VoIP Quality, Getting Worse

Brix Networks, a company that develops monitoring tools for VoIP says that the quality of VoIP calls is getting worse. The company maintains a website called, TestYourVoIP.com, and in a study published today the company said that nearly 20% of VoIP calls have unacceptable quality. That is up from 15% of all test calls a year ago.

I think the problem actually might be bigger. A lot of my friends who call me on Vonage for instance sound as if they are calling from a different planet. A lot of these problems are due to bandwidth constraints on the networks. Trying watching You Tube videos and talking over a VoIP phone and you experience the downshift in quality first hand. This alone should be a reason to a pipe with faster connection, and carriers could easily up sell premium services to their customers.

“The network is ready for VoIP. But now that there are more services running over the same pipe, carriers need to differentiate packets and prioritize service,” Kaynam Hedayat, chief technology officer for Brix tells C/Net News.com. (Okay that made me wonder who paid for the service!) It is not just the VoIP calls to the consumer home which are sounding bad. If you have ever made international long distance calls, you can experience the degraded quality first hand. Those calls, many of them originating from incumbent phone systems, also travel over an IP network.