Call Quality Remains a VoIP Stumbling Block - InformationWeek

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Commentary
9/27/2007
05:42 AM
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Call Quality Remains a VoIP Stumbling Block

At some point, businesspersons decided that they would put up with the occasional static and dropped calls found on their cell phone lines because of their benefits. They have not yet reached that point with VoIP services.

At some point, businesspersons decided that they would put up with the occasional static and dropped calls found on their cell phone lines because of their benefits. They have not yet reached that point with VoIP services.Call quality is often a concern for many enterprises. Medium and small companies may not require crystal clear connections, but executives do not want to sound like they are talking from a wind tunnel either. Because of the way that IP networks transmit information, the likelihood of calls being dropped or interrupted are higher there than on Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connections.

While VoIP suppliers have been working to improve their call quality, it still lags well behind PSTN providers, according to survey from Keynote Competitive Research . The survey collected information from AT&T CallVantage, AT&T PSTN, Comcast Digital Voice, Primus Lingo, Packet 8, Sun Rocket, Digital Phone from TimeWarner Cable, EarthLink trueVoice, Verizon VoiceWing, Verizon PSTN, Vonage and Vonics Digital. The survey took place in June 2007 and measured the performance of the leading voice providers in the New York and San Francisco markets. Local and long distance calls were placed once every 30 minutes for each voice provider so by the end of the month 125,000 calls were placed.

Illustrating the shortcomings with IP services, Keynote found that VoIP providers on average were able to complete calls only 96.9% of the time. Typically, PSTN services operate in the 99.9999% range for call completions. Users also graded VoIP with a lower satisfaction rating, 3.5 compared to 4.0, than PSTN providers. The bottom line is: call quality remains a barrier that VoIP providers need to overcome before medium and small businesses adopt the technology.

Does your company use VoIP services? What is the attraction with these services? How willing or unwilling are you to trade call quality for lower pricing?

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