Adding VoIP into an incompatible network is like dropping a V8 engine into a Smart Car – it probably isn’t a good idea…that car can’t handle an engine that large without some serious modification. The same goes for Voice over IP. There are many benefits to implementing Voice over IP including more flexibility in deployment options and cost savings, however if your surrounding network infrastructure isn’t prepared, it can be an extremely frustrating experience for your employees and customers. Bad quality VoIP including cut-outs, dropped calls, and ‘tinny’ or bad audio are all symptoms of network-related issues. Knowing how to measure the quality is the first step in troubleshooting these problems.
Crosstalk Solutions has created a page of information on measuring VoIP quality here. This page links to a VoIP speed test that can help determine your Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which is a numerical measure of the quality of human speech over a VoIP line. MOS is a number on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the worst quality, and 5 being the best) that is determined by a combination of network measurements including jitter, packet loss, and available bandwidth. A MOS of 4-5 is excellent. 3-4 means you may experience some voice quality issues, and your network can probably be improved with some simple tweaks or configuration settings. Any MOS below 3 indicates a significant barrier to implementing quality Voice over IP and should be addressed prior to deployment.
Crosstalk Solutions provides VoIP consulting and software development. Please visit http://CrosstalkSolutions.com for more information.