIP calls to PSTN lines in India
- Cannot use VoIP gateways within India
- IP phones should work only within their VoIP infrastructure and should not connect to the public network or WAN.
- Calls that run through PSTN gateways should never connect directly to a VoIP phone or VoIP PSTN gateway in a different geographical location
*Note: Regulations and restrictions mentioned in this article are current at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
VoIP in India: What is Allowed?
The above restrictions may seem discouraging but remember that VoIP is legal in India to a certain extent. With that in mind, what is allowed?
- Calls between two VoIP phones (IP to IP) in the same region or different geographical locations
- Calls from VoIP to PSTN gateway in the same geographical area.
What Does This Mean for Businesses in India Using VoIP?
So, how do these restrictions impact businesses in India? Let’s look at different use cases:
1. You have a company in India and solely do business with prospects within the country.
In this case, VoIP is legal if the prospects you call also use VoIP or internet telephony. Don’t try calling from VoIP to PSTN or landlines.
2. You have a company in India but solely do business internationally.
In this case, you can make IP calls to any international location as long as the call originated from IP and terminated to IP.
3. You have a company outside of India and want to do business locally.
You will need an Indian local phone number to make calls to customers in the country. However, these calls must display the true caller ID, which is the ID of the caller’s location. In other words, masking your caller ID to display a local number is illegal.
Thankfully, VoIP providers that work closely with local Indian telecom operators can get you a solution that works within India’s caller ID regulations. In most cases, they establish local points of presence (PoPs) and route calls through local routes instead of international routes, respecting local PSTN setups.
Optimizing for VoIP in India: Factors Affecting VoIP Call Quality
Now that we’ve understood how VoIP works in India, let’s look at how to optimize your VoIP phone system.
Optimizing for VoIP in India means three things:
- Make sure you meet all necessary VoIP network requirements
- Troubleshoot common call quality issues and
- Use the right VoIP phone service.
First, let’s look at the different VoIP network requirements and many factors impacting call quality:
- Internet quality and bandwidth usage
- VoIP codecs
- Quality of Service (QoS) settings
- VoIP phone service provider
1. Internet Quality and Bandwidth Usage
For any VoIP service to function efficiently, you need a stable and reliable internet connection and enough bandwidth. This is simply because VoIP calls travel over the internet.
So, first, check your internet speed using online testing tools. Remember that you will need to set aside quite a bit of bandwidth for only VoIP calls. Other activities such as browsing, email checking, web surfing, additional applications, etc., can reduce how much bandwidth is left for calls to travel efficiently. And if you have low bandwidth, you will have slower speeds and a lower-quality voice.
According to the FCC, VoIP calls require internet speeds that have less than 0.5Mbps (minimum download speed) download. Note that this is the minimum requirement.
To calculate the bandwidth needed for your VoIP system, you need to understand your business’ call flow and other internet activities. Consider these:
- How many phone lines do you need?
- How many calls will occur concurrently?
- Will other applications run simultaneously on the same network?
- What upload/download speed does your ISP provide?
- What voice codecs does your VoIP/ISP provider offer?
Next, use this chart to determine how much bandwidth is recommended for your approximate concurrent calls. For high call quality, the recommended range of bandwidth for each concurrent VoIP call is anywhere from 85-100Kbps.
|Number of Concurrent Calls||Bandwidth Recommended|
You can also check with your VoIP provider to understand what they recommend for their particular service. Then, ensure your ISP is able to provide what your office needs to make VoIP efficient.
2. VoIP Codecs
Next, you want to make sure that you use the right codecs for voice and audio. VoIP codecs digitize voice signals into data packets (compression). Once transported, the codecs convert them back to voice (decompression).
This process of compressing and decompressing voice signals directly impacts call quality. And if not done properly, it can lead to latency, jitter, packet loss, and more. So, you and your VoIP provider need to work together to ensure codecs are adjusted properly to improve voice quality and reduce bandwidth usage.
Now, which codecs are best for VoIP? The general consensus is that G.711 offers the best call quality. Although, most providers also accept G.729 (low bandwidth alternative) or G.722 (not offered by most). Here’s a chart for reference:
|G.711||64 Kbps||87.2 Kbps|
|G.722||48-64 Kbps||80 Kbps|
|G.729||8 Kbps||31.2 Kbps|
3. Quality of Service (QoS) Settings
You can also use QoS to optimize your VoIP system and fix voice quality issues by prioritizing network traffic that passes through the router. Through this process, you give more bandwidth value to VoIP calls over other kinds of traffic.
This means your calls don’t compete with web browsing or streaming. And, by extension, you reduce network congestion so that inbound and outbound calls are not affected.
To change your QoS settings, you’ll need to work with your ISP and VoIP provider to get exact instructions for your particular setup. However, implementing QoS changes does not take very long and you can expect it to work in your favor soon.
4. VoIP Phone Service Provider
This one goes without saying: Optimizing for VoIP in India is incomplete without the right VoIP phone service provider.
The above-mentioned tips will help you build a good foundation for VoIP. However, without a reliable provider, your call quality can experience issues leading to dropped calls, calls that don’t connect, and so on.
Plus, if you have an unresponsive provider – or one who is hard to reach – you’ll end up having to troubleshoot quality issues on your own. This can prove tricky if you do not have an in-house IT or telephony engineering team.
Lastly, since VoIP in India is a slightly tricky affair, you want to make sure you work with a provider who knows what they are doing. You want a VoIP provider that has been working in the country for a long time and understands the different regulations and restrictions well.
This will require some research, but as you shop around, look out for telecom companies that have been doing this for a few decades. Ask them how they comply with these regulations and provide reliable connectivity. This will also help you determine the company’s responsiveness and credibility.
Get VoIP for India
As you can see, optimizing for VoIP in India is a relatively easy task when you know what needs to be done. For more tips, check out our guide on how to achieve the best VoIP call quality for business.
And if you don’t know where to start, contact our telecom experts. We can help you find the right solution that is reliable and compliant. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!