See, I Told You, It’s the WAN

December 15, 2008 by Garrett Smith

I know that I have spoken numerous times here about the pivotal role Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity quality plays in the overall success of a VoIP deployment. Regardless of the size and scope of a VoIP deployment, if there isn’t adequate bandwidth, your experience is going to be less then favorable.

This morning while sifting through some industry news, Andy Abramson pointed me to a study out of the UK that points to poor call quality as a reason that more than half the respondents (54%) have yet to even touch VoIP. While this is a small data set, it is further proof that one of the major keys to a successful VoIP deployment is the quality and availability of bandwidth.

Besides doing a thorough VoIP network assessment, which would include analyzing both your WAN connection and your internal LAN, many companies (including VoIP service providers) are looking to network monitoring devices, such as Edgewater Network’s Edgemarc devices and U4EA Multi-service gateways, in order to ensure proper bandwidth availability. There is even a company, who’s product we are currently evaluating, that provides a small office/home office networking monitoring solution that retails below $100.

So, while bandwidth remains the leading cause of poor VoIP experiences, rest assured that the industry as a whole is continuing it’s efforts to educate the public on the importance of bandwidth quality/availability when deploying VoIP and that vendors are working tirelessly to provide solutions focused on erradicating the issues involved with deploying VoIP.

Until that happens, do yourself a favor – check your network (both) before you go deploying VoIP.

1 Comment

  • Fred Posner

    I had a similar issue recently with a Linksys router limiting my bandwidth to a point where I could not communicate over my VoIP lines. Switching the Linksys to another device resulted in almost a 20x increase of bandwidth.

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