7 Factors That Affect VoIP Call Quality

​VoIP call quality is important for any organisation that wants to freely communicate with colleagues, clients, or customers. If it’s not up to scratch, you’ll find yourself frustrated by lags, fuzzy sound and complete breaks in your call.

Thankfully, it’s not something you need to put up with. Read on as we look at three factors that affect VoIP call quality and how to ensure your calls are crystal clear.

1.  Connection

First on the list is your connection. Because calls are made through the internet rather than a traditional landline, VoIP call quality relies on a stable internet connection. Your broadband doesn’t necessarily need to be ultra- or super-fast; it simply needs to have adequate speed and bandwidth for VoIP calls.

Ideally, you should have at least 256 kbps available for both uploads and downloads. To put that in context, the average broadband speed is now 64 mbps (which is 64,000 kbps), according to the BBC.

While most standard broadband connections are capable of supporting VoIP, for unmatched performance there’s no beating Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP). With lightning-fast download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps, it’s nearly 20 times faster than standard ADSL. This makes it an ideal upgrade for businesses, charities and third-sector organisations seeking crystal-clear VoIP call quality.

Fibre optic cables are run directly to your premises to establish a private connection that ensures uninterrupted calls and supports seamless data applications. Advanced FTTP infrastructure also heightens performance for cloud-based tools, video conferencing and other data-hungry applications.

2.  Number of devices

Next up is the number of devices you’re using. In short, your internet’s bandwidth is consumed by each device that connects to it. When more devices connect, that bandwidth is shared across a greater number of end-users. Eventually, there are too many devices, giving each one insufficient bandwidth to work with.

As a result, the devices receive slower data transfer and poorer VoIP call quality. To avoid this, make sure you have sufficient bandwidth for the number of devices you’re using. Alternatively, try to disconnect devices that aren’t necessary – such as personal phones, out of use computers or even smart appliances.

3.  Equipment

The final factor that can affect VoIP call quality is the equipment you’re using. Traditionally, VoIP calls have been made using an IP phone or a traditional phone with an ATA adapter. They can also be made using software on your laptop or desktop computer, which essentially turns your device into a phone. This is also known as a ‘soft phone’ for VoIP.

If the devices you’re using are low quality, this could definitely impact the quality of your VoIP calls. Perhaps you’ve been given substandard IP phones by a disreputable provider, or maybe the computers you’re using as softphones are a little worse for wear.

It’s also worth noting that headsets are a good idea if you want the best VoIP call quality. Making calls without a headset often means all your office (or home office) background noise is heard on the other end of the call. That could be reducing your VoIP quality without you even realising it. A good headset can eliminate background noise and keep your conversation clear and private.

4. Network configuration

Network configuration plays an important role in determining VoIP call quality. To clarify, your network setup includes routers, switches and firewalls, which can all impact VoIP performance. Misconfigured network devices or outdated firmware can introduce latency, packet loss and jitter, issues that can lead to poor call quality.

To optimise your VoIP network configuration, consider implementing Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your routers and switches. This tweak prioritises VoIP traffic over other types of data on your network to ensure that voice packets are transmitted without delay. Additionally, regularly updating firmware and carrying out network assessments can help identify and resolve network configuration issues that may affect call quality.

5. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can significantly influence VoIP call quality, with variables like reliability, latency and bandwidth directly impacting performance. For example, some ISPs may prioritise certain types of digital traffic over others. This can lead to congestion and degraded VoIP call quality during peak usage hours.

When selecting an internet provider look for dedicated, business-grade broadband services with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) guaranteeing uptime and performance. Additionally, consider ISPs that offer Quality of Service (QoS) features to prioritise VoIP traffic. This will help keep call quality consistent even during periods of high demand.

6. Codecs and compression settings

The choice of codecs and compression algorithms used can impact VoIP call quality. Codecs are advanced computer programs used to encode and decode voice signals into digital data packets. This process underpins VoIP technology and is what allows voice audio to be sent and received over the internet.

Different codecs offer varying levels of compression which can affect audio quality. For example, while some codecs prioritise bandwidth speed and efficiency they may sacrifice audio quality. Similarly, codecs optimised for high audio quality may consume more bandwidth but deliver clearer voice transmissions.

To optimise VoIP call quality, choose codecs that strike a balance between bandwidth efficiency and audio fidelity. You can also consider fine-tuning codec configuring preferences to prioritise quality over bandwidth savings.

7. Technical support

Hands-on technical support is more important than you might think when it comes to VoIP call quality. A reliable VoIP service provider should offer rapid assistance via multiple support channels, including phone, email, live chat and online resources like knowledge bases or FAQs.

Prompt response times are particularly important and ensure that issues are addressed quickly. From poor VoIP call quality and dropped connections to software issues and security threats, first-rate technical support can make all the difference in restoring smooth communication.

Improve your VoIP call quality

Want to make sure your VoIP calls are crystal clear? VS Group provides VoIP solutions to charities and small businesses across the UK.

With the option to add high-quality VoIP equipment to your package or use your own device, as well as connectivity services tailored to your requirements, we’ll give you everything you need for high-quality VoIP calls.

Get in touch today to talk more about VoIP for your organisation.


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