High Speed Internet Phone Systems

The Bandwidth Mistake IT Administrators Make When Installing VoIP

As a telecommunications agent serving the northeast Ohio area, we work with many clients who are making the switch to Voice over IP or who have already made the switch and are having a bad experience. While there are many considerations to examine ahead of moving to VoIP, below are the three most common we see in our day-to-day.

If your business is contemplating a switch to VoIP, we would highly recommend enlisting the help of a professional. The plethora of ads and promises of simple setup are often overstated. The provider promising a problem-free installation is likely assuming that your facility is already prepared to handle VoIP calls. All too often we’ve found that clients are ill-prepared to properly handle VoIP. The number one culprit for quality issues on VoIP calls is bandwidth, or lack thereof.

Did You Audit Bandwidth Usage Ahead of VoIP Installation?

Whether you realize it or not, data traffic can tolerate errors in the transmission and acceptance of data packets. As you surf the web or download files, data packets may arrive out of order, stack up on top of each other, or not arrive quickly enough. Network equipment like routers and switches have queues and buffers to manage these errors.

Unlike data traffic, voice calls need to happen in real-time. This means data packets containing the voice (call) need to arrive on-time and in proper order. To facilitate this real-time stream, there must be enough bandwidth available to handle it. VoIP calls require 100K of bandwidth bi-directionally per call. If your business is hoping to be able to handle a half dozen concurrent calls, there will need to be at least 600K of download and upload available.

While on the surface it might seem simple and straightforward, many businesses fail to audit their existing internet/data connection to see what’s being used on a daily basis. They commonly also fail to look for spikes throughout the day. Employees are typically connected to:

  • Multiple cloud-based applications
  • Streaming audio like Pandora or Spotify
  • Video conferencing and virtual meeting services
  • Video content/webinars
  • Chat

In addition to these services, many companies fail to consider conference calling needs. While six concurrent calls may be the daily average, there may be times when a dozen or more people are conferencing in for a meeting.

Conducting a thorough bandwidth audit will ensure your VoIP calls get sent and received without error. VoIP calls which are choppy, delayed, or frequently drop are likely in need of a bandwidth upgrade. Lastly, keep in mind that broadband connections probably have a faster download speed than upload speed, which can also contribute to the problem.

Partner With a Telecom Company Who Knows Bandwidth

Modern Telecom has been implementing VoIP solutions for the SMB space since its inception. Unlike other agents and resellers, Modern Telecom has the experience and know-how to thoroughly audit your bandwidth and network ahead of making the move to VoIP. Contact us today to learn how we can help ease your transition.

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Andy Offenberger | telecom consultant