VoIPmageddon White Paper Available
Earlier in the year I wrote about the potential (probability) that VoIP would cause significant and perceived degradation in overall voice telephony quality. The concept is based on the issues that can cause quality issues in VoIP, including latency, transcoding, echo, and other factors and how often they occur in VoIP endpoint-to-VoIP endpoint communications. The reality is that the way VoIP has been implemented as an adjunct to the PSTN (becoming the Public Packet Telephony Network – PPTN) causes the potential of 10% or more of VoIP endpoint-toVoIP endpoint calls that are connected through the PSTN to have perceived quality issues. While peer-to-peer solutions like Skype and WebRTC generally move all packets through the IP domain directly, most of our “phone calls” today are, increasingly, between VoIP endpoints that have TDM and SIP trunking between them. The very structure of how this works can cause the voice quality issues. The trigger is that the increase in VoIP endpoint adoption is accelerating these issues. Statistically, the percentage of VoIP endpoints is making it much more likely that a large percentage of your (and your users) calls and conferences will have quality issues. I did a talk on this at Enterprise Connect 2015 that had about 100 attendees; what was surprising was that about 20 of the attendees stayed over to talk about what they are seeing as an issue.
I realized in preparing for the EC15 presentation that the level of detail that is required to really understand this topic was beyond the scope of a regular article here on UCStrategies, so I wrote the entire concept up in a detailed white paper that is available on the PKE Consulting web site in the white papers section. Simply download the first white paper on VoIPmageddon. Based on the large number of consultants, end users, and vendors who have said they are seeing issues that are explained by this analysis, I really believe that it is a topic we need to discuss as an industry. If you operate a VoIP-based enterprise solution, read to understand the steps you can take to minimize this and to understand when there are issues that may be systemic. For vendors and service providers, there are specifics that can be undertaken to minimize the impact. Finally as an industry, we need to define standards such as common codecs to eliminate transcoding, standards for endpoint echo control, as well as standards and measurements for the impact of looping in peering in both the IP domain as well as the SIP arena. Understanding this topic will prepare you to deal with the coming challenges if the analysis turns out to be true.
I look forward to discussing this issue with the community. Delivering voice quality is not an option, it is seen as critical. Unless we change our direction, we run the risk of not achieving acceptable quality.