Is Your Network Ready for VoIP Deployment?
A VoIP solution can offer immediate benefits to your business! In addition the cost savings you’ll enjoy from reduced maintenance fees, sophisticated features and integrations with industry-leading CRM platforms which can provide insights into your workflows and ultimately allow you to better serve your customers.
But wait… Before you ditch that outdated analog system that’s been collecting dust in your storage room, it’s important to properly plan to ensure your network is prepared to accommodate quality VoIP services. There are 3 main things to consider when determining if the state of your network is ready for VoIP deployment: packet loss, bandwidth, and latency.
Packet Loss suggests there is an issue with your network or with your business’s connection to your provider. You’ll want to look at this as it will be affecting your internet connection speeds as a whole and indicate that there may be a duplicate issue or some other internal problem that must be addressed. Go to http://speedtest.net/ and pay specific attention to the download and upload speeds. For quality VoIP service, the packet loss between your business and the provider’s servers should be 0%.
The amount of bandwidth usually required for a single VoIP call on an HD codec will consume an average of 64 kbit/s. When discussing your needs with a provider, ensure you account for your regular user traffic including web browsing and video playback. We also recommend that you use a VoIP provider that uses traffic shaping to prioritize the VoIP traffic on a separate path from your everyday internet use. There are plenty of ways to address your bandwidth if you fear you don’t have enough available bandwidth for the concurrent calls you need. VoIP providers will be able to investigate ways to set up bandwidth management options or even order a second connection to set aside bandwidth for exclusive VoIP use. Every business’ challenge is different, but you can be rest assured that nearly any internet bandwidth can be altered to provide you with a quality VoIP connection without disrupting your internet usage.
For quality VoIP, the latency between your business and a VoIP provider’s servers needs to be less than 100ms. There are several reasons why you may have over 100ms of latency (round trip) including:
- Your connection might be interfering with other traffic
- Your internet connection may be too small for your needs
- Your internet provider may not be well interconnected with the rest of the internet
- Your internet connection may be adding latency just because of how it works (DSL for example). For latency purposes, cable connections are better than DSL, but Fibre is preferred.
Hopefully this helps to address, at least from a high level, some of the ways to check if your network is ready for a VoIP deployment. While it may sound technical and you don’t want to spend the time manually performing tests to check your internet speeds, VoIP providers can take you step-by-step through this process and ensure your business’ network is setup for success.