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VoIP Readiness Tool

There are several aspects to networking that will affect Virtual Office Voice over IP (VoIP) quality and each aspect could affect the experience of each call differently. Two main characteristics of VoIP looked at below are the Internet connection including bandwidth and quality including delay, packet loss and internet service providers (ISP); and LAN environments including quality of service (QoS) routers, and switches. When all these components work in harmony Virtual Office is a great addition to any small company's telecommunication needs. If any one item for a whole deployment is not up to standards the experience may be poor.

Overall broadband speed requirements:

This is the amount of bandwidth needed to support a Virtual Office deployment. Virtual Office requires 27kbps of available bandwidth per concurrent phone call to transmit voice. Under most circumstances companies will have only 25% to 30% of their employees on the phone at any given time. Typically smaller companies have higher % of people on the phone at the same time. To calculate the amount of additional bandwidth required for your Virtual Office enter the number of extensions and call volume in the calculator below.

Virtual Office Bandwidth Calculator
Ext # Usage Bandwidth Required
Kbps

This bandwidth number is only for the voice requirements above what is needed for day to day networking such as web surfing, downloads, ASP applications, and streaming. Remember when calculating sufficient bandwidth for Virtual Office, the smaller of your broadband speeds ie: upload and download must be used as the available number. If insufficient bandwidth is provisioned for voice and data calls could be negatively impacted. Bandwidth requirements need to be calculated and accounted for each location deploying Virtual Office extensions.

Is My Internet Connection Ready For Virtual Office?

The quality of your internet connection for VoIP is equally as important as the availability of bandwidth. To test the quality of your Internet and network connection, please use following tool to determine your Internet connection score. Select San Jose for actual testing. For best results the test should be ran at peak Internet usage times and from each location an extension will be in service. VoIP Test >

Tool Explanations

Delay:

Delay is the measurement of time lag between the location of a virtual office phone (your test) and our 8x8 Virtual Office hosted PBX. Delay can be different from different locations inside a network because of the equipment installed, and different from physical sites because of broadband providers and the equipment installed between the virtual office phone and our 8x8 Virtual Office hosted PBX. Large amount of delay will affect Virtual Office voice quality resulting in people talking over each other, garbled audio and poor voice quality regardless of available bandwidth.

Packet Loss:

This is a number that is calculated by the number of voice or data packets lost or dropped between one location (your test) and another (our virtual office hosted PBX). Large packet loss can result in choppy communications, and in severe conditions, dropped calls. Packet loss can be caused by an ISP or outdated or inadequate LAN switches.

Packet Corruption:

This is another factor that is calculated into Packet loss and can be caused by routers not being able to handle VoIP traffic, ISP networks not being able to handle VoIP traffic and is not good for good voice quality. Packet corruption causes intermittent and difficult to diagnose voice quality problems.

Now that you have looked at some of the basics of your connections, you must ready your LAN to support Virtual Office voice traffic.  

Local Area Networks (LAN)

For Virtual Office to work at optimal levels, Quality of Service (QoS) routers and firewalls should be installed at each site that deploys a Virtual Office extension. Additionally, LAN switches are recommended instead of hubs at each location.

For organizations with two or more users, 8x8 recommends that you have a router that supports QoS/Priority Queuing. These QoS routers will ensure that enough bandwidth can be allocated and prioritized to handle 8x8 VoIP and Internet traffic combined on a network without degrading the voice quality. If your current switch/router supports QoS, make sure this feature is enabled. Without a QoS firewall and router on your network, phone calls may become choppy and garbled at times of high network traffic resulting in a voice experience that will be degraded.

Contact an 8x8 Solutions Agent for more information at 1-866-835-2979.