VoIP phone systems have come a long way in recent years, and a growing number of businesses of all sizes and in all sectors — from party bus rental companies to professional services organizations, to law firms, and the list goes on —have migrated to the cloud. However, just as with any other technology, problems and issues can emerge. That’s why they call it “advanced technology” and not “flawless technology”.
The good news is that troubleshooting the most common VoIP phone system issues is usually a simple and straightforward process. Here’s a rundown of the top three problems, causes, and fixes.
Problem: Low quality or scrambled audio (a.k.a. “jitter”).
Cause: Jitter happens when voice packets reassemble in the incorrect order prior to reaching the receiver.
Fix: This is usually solved by deploying the VoIP phone system behind a managed router that uses built-in jitter buggers. These store voice packets when they arrive and therefore eliminate delay variations.
Cause: Echoing is results when there is a delay (latency) between when a speech packet leaves the sender and reaches the receiver.
Fix: Echoing can usually be solved by prioritizing VoIP traffic over corporate network traffic. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including policy-based network management, multi-protocol label switching, reserving bandwidth, and so on. Once the appropriate prioritization strategy is identified, it can be programmed into the managed router.
Problem: Degraded Connection
Cause: Many ISPs claim to offer “business internet” — but this is essentially more of a marketing term than it is an actual technical standard. As such, while the bandwidth may be suitable for basic email and web surfing, it is not capable of supporting a business-grade VoIP phone system.
Fix: Clearly, this is not a problem with VoIP technology, but with ISP bandwidth — especially in the U.S., as this infographic highlights. The solution is for businesses to insist that their ISP provide them with legitimate business-grade bandwidth, or they can shop around and find one that does. And to make things even trickier here, some ISPs do indeed offer legitimate business bandwidth, but they nevertheless oversubscribe their service, which means that at certain times of the day/week the speed and capacity plunge to unacceptable levels.
The Bottom Line
Most businesses that switch to a hosted VoIP phone system are achieving ROI and enjoying advanced unified calling features (the one that end users seem to love the most is voicemail-to-text!). If you’re thinking of migrating to the cloud, work with experts who can design, install, configure and support your system — so you can focus on running our business and driving it onwards and upwards.
For more VoIP phone-related articles here on Bit Rebels, click here!