Identifying VoIP Call Quality Issues

VoIP, voice over internet protocol, is taking over due to its cost savings incentives for businesses, advanced features, and of course, call quality. The telephone is an essential part of the communications toolkit in any business; it’s been used for over a century for a good reason.Implementing a VoIP system makes everyone in the office much happier due to its user friendly features and allowance of remote customer support. The flexibility and efficiency is all there. However, we use phones for their age old reasons; clear and audible phone calls. So what happens when your VoIP call becomes what it shouldn’t be? You know, static, jitter, maybe some echo? Before you call your service provider take a step back and bring the excitement (rage) down. Today we’re going to solve these pains and identify where these call quality issues could be stemming from.



Jitter is a common problem; no worries! It is a problem of the connectionless network or packet switched networks. VoIP information, the words you are speaking, are divided into voice packets. Each packet can travel by different paths from the receiver. Sometimes these packets may arrive at their destination out of the order they were originally sent in. The result? You guessed it, a mess of scrambled audio. Luckily you’re dealing with the most common VoIP call quality problems. What’s even better is there an easy solution: Jitter buffers. Jitter buffers temporarily store arriving packets in order to minimize delay and “scrambling” of packets while they’re on the way to their destination.

Echo (Latency):

Echo may be fun while bouncing your voice around in the great outdoors, but when you hear yourself or the person you’re calling a few milliseconds later, well…that’s just annoying. Echo is yet another frequent VoIP call quality issue and it’s best to know the cause of this effect so you can eliminate it. There are three types of delay in today’s VoIP networks: propagation delay, handling delay, and queuing delay. Propagation delay exists due to issues arising through the thousands upon thousands of miles of fiber networks that span the globe. A fiber network stretching halfway around the world induces a one way delay of about 70 milliseconds on average. This delay is usually unnoticeable to the human ear, but can worsen in conjunction with handling delays. Handling delays are caused by devices that forward the frame through a network causing delay. Lastly, queuing delays occur when packets are held in a “queue” because of congestion on an outbound interface. Your solution to all of these causes? Prioritize. Prioritizing traffic over a VoIP network with the use of multi-switching services and a quality VoIP router, will correct many of these issues and will result in a better business VoIP phone service.

Post Dial Delay:

Post dial delay (PDD) is the time between the start of a call and the moment the phone of the called party starts ringing. PDD is considered as the time from the initial “invite” sent by the originating party to the ringing message from the terminating party. Why does post-dial delay become a problem? It varies depending on the terminating destination’s response. It may result in a few seconds of perceived missed ringing to no ringing at all with just hearing the called party answering. Is there a remedy? As the SIP protocol operates primarily on industry recommendations, there is currently no way to force carriers to always provide the messaging that is required. As SIP evolves this may be an issue that is left behind. However, for the time being, it is a fact of life when dealing with SIP.

One-Way Audio:

One-way audio is pretty self-explanatory, but no one seems to cover the solutions to this prevalent VoIP call quality issue. One-way audio is when one side or one party can hear the other, but not the other way around. How do we identify where the issue is originating from? The best method is to simplify your connections. Start by testing each piece of your hardware. Make sure all headsets, mics, routers, etc. are physically connected to make this magical VoIP technology come to life. If you’re sure there are no problems existing within your hardware, then it’s time to move along to our next step, to check the Local Area Connection (LAN). Checking your LAN is pretty straight forward. Plug your VoIP connection directly into your modem device. Next, make a test call to make sure everything is working properly. Lastly, reconfigure your LAN network by resetting and eliminating any second layer security from your network. There you have it! Problem solved.


Feeling better?

VoIP call quality problems will arise in this industry from time to time, however, knowing how to fight the battle with the occasional delayed or static-filled call will make getting to a solution much easier. We hope this helped you resolve any of your call quality issues, or maybe even prepared you for whenever a malfunction may occur. Regardless, thanks for the read; you’re now much more VoIP savvy than ever before!

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