Posted by Daniel Noworatzky on Mar 29, 2017 3:40:00 PM The most recent FCC Voice Telephone Services report, published in November 2016, states that two thirds of businesses in the United States are still using switched access telephone lines (PSTN or POTS). The reasons they haven’t yet migrated to VoIP (voice over internet protocol) are varied. One of the most prevalent myths about VoIP is that the quality is not as good or reliable as that of traditional telephone lines. The truth, however, is that VoIP technology has evolved to a point where the audio quality is generally as good if not better than analog lines. Here we list some of the technological developments that have allowed VoIP to surpass even PSTN voice quality, some of which may surprise you! One of the most enduring features of telephony worldwide is the standardization of its quality. We often use the term “telephone-grade” or “toll-grade” to refer to the quality of audio being heard over traditional telephone lines. This has been standardized for almost three quarters of a century starting with analog telephony, and has been inherited by digital telephony technologies such as SS7, ISDN, T1 and E1 circuits. Over the years, telephony professionals have come to admire the engineering that has provided for the steadfastness and consistency of this voice quality over the PSTN. It doesn’t waver; it’s always there. However, during the early stages of the adoption of Voice over IP (VoIP), this quality began to drop. As is often the case, a certain period of time is necessary for new technologies to mature and reach the quality of those they are replacing. VoIP has reached and even surpassed traditional PSTN technologies in many regards. Admittedly, it is difficult to transition from a tried and tested technology, especially if you’re under the impression that the new technology is inferior. VoIP did go through some growing pains as it placed voice onto a medium for which it wasn’t originally designed. However, this has quickly changed. Today’s IP networks – Today’s IP networks employ mechanisms to cope with the time-sensitive nature of voice packets and also provide advantages that are not possible with the traditional PSTN:
- Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) algorithms are employed to conform to the needs of time-sensitive voice packets.
- Ever-increasing bandwidths available on networks have alleviated many of the bottlenecks that can be problematic to voice.
- High-quality voice codecs are used to digitize and compress voice with little or no loss of quality.
- Latency and jitter are reduced to negligible levels, providing an excellent voice quality experience.
- IP networks provide resiliency due to their ability to route and reroute traffic dynamically based on network traffic and state.