Quality of Service (QoS) is one of the most powerful ways to improve the quality of VoIP calls. Find out how this technology works and how it makes VoIP calls more reliable.

What is QoS VoIP?

The term QoS VoIP means “Quality of Service for Voice over IP.” Quality of Service technology was created to solve common problems with VoIP. Sometimes, you may have limited Internet bandwidth if other people in your business or home use the Internet. When your VoIP call competes with other users, your call might stall, suffer from a jitter effect, and overall degradation of voice quality. Using Quality of Service technology can reduce jitter and optimize your bandwidth.

Is QoS necessary for VoIP?

Strictly speaking, QoS is not required to make VoIP calls. QoS for VoIP is a way to enhance the voice quality to an acceptable level. Without this technology, your call might suffer problems due to packet loss, especially if other users are using video conferencing. As you speak on a VoIP call, your conversation is converted to digital information and rapidly transmitted as a series of “VoIP packets.” If some of those VoIP packets are lost during communication between devices, your call may suffer.

If you want to make a good impression on customers who call your branch offices and head office, VoIP QoS technology is a great choice.

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QoS requirement for VoIP calls

To make high-quality phone calls through a VoIP network, using QoS Policy is an intelligent choice. There are a few requirements to use QoS for VoIP effectively.

  • Service provider support. Ask your VoIP provider if they offer QoS for phone calls. If your service provider does not offer QoS, you may have to use a different service provider.
  • Bandwidth requirements. QoS optimizes VoIP traffic across your Internet connection. If your Internet connection has minimal bandwidth, QoS might not help much. As a guideline, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in the USA gives a minimum bandwidth recommendation: 25 megabits per second and an upload speed of 3 megabits per second. If there are multiple people in your household or business, it may be best to buy the maximum bandwidth you can afford.
  • Check your Internet router. Check the settings on your router to see if it is ready for QoS VoIP. For example, your router might have bandwidth management limits in place. These settings may need to be changed to support QoS.

Setting up VoIP quality of service

Once you’re done with using a VoIP test tool to test the service, use the following steps to start your QoS setup for your VoIP phone. Please keep in mind that solving problems like network jitter and poor voice quality can take some experimentation. If you need advanced help, consider contacting the network engineers at your VoIP service provider.

  • Check bandwidth limitations. Your router or Internet service provider might have bandwidth limitations or bandwidth limits in place. Network engineers use these limits to ensure that all users can use the Internet effectively, whether they are using mobile devices or computers.
  • Discuss bandwidth-saving techniques. Ask other users in your business or home to moderate their use of streaming services and gaming during business hours. This change alone will boost the quality of your voice calls to an acceptable level in many cases.
  • Use a priority queue. To achieve or exceed an acceptable level of quality for voice calls, check and turn on the “priority queue” setting. This capability means that voice calls will get priority so that you can make the most of your bandwidth limitations.

Does QoS slow down the Internet?

Some people are concerned about using quality-of-service technology because of its effect on other people. To understand this concern, let’s consider an example.

The FCC defines the effective minimum bandwidth standard as 25 megabits for download and 3 megabits for upload as the adequate minimum bandwidth.

Ookla internet speedtest

Your situation might be different. For example, take branch offices where you might have multiple mobile devices, video conferencing, and voice calls all happening simultaneously. In this case, bandwidth limitations are more likely to happen. However, in a business setting, poor voice quality on calls with customers is unacceptable. Therefore, it is worth using quality of service (QoS) settings, so that voice traffic has dedicated bandwidth.

Before turning on QoS, announce the change. Informing in advance helps avoid complaints when other network devices suffer. Most business users understand that voice traffic needs to be prioritized over other types of traffic. For instance watching videos on YouTube may need to be slowed down to maintain VoIP call quality.

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What is traffic class in QoS?

Since Quality of Service technology requires direction, you have to decide which services get priority treatment. Traffic classes organize your Internet usage into similar groups. For example, you might have one traffic class for voice calls and video conferencing. Email might have its traffic class, and web browsing may have its traffic class.

  • Set your traffic priorities. Take some time to discuss your traffic priorities with other people in your home or business. For example, make a list of all of your network devices: laptops, mobile devices, and a list of every VoIP phone. In a larger company, ask for insight from your network engineers. Once you have compiled the list you can prioritize it.
  • How to approach voice traffic priority. To minimize the impact of network congestion on voice calls, your QoS profiles should include bandwidth guarantees for voice traffic. If bandwidth guarantees are not available, class VoIP traffic as your number one priority.

Tip: Keep in mind that there are periods of congestion during the day. American wireless network operator, Verizon, has found that weeknights 7-11 pm are typical “Internet peak hours.” During this time, VoIP traffic and video conferencing may not work so well. Without VoIP QoS in place, problems like network jitter may slow down your VoIP packets and disrupt your voice calls.

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Frequently asked questions

What is QoS VoIP?

QoS VoIP is a technology to ensure your VoIP calls run smoothly. QoS for VoIP calls means that your voice calls have effectively dedicated bandwidth.

Is QoS necessary for VoIP?

It depends on your particular bandwidth situation. If your company uses video conferencing and other bandwidth-intensive activities, your VoIP calls might not have the minimum bandwidth to operate correctly. If VoIP calls are essential to you, use a QoS policy. Without a QoS policy to control traffic, voice quality may suffer.

What is a QoS requirement for VoIP calls?

Network engineers created QoS for VoIP to minimize poor voice quality. The requirements for QoS requirement include a VoIP service, a sophisticated Internet service provider, and a desire to maximize voice quality. In a larger organization, establishing a service level agreement may be needed to set traffic priorities formally.

How to set up VoIP quality of service?

The exact steps to set up a VoIP policy depend on your VoIP provider and network situation (e.g., wide area network, whether you use an Ethernet interface or Wi-Fi). In a small company, you could use traffic shaping rules to ensure VoIP call quality. In a more complex setting, you might need to set up several bandwidth classes so that each type of service has appropriate bandwidth guarantees. Once you have the settings in place, make a few test voice calls to verify that calls get the priority treatment they need. Talk to your application vendor for tips on how to make the most of their technology.

Does QoS slow down the Internet?

In some situations, Quality of Service can slow down Internet access. Specifically, users may notice problems during periods of congestion. It can take some testing to determine the acceptable level to maintain VoIP quality. Don’t assume that the standard QoS profiles and bandwidth classes are automatically valid for your situation. Over time, you will find the right VoIP for voice traffic settings for your needs.

What is traffic class in QoS?

Traffic classes, also known as bandwidth classes, are a way to set priorities for your network. For example, your policy map may assign the number one “class of service” to voice calls. In contrast, mobile devices might be assigned a lower class of service. During periods of network congestion, mobile devices may have less dedicated bandwidth because you have decided to prioritize voice calls.

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