How to Optimise your Network for VoIP

Small and medium-sized businesses are abandoning traditional phone services at a startling pace. But are they ready to adopt VoIP? We are always ready to introduce VoIP to your company. But can your network support the VoIP phone system you want? Reliability is critical to communication in business. VoIP cannot offer your company a consistent […]

voip network

Small and medium-sized businesses are abandoning traditional phone services at a startling pace. But are they ready to adopt VoIP? We are always ready to introduce VoIP to your company. But can your network support the VoIP phone system you want?

Reliability is critical to communication in business. VoIP cannot offer your company a consistent communication experience if your network cannot support all its functions. Before you invest in a VoIP phone system, take the time to optimise your network, making certain that it is ready to cater to the needs of VoIP. That can involve the following:

LOOK AT YOUR ROUTER

VoIP offers unparalleled audio and video communication capabilities. However, audio and video communication consume a significant quantity of network resources. Video communication (at 100 megabits per second) is especially taxing.

For this reason, you need to give your router another look. Find out if it has ‘Packets Per Second’ capability which gives you the power to prioritise your company’s voice and video data over other needs. Determine whether the router has the capacity to handle all the traffic your VoIP system will attract.

If the router is lacking, get a better one.

CONSIDER YOUR DEVICES

What kind of device do you want your office to use when making calls? Will you buy dedicated VoIP phones for all your employees? Do you expect call agents to use their computers? Do you prefer to direct all calls to the smartphones your workers possess? Do you want to use all these avenues?

This is the first decision you must make before you start investigating your network.

CHANGE THE WIRING

If you are switching from a traditional phone system to VoIP, you are going to require the right wiring. If you have older Cat 3 cables, don’t hesitate to replace them with Cat 6 (10 GbE at 250 MHz for up to 328 feet).

Some people prefer Cat 5e cables (100 MHz bandwidth) because they are cheaper. And Cat 5e cables are more than capable of serving your needs. But for the best results, if you can afford it, get Cat 6.

Don’t forget the power supply issue. If you have devices that require power, the easiest and most efficient way to get power to them is through ‘Power over Ethernet’ cables. PoE cables will draw power to such devices, eliminating the complex configurations you would normally deploy in such situations to solve your power problems.

If you are unfortunate enough to have non-PoE switches, buy a PoE injector.

BUILD A DEDICATED VLAN

The problem with VoIP is that it uses the same network your company uses to access the internet. This sounds like a clever setup until you realise that heavy internet usage can cause disruptions in VoIP communication.

This is how VoIP calls end up getting dropped. You can solve this problem by putting a cap on the size of the downloads that can be made in your office. But it might be more efficient to use a dedicated VLAN for your voice and video calls. By isolating your VoIP traffic, you can ensure that your VoIP communication mechanisms have all the resources they need to deliver the consistency and reliability for which VoIP is known.

For more information, call us free on 0800 357 678 to speak with one of our agents.