IP telephony converts phone voice signals into digital data for transmission over the web. IP telephony uses VoIP, a set of rules for voice data handling, but sometimes software and hardware issues cause problems.
Let’s look at how IP telephony works, and how you can overcome five common issues that can disrupt the system.
How IP telephony works
Imagine you want to send goods by train but transportation rules dictate all goods must be divided into packets of a similar size. In IP telephony, the voice audio is the goods and VoIP is the packer that divides it into data packets. Next, IP telephony – the train – moves the digital voice data back and forth across the internet.
Common challenges to overcome
1. Router overload
A router decides which network data to process first. If it doesn’t have the proper configuration, it might ignore voice data packets while it downloads images. While it does that, your call quality suffers. However, if Quality of Service prioritisation is used, the router will give VoIP packets preferential treatment.
You may have experienced a delay in the conversation when using IP telephony. This is latency, where the internet bandwidth cannot handle the data flowing through it. Increase the bandwidth by getting faster internet that can handle the simultaneous flow of more data.
Jitter is related to latency. It’s the rate at which latency increases and decreases, disrupting the rate of data flow. Because the voice audio has been divided into thousands of tiny packets, jitter causes some sounds to arrive out of order or not at all, making words unintelligible or creating the ‘robot’ voice. A jitter buffer solves the problem by pooling data packets as they arrive and making sure they’re in the right order.
4. Packet loss
Sometimes a data packet – with its portion of the voice audio – is dropped altogether, or several are dropped in succession. This is known as packet loss, caused by jitter, misconfiguration, limits on data rates or a firewall that’s been told to block data from a certain source. An IT expert will track the problem down using software tools and fix it.
5. Port problems
Data flows through different ports on a computer depending on its type. For example, outgoing emails use port 25. If ports used for IP telephony are not open or are misconfigured, it might still be possible to make a connection, but there is no sound or you hear only one side of the conversation. An IT professional will analyse and implement proper port configuration.
IP telephony is a cost-effective, convenient way to keep people in touch. If you would like to know more about bringing the benefits of IP telephony/VoIP to your organisation, please contact us at Azentro.