As a matter of fact, users need a fast and reliable internet connection to enjoy the benefits of VoIP, as the service is provided through the internet. But contrary to other web tasks such as downloading, streaming or web browsing, which will still work with a weak internet connection, albeit just more slowly, the internet connection for VoIP cannot be subpar, as bad call quality will simply make communications impossible.
A broadband internet connection is therefore an absolute minimum requirement. But for professional users, bandwidth allocation and task prioritisation tools are necessary add-ons, so that VoIP always uses the maximum available share of this bandwidth. This is especially true when the internet connection for VoIP is shared with other users, at two levels: other users within the same office, and other users on the same pool of subscribers within the vicinity using the so-called “public” internet, with shared resources.
Each service provider can advise on the recommended minimum requirements for a fast internet connection for VoIP uses. However, several basic technical values can be considered:
- A non-compressed codec, that is, a digitalisation standard for voice signals, like the G711, needs a minimum of 100kbps to be downloaded and uploaded in its integrity;
- A compressed codec like the G728 only needs about 38kbps to be transmitted satisfactorily;
- Therefore, if G711 codecs are used to carry about 1,000 minutes of calls per month, users will need around 1.5 gigabytes of bandwidth per month.
This also means that another element to consider when choosing the best internet connection for VoIP is bandwidth capping, which may be enforced by some providers.
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