VoIP has been around since the mid-1990’s, but hosted VoIP has not been a viable option until probably less than 10 years ago. The reason was due to lack of ample, reliable, cost-effective bandwidth.
Not too long ago, the only low cost Internet connection was DSL or Digital Subscriber Line. Telecom companies such as AT&T and Verizon were able to provide DSL internet at a low cost because they used existing telephone lines and put digital converters on each end. The speed was determined by the distance between these converters: the farther the distance the slower it got. Sometimes, the distance was too far for it to even work. Since most telephone lines have not been replaced in a long time, the quality of the lines were in pretty bad shape thus causing high amounts of dropped packets. For data, lost packets were fairly transparent to the user. The computer would just re-request until it got a response. To the user it just seemed like the internet was slower but eventually the page would populate. For VoIP, however, dropped packets would cause echo, cut outs, static or dropped calls. DSL was not a good medium for VoIP.
T-1 connections were actually suitable for VoIP. A T-1 line provided a symmetrical 1.5Mbps connection. However, the cost of T-1 connections made it so that there was no advantage to move to VoIP. It was easier and just as cost effective to use traditional telephone lines since it is a reliable technology that has been around for over a century.
Within the last 10 years, there have been major advances in bandwidth offerings. Cable companies have increased the amount of bandwidth they can push through their coaxial network and provided it less expensively than any other medium. Telecom companies have invented a new medium called EoC or Ethernet-over-Copper, to enable higher bandwidth through a more modern telephone cable. Even fiber optics has become more affordable as Verizon, and now AT&T, are trying to make it the primary medium to each home and office.
When using the SIP protocol, which most VoIP services use, each phone call requires roughly 100Kbps. At ten concurrent calls, the bandwidth requirement goes up to 1Mbps. Without ample bandwidth, internet connections would get saturated between voice and data usage and thus cause reliability issues.
Here at Yoji, we evaluate the bandwidth prior to installing endpoints at our client sites. We first determine if the medium is ample and reliable. If a client has DSL, we would recommend that they move to cable and assist them in the upgrade. Cable is the lowest grade that we would allow for our system. If we see packet loss, we will assist the client in contacting the ISP to clean up the line. Our goal is to provide a reliable phone service that will save our clients money, time and aggravation.
Give us a call and experience the Yoji difference.
Steve Choy, President, Yoji