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8 Most Common VoIP Problems and the Ways to Troubleshoot Them

Veronika Petrenko

May 26, 2020

VoIP systems have become an integral part of business communications due to the wide opportunities and cost-effectiveness they offer. However, the obstacles you sometimes encounter when dealing with them can eventually harm your business operations. 

NOTE

Before we start talking about VoIP issues, it’s crucial to understand that the cause of many problems lies in the quality of internet connection and network equipment. So, choosing a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) can help you avoid any future issues with VoIP. If you still don’t have a dedicated internet line for your business telephony, this may also impact the overall call quality. 

If the VoIP problem is not internet-related, we can help you out. In our article, we’ve selected the most common reasons why you may experience VoIP issues and described the ways to troubleshoot them with ease. 

The List of Possible Voice Over IP Issues & Ways to Resolve Them

  1. Choppy Voice
  2. Audio Delays & Echo
  3. High Voice Compression
  4. Inconsistent VoIP Call Quality
  5. VoIP Dropped Calls
  6. Caller ID Problems
  7. Low ASR Metric
  8. Jitter

1. Choppy Voice

This is probably the most common problem that everyone has experienced at least once. Remember those stuttering sounds created by brief silences in the middle of the phone conversation? The situation is commonly referred to as Choppy Voice. This problem is a real headache for many call centers and businesses that deal with calls daily. How can you cope with it? Start with identifying the origin of this problem. Does it happen on the caller or callee side? The right answer can tell you what to do next.

Reasons:

  • Caller Side

Slow internet connection: one of the main reasons for such a problem on the caller side is a poor internet connection or limited bandwidth.

Wireless/Bluetooth headset: sometimes, the reason for the choppy voice lies in the wireless headset that loses signal, runs out of battery, or has other problems.

  • Callee Side:

Location: when we speak of phone calls, the callee location matters. Some countries still don’t have enough mobile network coverage, or it’s low quality. It causes gaps or choppiness in the sound. 

2. Audio Delays & Echo

Sometimes you realize that the other party hears you much later than you speak, or you hear your own voice while talking. Audio Delays or Echo happen when your telecom provider’s servers are located too far from you, or you are making long-distance calls. 

Imagine that your business is located in Europe, so are your customers, but your calls are transmitted through the servers in the USA. What will happen? Your voice will digitally travel a very long distance, and it will take a while. So, you should make the path for voice transmission as short as possible. This can be done in several steps:

  • Transmit the voice through the nearest PoP: CommPeak has created its own telecom infrastructure — we have 10 PoPs across the whole globe, so your calls are transmitted through the PoP closest to you, ensuring reduced latency and no echo problems. 
  • Choose VoIP services with direct access to the local telecom providers: for the best audio quality, you should work with such telecom companies as CommPeak that have direct access to the local providers. This way, you get the local-call quality and can save on international calls. 

3. High Voice Compression

Another call quality issue is Voice Compression. VoIP systems work with different codecs that compress the audio for its traveling through the internet. These codecs are different, and each of them has its own peculiarities. There are two main codecs for voice compression — G.729 and G.711. As for the G.729 codec, here the audio compression is higher, thus its quality is worse. On the contrary, the G.711 one has lower compression, meaning better voice quality. 

Reasons:

Type of codecs: the right codec can make a difference for your business. To get a premium call quality, select VoIP providers like CommPeak, having direct access to the telecom suppliers that deal with the G.711 codec. 

Bandwidth limitations: to transfer the codecs successfully, your VoIP provider must have enterprise-grade bandwidth. Otherwise, again — stay ready for bad voice quality. 

4. Inconsistent VoIP Call Quality

When your office network is overloaded, and bandwidth is not unlimited, you can suffer from such a problem as Inconsistent Call Quality.

Reasons:

Insufficient bandwidth: if you experience inconsistent call quality during peak business hours, check your bandwidth, and monitor the internet speed. If it’s not unlimited, you should better upgrade your internet service.  

