We are often asked what you need to use your broadband connection for telephony purposes. The fact is that these days Ireland has such good broadband speeds, that you probably don’t need to worry. In fact a more important consideration is how you manage your connection. If you have any more than one or two concurrent calls then you really should be prioritising voice traffic on your firewall / router. This is easy to do but easy to get wrong also! It’s also important to remember that the upload speed is an important factor.
The actual physical requirements are 80 kbps for both upload and download. Of course you will need a connection with a greater capacity in order to adequately support other concurrent services. For example if you wish to send an email or browse the web while speaking, your connection must obviously have the capacity to do this and provide the necessary bandwidth for your call.
The three most important factors for a happy VoIP experience are:
1. Broadband Connection with consistent upload and download speeds in excess of 100 kbps per voice call
2. No or little variation in connection latency – known as Jitter, this is the change in the amount of time it takes information to get from your phone to our server – you can test it by pinging sip.blueface.ie.
3. No or little packet loss – this is the loss of pieces of information (packets) as they are transmitted back and forth to our servers. A solid connection from a good broadband provider will result in no packet loss in all but exceptional circumstances. Occasionally their may be glitches and a few packets may go astray but Blueface have very strong connectivity with Irish and International ISP’s along with INEX (the Irish Internet Exchange) so this is not a normal occurrence. If there is consistent packet loss it is likely to point to an internal network issue such as an old or poorly configured router or switch, a virus on a PC flooding the network, or some kind of hardware problem.
If all of the above are satisfactory then you are ready to go and can be confident of a first class service. The only other check to make is if you are planning on having more than one or two simultaneous calls you must prioritise traffic to and from our domain blueface.com, and obviously ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth for the maximum number of simultaneous calls plus what other bandwidth you need. It may be an idea to obtain a second separate connection solely for voice – perhaps from an alternative provider so that you also have redundancy; you can always use it in an emergency for data also, or vice versa. It doesn’t seem that long ago since we had seriously underdeveloped infrastructure, and there were black holes all over Ireland without any type of connectivity.
There are still the odd few unconnected places, but really not many. However the most striking thing is not the ubiquity of internet access in Ireland, but the development of speeds. Standard connection speeds in many areas are now up to 100mb for xDSL services, and cable is providing up to 240mb download speeds.
It’s a long way from this: https://youtu.be/gsNaR6FRuO0. Happy calling!
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