When it Comes to VoIP Quality it Truly is Brilliant or Crap!
Peter Cochrane of Silicon.com has an excellent post on the state of Voice over IP call quality. Peter nails VoIP call quality when he writes,
“So the bad news is today’s VoIP over the internet works in two typically digital modes: brilliant and crap – and there ain’t much in between. Sometimes it works well and other times it does not. The good news is that moves are afoot to fix this flaw in the internet and it is relatively easy to fix in intranets and ultimately telephone networks that move to IP.”
Many Have a Love/Hate Relationship With VoIP
The hit or miss nature of VoIP leaves many with a love hate relationship with the technology, and I can’t exactly disagree with them. Poor call quality is annoying; and people hate to be annoyed. Poor call quality in a business setting, is not only annoying, but it is not professional and reflects negatively upon your business. As Peter notes in his piece, the internet is flawed when it comes to real-time communications and therefore VoIP calling will be flawed,
“The internet is fundamentally flawed when it comes to real-time services of any kind. Raw packet switching cannot support voice or video with any degree of service quality. Additional network engineering is required to overcome the high likelihood of packet loss and overall lack of capacity.”
Waiting For Utopian Calling
But will we ever ALWAYS experience the perfect VoIP call?
With the advent of cellular calling we were subjected to a lower level of call quality. We accepted this lower level of call quality, at first for the convienence and mobility cellular technology gave us. Later, as I found out during my days at T-Mobile, we accepted would accept less convienence and mobility, for a plan that cost less. With VoIP, we seem to have accepted lower call quality, increased risk (through unreliable network connections), less convienence, and mobility all for a lower cost.
While it may be true that advances in network engineering is “on the way” that will allow us to always enjoy brilliant VoIP calling, it is tough to imagine these improvements will be made anytime soon. It’s going be pretty tough for carriers to re-invest in network infrastructure making fractions of a penny per minute. And that fraction is getting smaller everyday!