Quality of Service

Understanding what can effect call quality

Understand what affects call quality and what things you need to consider to get the most out of the Clouphone service. Here at Cloudphone we want to ensure you get the best possible call experience from your network. Before looking at call quality it is important to understand how a Voip system works. Voice traffic is broken up into many data packets that travel on different paths to our Cloudphone servers then on to their final destination where they are put together. Therefore your call travels across a number of different networks before it reaches the person you are talking to. If you do experience call quality issues it will be a result of one the following things.

1) Jitter

Because the information (voice packets) is divided into packets, each packet can travel by a different path from the sender to the receiver. When packets arrive at their intended destination in a different order then they were originally sent, the result is a call with poor or scrambled audio.

Jitter is technically the measure of the variability over time of the latency across a network. Jitter is measured in milliseconds.

If you experience Jitter on a call over over 50ms you could experience a degraded call experience

2) Latency

VoIP delay or latency is characterized as the amount of time it takes for speech to exit the speaker’s mouth and reach the listener’s ear. Latency sounds like an echo. Like Jitter, Latency is measured in milliseconds. Latency below 150ms is generally acceptable. Latency higher than 150ms adversely affects your call quality. Latency above 300ms is generally unacceptable.

3) Packet Loss

If your Voice packets travel through a congested network then there is a risk that packets are dropped or lost. If significant this could result in broken sound.

Steps you can take to ensure you get the best quality

1) Internet connection

Ensure that you have a reliable, fast internet service. Using Fibre Optic broadband or DSL will suffice.

A voice call through Cloudphone typically needs 90 Kbps per concurrent call.

Therefore by running an internet speed check and dividing by 90 KBkps will give you an indication of how many concurrent calls your internet connection could handle. Do bear in mind however that your internet connection will be being used for other office applications like email, browsing, media streaming etc. We will talk more about managing bandwidth in the next point.

2) Get a good router

Ensure you have a good router that is configured properly. This is one of the most common causes of call quality issues.

Many small businesses use their internet connection for both voice and data. This is perfectly fine as long as your router has the ability to prioritize VoIP traffic. Without a router that is configured for packet prioritization, call quality can be impacted by the other users on your network. For example, if during a call, another user on your network downloads a large file, without packet prioritization, your call quality could be degraded. A VoIP router prevents this from happening by giving priority to voice traffic on your network. Please note that standard BT Home Hubs do not have VoIP Quality of Service Controls.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact a member of the team and they can offer you advice on what settings or routers you should look at implementing.