By David Scott, Managing Member at Avid Communications
Forgive us if we’re a little sensitive on this point. But when someone misleads customers about the true nature of voice Quality of Service–it just makes us mad! Grrrrr!! And it seems to be happening more and more.
In the world of phone service, Quality of Service (or QoS) means giving voice traffic priority over data traffic on the network they share. Why? Because if a packet of data arrives half a second late, nobody cares. But if the same thing happens to a voice packet, the sound becomes completely garbled.
In the world of VoIP, lack of QoS is a problem because providers often send voice over Internet connections they don’t control. At best, they can deploy a small device that gives outbound voice packets priority over the initial leg of the connection only. But that’s a bit like an airline advertising a first-class, round-trip flight to Paris, but only letting you sit in first class on the leg from Kansas City to Chicago.
Providing full QoS is a lot harder for the provider.
It involves actually becoming, as has Avid, a state-certified telecommunications provider. That allows us to establish physical network connections between Avid and other carriers. We also gain access to our own blocks of phone numbers and other industry resources that allow us to operate as a full peer with the “big dogs” like AT&T.
But we find the extra effort well worth it. It gives us much more control over how voice packets are handled on their entire journey. And critically, it gives us the ability to solve QoS issues if they arise.
Follow, if you will, the route of an Avid voice packet versus a competitor who does not provide true QoS.
Avid Voice Packet: Where is true QoS provided?
Competitor’s Voice Packet: Where is true QoS provided?
So if a provider tells you they provide QoS, how do you know for sure? It’s not enough to know that they provide equipment at your office, even if they call it a QoS router. If they’re not a certified carrier but a reseller, if they don’t provide the direct network connections from your location to theirs… at best they can deliver some form of QoS over a small portion of the route.
Want to learn more? Give us a call!