When last did you make a long-distance call and the connection was so clear, it felt as if the person was in the same room? Even more importantly, when was the last time your clients had that experience with your phone line?
If you are still trying to figure it out, then you are in danger of losing valuable market share to your competitors offering better Quality of Service (QoS). It is therefore important to regularly measure your VoIP QoS to ensure you are getting the best service from your supplier and you are delivering the best to your clients.
What Causes Poor VoIP QoS?
VoIP QoS measures the performance of your network based on the download speeds you deliver. It is measured by dividing the minimum speed you deliver by the maximum speed. The aim is to yield consistent results, always.
As a service provider, if you promise 4Mbps, that is exactly what you should deliver 100% of the time. If the speeds vary, your QoS decreases accordingly, irrespective of whether it goes up or down. This means that if your company offers 1Mbps and you always deliver, you will have a higher score than a company offering 4Mbps with varying speeds.
Besides bandwidth consistency, the quality of the call itself can be affected by a number of factors.
Measuring VoIP QoS
There are four main factors used to measure your VoIP QoS
Latency or Round Trip Time (RTT)
Latency measures the length of time it takes between when information is sent and when it is received at the final destination. As you would expect, the faster the information is delivered the higher your score.
For calls made within a country, this score can range between 100ms – 150ms. For QoS on the high end, the latency should be less than 70ms. For long distance calls expect these to be higher, usually between 250ms – 350ms.
When data is sent over the internet, it is broken up into smaller decipherable portions called packets. As the packets are broken up when the information is being sent, they have to be reassembled on the receiving end. Sometimes, not all the packets get delivered. This is called Packet Loss.
This is one reason why not everything a person says comes through clearly on the other end. In a perfect world, packet loss should be 0%, but realistically, anything less than 2% is high quality.
Jitter and Max Pause
Jitter refers to the delivery time between packets being sent and received. Packets should arrive at the same time intervals and in the right order. This is not always the case though, due to route changes, packet loss, congestion and other network failings.
When packets don’t arrive at the set time, words get distorted or disappear. For a good call, the time between packet arrivals should be between 15ms – 30ms.
Mean Opinion Score (MOS)
Finally, we have the MOS, which is a score given by consumers. This is usually rated between 1-5 and is rather subjective. While this may be the hardest to get a standardised measurement for, it is arguably the most important because it lets you know what customers think of the service. So even if your packet loss is high, getting a 5 rating from all your clients means you are delivering better quality than they expect.
What is Your VoIP QoS?
As stated earlier, getting a high score could be the difference between staying afloat and going out of business. Route Test can perform VoIP QoS tests within minutes and reveal areas you need to work on. Don’t wait until you lose customers. Schedule a VoIP QoS test today.