Step-by-Step Process to Measure Your VoIP Requirements against Available Bandwidth, In-Office or Home-Office
Figuring out your VoIP call quality comes down to 2 easy steps. All you need is either a calculator or spreadsheet, and an Internet connection. Honestly though a spreadsheet will make this much easier.
1. Estimate VoIP Bandwidth Requirements
We’ll start by estimating the total bandwidth needed to send and receive high-definition call data. This means we are using the upper bound estimate of what a call would require. This ensures that call quality will be crystal clear – much clearer than old copper-line phone systems.
Fortunately audio call data is miniscule compared to average Internet speeds today. Each user will require at most ⅕ Mbps of bandwidth. According to the Federal Communications Commission, each user requires less than .5 Mbps. The FCC estimate works well for home offices, since it allocates room to spare, but can be inefficient when used to compute office network requirements.
If you are calculating VoIP for in-office communications, multiply ⅕ by the total number of users.
If you have 20 users, then:
20 users * ⅕ Mbps = 4 Mbps required bandwidth
In other words we simply divide the number of users by 5. Simple right?
If you find that VoIP would take you close to this required bandwidth, then just know the actual number is closer to 1/7. 1 Mbps can support between 6-7 simultaneous, high-definition calls. So if you are close feel free to allocate 6 users per Mbps.
Keep in mind that VoIP will not be the only service using your data. Each user will have additional needs depending on their role within the organization.
Refer to FCC guidelines to determine bandwidth requirements for each user across your household or organization. Simply add up the bandwidth for each user during peak hours. Then add this number to the additional amount for VoIP calling.
2. Measure Real Internet Speed with Free Tools
We all know that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can overestimate the speed of their network. But VoIP like all your data relies on actual performance. That makes it important to understand what your real Internet Speed is.
The easiest way to calculate Internet speed is to Google “What’s my Internet speed?” while using any computer on the relevant network. You can run the test right from the Google Search Engine Results Page.
What if my employees work from home?
Many businesses switched to distributed office environments last year, which makes VoIP even more valuable. VoIP can easily connect distributed communications infrastructures, especially when the solution is managed via cloud application. However, distributed communications provides a unique set of advantages and challenges.
The challenge is ensuring each employee has a home network connection that will support VoIP. This sounds more difficult than it is. VoIP requirements are very low per user, so if an employee has no trouble streaming video from their computer, then they will easily support VoIP.
How to Improve Call Quality If There Is a Problem
Despite superior Internet speeds some businesses do encounter quality issues from time to time. In an office environment we have seen quality degradation most commonly arise from improperly designed networks. In these cases buying a new router, or even smaller changes to allocate bandwidth will resolve the issue.
Convergence Solutions Is Committed to Our VoIP Customers
At Convergence Solutions we help our customers resolve any call quality issues quickly and efficiently — not because that is our job description, but because we are committed to delivering real value. When customers call us, they get someone immediately who can solve their problem.
At Convergence Solutions, we guide companies through the convergence of communications systems — of voice, video and data networks, and also of personal and work lives — to provide more efficient and enriching ways of doing business. Incorporated in 2005, our work has focused on upgrading businesses and office spaces with modern telephony, Internet connectivity, and security.
We would be happy to help you plan and implement VoIP.
David J. Binkowski
I have worked with Convergence Solutions on several projects over the past 15 years. They are always extremely professional, knowledgeable and quick to respond to any issues. Highly recommend!
Why Convergence Cloud
The telecom industry is moving too slowly. Why nickle-and-dime you over minutes when it’s all just data?
Convergence Cloud delivers unlimited local or long-distance minutes. Every one of our plans are inclusive with no additional items costs.
Friendly Customer Support Based in Denver
As a Denver business, we are in the neighborhood to support you as much or as little as you need. If VoIP is new to you, our service representatives can take you through the process, so you know your communications will go uninterrupted.