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Quality of Service (QoS) Guidelines for Seven Gems GemVoice

Cloud Voice Services

GemVoice services operate in the cloud at best-in-class data centers. Our data centers provide high bandwidth, high availability, and low latency communications. They are designed with fail-over capabilities and redundancy. Degradations to your voice communications are very likely to be a result of the considerations listed below.

Seven Gems can not and does not guarantee what happens to voice traffic once it leaves our network. Seven Gems is not responsible for client side (premise, remote or mobile) outages or problems arising from: client Internet provider issues, client network configuration, client network design, client network hardware, client QoS configurations, client infrastructure, or any necessary IT services, support, or consulting.

These guidelines are technical and may require coordination with your IT personnel.

For our customers to achieve a High Quality of Service (QoS) the following guidelines should be considered:

Guidelines below are recommendations only.

  1. Adequate Internet bandwidth at calling sites. Internet-based voice services requires 60-80 kilobits (kb) per second of bandwidth per simultaneous call. Your Internet connection must provide enough bandwidth to handle the maximum amount of anticipated simultaneous calls. If you’re sharing your voice connection with data connections, this must be factored in. If bandwidth becomes saturated, the call quality will be degraded, calls may speed up or slow down, calls will sound “tinny” or robotic, calls might have echo, and calls may drop. Please check with your Internet carrier and IT personnel to test bandwidth. There are some testing sites like http://speedtest.net that can be used as well.
  2. Low-latency Internet connection. Bandwidth isn’t everything, latency makes a big difference for real-time communications. Latency is defined as how much time it takes data to move from origination to destination. For internet based voice services, the lower the latency, and the less packet loss, the better. Voice communications sound best when latency is under 30ms and packet loss is nil. Moderate latency will cause “tinny” sounding phone calls or choppiness. Severe latency will cause dropped calls. Please check with your Internet carrier and IT personnel to test latency. Testing sites such as http://speedtest.net that can also help to test latency.
  3. Network Quality of Service. QoS is the overall performance of a voice or computer network, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network. To measure quality of service, several related aspects of the network service are often considered, such as error rates, bandwidth, throughput, transmission delay, availability, jitter, etc. QoS is particularly important for the transport of traffic with special requirements. In particular, much technology has been developed to allow computer networks to become as useful as voice networks for audio conversations, as well as supporting new applications with even stricter service demands. In simple terms of voice communications, QoS prioritizes voice traffic ahead of data traffic, in an attempt to optimize voice quality. QoS requires consideration to your network hardware, infrastructure, and software configuration. Please have your IT personnel configure and augment your QoS capabilities if needed.
  4. Internet routes. Because the Internet provides best-effort routing while switching packets across networks, having the best routes available can minimize latency and increase voice quality. Our data centers strive to provide best path routing out of the data center. After a certain point, the route becomes the responsibility of your provider. Please contact your Internet provider to discuss route analysis and options.
  5. Data traffic minimization on shared data/voice networks.  On shared networks, the less data traffic competing with the voice traffic, the better. To achieve this, you should keep the network free of spyware, minimize or eliminate the use of high-bandwidth services such as data streaming or downloading, and keep security measures in place.
  6. Dedicated voice connection recommended. QoS is most needed when data and voice traffic share the same circuit. To alleviate many of these concerns and costs, it is recommended to dedicate a high-quality Internet circuit to voice traffic.
  7. Dedicated voice network recommended. Running voice traffic over its own infrastructure, switches, network hardware, etc is also recommended. Please review your network design and options with your IT personnel.
  8. Internet high-availability. Because your voice communications rely on your Internet connection, it is recommended to choose a high-availability Internet connection.
  9. Internet monitoring. Monitoring systems should be considered, to notify you of any problems and outages on your Internet circuits.
  10. Network security. Your network should utilize best practice security measures. Please consult your IT personnel regarding voice communication, network, and general security.
  11. Ethernet Infrastructure. Voice communications conducted over Ethernet require solid and reliable infrastructure and cabling. Gigabit Ethernet and gigabit network hardware are recommended.
  12. High Definition phone systems. GemVoice offers both non-HD and HD phone equipment. HD phone equipment is more expensive, but provides superior voice quality.
  13. The other side. Any voice issues introduced by the other side of the call can not be controlled or alleviated by your systems, network, or QoS.