Poor equipment: poor quality headsets can result not only in choppy voice but also in inconsistent voice quality. 

Voice coverage: if your callees are in the location with bad telecom coverage due to the local mobile operator, this results in low voice quality, as well. 

5. VoIP Dropped Calls

When the number of Dropped Calls increases, you should first find out when the drops happen. This will help you identify why they are happening.

Reasons:

  • When Dialing a Number

Caller ID is banned: when you can’t reach out to your customer, this may mean that your Caller ID is banned. In this case, you need to check this out and buy a new virtual number. 

  • In the Middle of the Conversation

Lack of internet connection: if for some reason, the call is dropped in the middle of the conversation, the most obvious reason is that the internet on one of the sides is down. 

Poor telecom coverage from local mobile operators: another option — your callee is moving, and they are passing through the area with bad telecom coverage. So, you should try to reach out to them again in a couple of days. 

6. Caller ID Problems

Problems with Caller ID is yet another challenge for businesses that deal with calls, as reaching their customers is their primary aim.

Reasons:

Local Caller ID: domestic calling can cause difficulties for many telecom providers, as some countries do not allow the use of a local Caller ID if you are located outside the country. However, this problem is mostly associated with landline calls. Unlike other telecom providers, CommPeak has a pool of local virtual numbers, meaning you can buy and use a local DID number of 60+ countries worldwide. We have access to the countries that other providers don’t work with. 

Banned Caller ID: if you need assistance, CommPeak can help you — we can check your DID number and tell you whether it’s being banned or whitelist it if you bought it from us.

Hidden Caller ID: many businesses prefer anonymous calling and hide their Caller ID. This can have a negative impact on their activity, as in some countries, it’s forbidden at government level, and you simply won’t be able to place a call.

7. Low ASR Metric

Answer Success Rate or ASR is the percentage of successfully connected calls against the number of attempted ones. A Low ASR Rate can harm the operations of any call center. 

Reasons:

Incorrect phone number: to err is human, and if you dial a wrong phone number, you won’t get any result. To forget about this issue, you should get rid of manual dialing, and start using an auto dialing system which detects and fixes invalid caller IDs. Or you have to dial numbers more precisely.

Dead contact list: this is often a pain for call centers that deal with “cold calling”, as you don’t know whether your contact list contains potential leads and existing phone numbers.

Time zone: when you call people who live in a different time zone, this can drastically influence your ASR metric. So, it’s better to choose the VoIP system that can automatically select the correct time zone for calling. 

Irrelevant Caller ID: choosing a proper caller ID is crucial, especially if you want to expand to a particular local market. Otherwise, your efforts will be in vain.

Hidden Caller ID: most people don’t pick up calls from unknown phone numbers. And these numbers are most likely to get blocked. 

8. Jitter

Jitter is simply a period of time between data packets arrival caused by network congestion or changes in routes. It is measured in milliseconds, and more than 15-20ms of jitter can result in latency and packet loss. 

Reasons:

Issues with ISP: if you want to find out whether this is jitter that causes issues with your call quality, you can use speed test checkers like CommPeak Speed Test. If it’s more than 20ms, this means that you have issues with your Internet Service Provider, so you should think of finding a more reliable one.

SIP ALG (Application Layer Gateway): SIP ALG is a security setting on any commercial router. Ensuring that this setting is disabled is another way to troubleshoot such an audio quality problem as jitter.

Double NAT (Network Address Translation): NAT deals with providing a private IP address to all the devices of one network. But if there is more than one network equipment unit (primarily, a router or a gateway) providing NAT, this may affect the quality of audio. So, you shouldn’t use Double NAT for your VoIP service. 

Summing Up

Have you ever come across these Voice over IP problems? Then you probably know how frustrating they are and what impact they may have on your business. We hope that our piece of advice on VoIP problems and solutions will come in handy the next time you face any of the issues mentioned above. But don’t worry, as you can always rely on CommPeak in terms of the voice connection quality. Stay out of trouble, choose CommPeak!