AT&T Office@Hand

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Improving the Quality of VoIP Phone Calls
Article #2846

What are the things to consider in improving the quality of phone calls?

A VoIP call is a packet of data being transferred via the Internet, and calls are subject to potential network problems, e.g. latency, jitter, and packet loss. As a result, your connection to the Internet and the devices you use to connect to it can play a part in improving your Quality of Service.

Quality of Service (QoS) relates to how the transmission rates, error rates, and other characteristics of network communications can be measured, improved – or guaranteed to some extent.  QoS is also of utmost concern for the continuous transmission of high bandwidth video and multimedia information such as whether or not you are able to experience clear and interrupted calls. Tips to improve VoIP Quality of Service (QoS):

Get a Quality Headset
Improve your WiFi Signal
Switch from WiFi to Ethernet
Pause any Large Download/Upload on the same Network
Consider using a QoS-Enabled Router
Upgrade your Internet Connection

Get a Quality Headset

Consider upgrading to a higher quality headset if you frequently use the Office@Hand Desktop App to make calls.  These higher quality headsets offer enhanced echo cancellation features and better overall audio/connectivity performance.

Office@Hand: Recommended Headsets for the Desktop App

Improve your WiFi Signal

If you are using a WiFi phone for your calls, improve your WiFi signal to enhance your VoIP QoS. Range-extending and signal-improving antennas and devices are available on the market.

Switch from WiFi to Ethernet

WiFi signals to/from your router can be susceptible to interference by other devices broadcasting on the same frequency, and/or impeded by building/office infrastructure. If possible, connect directly onto your network switch or router, via an Ethernet cable. A wired solution greatly reduces the possibility of interference and provides for more consistency in call-quality experience.

Pause any Large Download/Upload on the same Network

Often, a call can drop out or you can experience reduced call-quality when you are simultaneously downloading/uploading huge files over the same network. It is advisable to pause any downloads while on a call or use a different network for your downloads/uploads.

Consider Using a QoS-Enabled Router

It is highly recommended that your router has and supports Quality of Service (QoS) feature/functions. By enabling the available QoS feature/functions, your router can prioritize the voice traffic over other data traffic; a minimum guaranteed bandwidth can be assigned to this prioritized traffic.  And if needed, some consistency with your Internet speed/performance can be somewhat controlled if your ISP cannot guarantee or ensure a minimum level of service. View and download the Router Configuration Guide.

Note:  Check if your current modem acts as a gateway.  You may have to set it to bridge mode before introducing the QoS router to the network.

Upgrade your Internet Connection

Available bandwidth and the consistency of your internet connection  is a major factor to  consistent call-quality experiences. Your internet connection should have enough bandwidth to support the concurrent calls your business dictates.  Each call requires roughly 100Kbps (upload and download).  If your connection normally deals with 5 concurrent calls at any given moment, 500Kbps of bandwidth is required to be available for just the VoIP traffic and at least another 1.5Mbps available for your other/non-VoIP traffic. If your internet connection isn’t at par with the recommended bandwidth, you may want to consider upgrading your Internet connection.

Test your Internet Connection Quality (use Internet Explorer)
For additional troubleshooting steps, Contact Customer Support.

Keywords: 2846, phone calls, VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, QoS, quality of service, Internet, contention ratio, headset, softphone, WiFi, VoIP, QOS, routers