If you’re wondering how you might use VoIP with your 56K modem, I suggest you visit another article – maybe even another site. As we all know, VoIP uses data packets to digitally transmit voice over the internet. That being said, having the proper internet speed is crucial to the viability of this technology, possibly making or breaking communication efforts. Fortunately, the efficient use of bandwidth is a large focus in the success of 3G, Wi-Fi, broadband, and other forms of spectral efficiency in telecommunication.

Spectral efficiency, spectrum efficiency or bandwidth efficiency refers to the information that can be transmitted over a given bandwidth in a specific communication system. However, these are simply nominal factors that serve to sustain and enhance speeds, much like QoS. Without the proper foundation though, using VoIP will be a broken effort. Here’s a list of the minimum internet connection speeds required for VoIP:

Generally speaking, the higher your upload speed (which is really what is meant by your Internet connection speed), the more reliably consistent the quality of your VoIP phone calls will be. Typically, only a broadband Internet connection can provide the minimum bandwidth for VoIP calls. For the best call clarity, the minimum speed for VoIP phone calls is between 90 kbps (kilobits per second) to 156 kbps at the other end of the VoIP speed spectrum.

As previously touched upon, speed alone does not guarantee optimal results for VoIP. Consistency of network, concurrent downloads, and other factors could affect the success of your ability to make calls over the web. Below are the results of a VoIP speed test (which are offered by most VoIP providers). These tests are a great way to get a measurement of your network in motion to see how it might handle a VoIP call. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the network speed in my neighborhood has been a little jumpy this morning. Note how the jitter and consistency readings in the report below might potentially cause interruption in my VoIP service.

VoIP Speed Test GraphVoIP Speed Test Results

Again, anyone who says your connection is perfect for VoIP based on speed alone is doing you a disservice. In the same way an individual might be cleared to run a marathon on BMI alone, there might be underlying factors that could inhibit them from finishing or even competing in the race.  By all means, make sure the capabilities for VoIP are there, and finally, put your network through a VoIP Test. Once all these steps have been satisfied, you can start making calls with confidence.

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