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Is your network ready for VoIP?

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news-1It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch so firstly apologies!

Now down to the business of this article. We work with a considerable number of companies which have made the sensible switch and moved their phone systems to Voice over IP (VoIP).

This makes complete sense especially if you make a large number of outbound calls.

However the sting is this! If your network is outdated or badly designed you could seriously compromise call quality and connectivity.

So the key question is this. Is you have updated or are thinking about a move to VoIP have you ensured your network is ready for the transition?

For VoIP to work your network must deliver data (packets) to the phone from the internet both reliably and in a timely fashion. Is a packet arrives too late or corrupt it is dropped. As each packet is a short slice to the conversation the user will experience a short silence before the next data packet arrives.

As you can imagine this isn’t a problem with downloading a file as the packets can arrive in almost any order to reassemble the final file. If a few are corrupt it’s no problem if it takes a few seconds to resend the missing data. However if during data VoIP data is delayed by more than 250mS the user experience is really compromised. It is recommended 150ms round trip or ping time to the destination or better.

As the network gets more congested the chance of delay or error increases. This problem is far worse where the network switches are unmanaged. These cheaper switches treat all traffic equally and therefore as load increases so does ping time. Please note this does not apply to the now outdated hubs which are essentially useless for VoIP.

A quick solution to this can be the replacement of unmanaged with Layer 2/3 managed switches which allow traffic to be prioritised based on it’s payload.

This is a really brief introduction to the problems of VoIP in networks for further information please get in touch.


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