In transitioning from traditional voice phones to Voice Over Internet Protocol, we have experienced a significant change in how we make phone calls. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has offered significant cost savings and feature-rich capabilities over traditional landlines.
One of the biggest challenges for VoIP users is allocating the right amount of bandwidth. For cloud-based phone systems to work, you’ll need a lot of bandwidth, and calculating how much bandwidth is needed for VoIP can be tricky.
In this article, we will briefly overview the bandwidth requirements for your VOIP system, bandwidth, data consumption, and, lastly, how to troubleshoot bandwidth issues. We will evaluate them. The factors that affect VoIP, their call voice-over-IP speed.
An Introduction to Bandwidth and Data Consumption
Before moving on to the next topic, learn about bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the maximum rate of data that may be transferred from one location to another within a network at a certain time. Typically, bandwidth is measured in bits per second, such as 128Kbps, 256Kbps, 512Kbps, and 1Mbps.
Furthermore, Bandwidth represents your internet connection speed and how fast the amount of data can flow through your connection. Data consumption and bandwidth are closely related but not the same.
The amount of data used over a network connection is data consumption, whereas the bandwidth is a measure of the capacity of a network connection. The higher the bandwidth of an internet connection, the more data can be transferred over that connection in a given time.
How Does VOIP Use My Bandwidth?
The term “broadband” describes how much data may be sent via an internet connection in a specific length of time. As part of your cloud telephony services, your provider will utilize a defined set of bandwidth for VoIP.
Video conferencing, streaming video, or other bandwidth-intensive applications may require more bandwidth to maintain optimal call quality. There should be at least 100 kbps of bandwidth available.
The following factors influence voice-over-IP calls:
- Provided upload/download speed
- Number of needed phone lines
- The expected number of concurrent calls
- Run other applications simultaneously with your VoIP system or not
- Service provider-provided codec
Business VoIP Calls: Bandwidth Requirements
Does your business meet VoIP bandwidth requirements? VoIP generally requires 100 Kbps for uploads and downloads per concurrent call. Call quality will not be degraded in this way.
If you have a small business with five users who are all likely to be on the phone simultaneously, you are recommended at least 500 Kbps of download and upload bandwidth.
Additionally, the type of VoIP service you select may have an impact on your bandwidth requirements. For example, some VoIP services require more bandwidth than others due to their codecs.
Factors That Affect VoIP Calls
VoIP services require high call quality. But, there are a number of factors that can affect the level of VoIP calls, such as the type of codec used, the distance between the callers, and the presence of interference. Let’s look at these factors in brief.
During the data transmission over an IP network, the codecs compress audio signals and decompress them during playback. Some codecs offer higher efficiency in comparison to others, but they may also produce lower-quality audio. The wrong codec results in the network facing bandwidth issues, drop in quality, latency, and echo.
In data transmission, latency refers to the time it takes from one point to another. High latency can cause VoIP calls to sound delayed, affecting the quality of the VoIP calls.
Slow ISP Connection
If you use dial-up or a slow network, you will never get good voice quality. If you have a high-speed enterprise connection, you will have the best experience. When your internet connection is too slow, there can be an issue in audio with echo, distortion, and dropped calls.
Network Jitter refers to latency variation over time. VoIP calls can sound choppy and uneven as a result. It is essential that packets arrive sequentially in real time for VoIP calls to be clear; otherwise, jitter can significantly compromise quality.
Packet loss occurs when packets of data are lost in transit, affecting voice call quality. If even 1% of packets are dropped, calls will drop out or sound distorted.
Quality of equipment
The quality of your VoIP equipment directly affects call quality. You will experience poor-quality VoIP calls if you use outdated equipment. So, make an investment in the necessary cable modems, phones, firewalls, and routers.
Calculating How Much Bandwidth is Needed for VoIP
The number of calls you and your team will make at once determines the bandwidth needed. More concurrent calls will require additional bandwidth. To help you better understand how much bandwidth is needed, we’ve created a table representation that reflects the active call numbers.
|Number of Concurrent Calls||Minimum Bandwidth Requirements||Ideal Bandwidth|
|1||100 Kbps||3 Mbps|
|3||300 Kbps||3 Mbps|
|5||500 Kbps||5 Mbps|
|10||1 Mbps||5-10 Mbps|
|15||1.5 Mbps||10+ Mbps|
|20||2 Mbps||10+ Mbps|
Moreover, for calculating bandwidth requirements, use the following formula:
Bandwidth requirements = (number of concurrent calls) * (codec bitrate) * 2
The factor of 2 is that VoIP calls are two-way, so you need to double the bandwidth requirements to account for both upload and download traffic.
For example, if you have five concurrent calls using the G.711 codec, which has a bitrate of 64 Kbps, you would need:
Bandwidth requirements = (5 concurrent calls) * (64 Kbps/call) * 2 = 640 Kbps
This means that you would need an internet connection with a minimum upload and download speed of 640 Kbps to support five concurrent VoIP calls.
How to Troubleshoot VoIP Bandwidth Issues?
Are you experiencing lagging in VoIP, sometimes referred to as voice delay, which makes you question your bandwidth? Don’t worry; you have a variety of troubleshooting solutions at your disposal. Here is a quick overview of the solutions to VoIP bandwidth problems.
With VoIP systems, latency is to be expected, but too much delay might interfere with communications. Select a codec that is designed for low latency. In VoIP calls, quality degrades at latency higher than 20 ms; at 150 ms, the latency is barely noticeable and, therefore, acceptable. Over 300 ms is considered unsuitable latency.
Adjust QoS Settings
By embedding Quality of service(QoS) settings in their routers, Internet-connected devices provide quality of service. Prioritize bandwidth for specific devices over others on the basis of regularity of usage.
Determine your type of codecs
VoIP codecs (G.711, G.722, Opus) must be used by all participants in a call to compress and transmit audio data. Find out about the codecs from your service provider, and if the one you choose doesn’t work for your business or uses up too much bandwidth, think about moving VoIP providers.
The number one way to overall improve VoIP quality is to upgrade your bandwidth from a trustworthy VoIP service provider. In this way, all of your devices that are connected to the Internet will have faster and more responsive connections.
To sum up, bandwidth is important for the success of your VoIP phone system, But there are other important factors that affect VoIP calls, like jitter, codec, and many more. By now, you might be familiar with the fact that you need to make sure you have sufficient bandwidth to make high-quality VoIP calls.
If you are still unsure how much bandwidth you need for VoIP, it is best to consult with your VoIP provider and inform them of your regular usage. Be sure to coordinate with them to ensure that the service can accommodate your VoIP needs.
What are the tips for saving bandwidth on VoIP calls?
The following tips will help you save bandwidth when making VoIP calls.
- Low-bandwidth codecs should be used.
- Depending on the situation, reduce the call quality.
- VoIP calls should not be made during peak times.
- Using a QoS router will prioritize VoIP traffic.
- Unnecessary bandwidth-consuming applications should be closed.
What factors influence the amount of bandwidth used by VoIP?
Many factors determine how much bandwidth VoIP consumes, including:
- Different codecs use different amounts of bandwidth to compress and decompress digital audio data.
- For better call quality, you need a greater amount of bandwidth.
- When making or receiving multiple VoIP calls at once, more bandwidth will be required.
Is VoIP also accessible without an internet connection?
No, VoIP is also accessible without an internet connection. For VoIP to work properly, the network connection must be fast and stable.