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    Clear and reliable: Quality of service

    Have you ever been on a call where it sounds like the person on the other end is speaking Morse code? You hear every other word they say and have to work to decipher their message like a very bad rendition of Chinese whispers. This can be not only frustrating, but also very costly to your customer relationships and possibly to the bottom line for your business.

    You may have this experience if one of the callers is on a VoIP network that's not optimised to prioritise for voice traffic. VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, enables voice traffic and data to be shared over one network. While this technology has helped to bring the costs down for business phone systems, it has also created a need for providers to ensure the two can play nicely together in the sandbox through what's known as Quality of Service (QoS).

    QoS is a cost-effective network management traffic system through your router that ascertains the type of information travelling over a network, and based upon preset parameters, determines how to handle it. This process helps to deliver predictable performance, so you have confidence in the quality of your voice communications.

    QoS provides the bandwidth voice traffic needs to be clear and reliable, while still allowing access to the network for other data such as streaming content and downloads. During periods of high activity, it prevents your business calls from experiencing latency, as well as protects your calls from delays and jitter, which are especially disruptive during a conference call. Having a system with QoS ensures that your voice communication is rock solid.

    There are a number of demands that could be put on your network to cause a drop in call quality. Popular events such as big AFL and NRL games can be costly for companies due to employees streaming the games over their employers' networks. A QoS configuration ensures that although you may have to have a locker room chat with a few employees about how streaming video can affect your network, your customers will still experience crystal clear quality in your calls with them.

    Fortunately, Fonality's business phone systems have QoS built into their solution. In the process of ensuring that your system is set up properly, your router – ours or third party – will be set up to prioritise voice traffic for clear and reliable service.

    If you are experiencing any issues with call quality through your VoIP system, make sure you've ruled out other possible causes first. For example, hearing an echo may be resolved by either using a headset, or turning down your handset or softphone volume. It may also help to make sure you're not using multiple speakerphones, computer speakers and/or headsets in close proximity to one another. If you feel your network is lagging, run Ookla's SpeedTest to check the speed of your connection. If your rate is low, the issue is with your ISP and not your router.

    With more activity and accessibility to content and multimedia online, there will continue to be increased competition for priority on VoIP networks. QoS configuration will help keep your voice communications clear and reliable, and provide you peace of mind knowing that your business calls will not suffer.