Softphone- Do's & Don't
Here we would discuss how softphone calling works and what the major problems are, along with their solutions.
A lot of distortions can happen over a live call. Echoing, popping, distortions, and call drops are common types of disturbances that callers face. To be able to understand the reasons as well as tackle them, it is essential to know how the whole thing works.
We would try to explain it in a less technical language so that it is understandable for all. So, when you speak into your microphone, the voice signals are recorded and converted into binary data. This binary data is then divided into small packets that are transmitted from one system to another.
These packets do not have to be in a specific order. They can be transferred in any order, and as soon as they reach the other computer, they are arranged in the correct order and connected back to voice signals. Now, this is a complex process with multiple intermediate steps, and the signal can break at multiple places.
The quality of a call over a softphone depends on a lot of factors. To ensure that the solution works as intended, switching to SoftPhone should come with appropriate technical support.
1) Choppy Audio If you are hearing someone else cut in and out, it's a problem with your download bandwidth, and if they hear you cut in and out, it's a problem with your upload bandwidth. This common VoIP problem is likely due to your bandwidth capacity. Bandwidth measures how much data can be sent over a connection in a given amount of time.
In order to accurately figure out how much bandwidth is needed for your business softphone, you need to have a basic idea of how many concurrent calls you and your employees will be making.
Keep in mind that the more browsing activity there is, the less bandwidth is available for VoIP or Internet calls.
Below is the bandwidth used by various applications:
This is why if you have a large number of employees working on the same network and they are using the internet for data entry and other browsing activities, maintaining the quality of calls would be difficult.
Solution: If this is a continuous problem, you may want to check your router settings and make sure the Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize softphone service.
Usually, this problem is reported on outbound calls on high-volume networks. The issue might be a UDP timeout, which is the amount of time a UDP route stays open on a firewall or router.
UDP network traffic is faster because it lacks the error-checking capabilities TCP offers. As a result, it's susceptible to firewalls closing the connection and terminating the call unexpectedly.
How to fix this problem: To fix this common softphone issue, you should adjust router settings to allow for longer UDP timeouts or switch devices to use TCP.
By default, the UDP connection timeout is 30 seconds, and the TCP connection timeout is usually 15 minutes. To increase the connection timeout, you can modify the firewall access rules. You will want to first try increasing the UDP timeout to 60 seconds. If you’re not already using TCP, you can try switching your devices to use TCP, which is a connection-oriented protocol that specifies the format of data and acknowledgments used in data transfer.
If you’re experiencing echoes on your softphone calls, there are three potential problems: the system, headset lag, or network latency. To solve this common issue, you should test each one, starting with the computer itself. Does it have the latest updates? Is everything plugged in properly? Is anything damaged?
Depending on the kind of headset you have, you could just have an issue with it. Bluetooth is good, but not perfect. If you can isolate the delays to your headset and not the corded handset, you can fix the issue quickly. If you’re still experiencing echoes, you may need to improve your network stability.
Hello, can you hear me? If your calls start like this and you can’t seem to hear callers, then it’s a firewall problem.
This usually occurs because a firewall is blocking the RTP packets from flowing. The SIP protocol often requires adjustments in routers that rewrite packets using RTP. To solve this, check your firewalls. You may need to open ports, as it might not be allowing flowing traffic to pass.
Best Practices To Avoid Softphone Problems Following are the best practises by which you can avoid facing problems in your day-to-day softphone calling.
- Segment softphone (VoIP) phones on your network into their own VLAN for higher performance.
- Prioritise SIP traffic with QoS. Confirm that your router and switches prioritise VoIP traffic and devices.
- Use CAT5e or CAT6 cabling with the same media type (10BASE-T vs. 1000BASE-T). Poor wiring causes excess latency.
- Your ping should be less than 80 milliseconds, and your jitter should be less than 30 milliseconds.
- Limit phone calls over Wi-Fi whenever possible. Use a dedicated Ethernet line instead.