nexVortex BLOG

Delivering Voice Quality
What it REALLY Takes

Chuck Harris

Delivering voice quality isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

What does it mean when your voice provider refers to delivering “Quality of Service,” or QoS?

The formal answer can get into quite a bit of technical explanation because the fact is; there are a lot of moving parts, some heavy lifting, and a significant investment if it is going to be done right.

When nexVortex announced our award winning mSIP Trunking Service with its ability to deliver QoS and definitive troubleshooting, we began from the premise that if you don’t measure voice quality, how can you say and prove that you deliver it?  Furthermore, if you don’t measure it at various points along the call path, how can you definitively troubleshoot it?

Let’s consider how many parties might be involved in moving voice packets from a business premise (AKA the “calling party”) to the ultimate destination – (AKA the “called party”).

First there is the business itself and its Local Area Network (LAN) upon which sits the PBX. There might be quality issues there.

The voice packets get handed off from the Local Area Network and exit the  building and travel over an access network across facilities (like Ethernet) owned by a local carrier (i.e. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T).  There might be quality issues there.

The packets then have to travel over an IP network (like the Internet – there might be quality issues there) to be delivered to a Gateway which takes packets off the IP network and translates them into the circuit switched technology used by the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) so that those calls can be delivered to their ultimate destination (AKA the “called party”).

That is a lot of hand-offs and a lot of parties involved, and since voice traffic is “real-time” there isn’t much room for error.

So how is it done, when it’s done right?

In order to deliver voice quality and to prove it, we took an end-to-end view of the issue.

Customer’s Premise

As part of our mSIP offering, we provide a customer premise device from ADTRAN which provides the quality of service markers and queuing required for real-time voice traffic. It provides a demarcation point for troubleshooting and comes with a robust set of monitoring and measurement tools for determining voice quality and providing visibility.

Through the use of ADTRAN customer premise equipment, we are able to measure and benchmark voice quality leaving the premise and compare it to other quality measurements we take as the traffic transits our network on the way to the PSTN.

Our highly skilled sales engineers help customers choose the right device to meet their voice application needs.

The Access

We support multiple methods of access between the customer premise and the core network. Choices include: a nexVortex provided direct connect circuit, a nexVortex provided internet connection, or customers can use their existing internet connection.

If customers choose to use an existing internet connection, we like to determine its performance capability with our measurement tools so that adjustments can be made for the best voice quality experience.

We also have executed peering relationship agreements with most major carriers which provide access into business premises throughout the country (think AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others).  This means that when traffic is carried over one of the carriers with which we peer, the traffic goes directly from them to us.  This cuts down on multiple handoffs which can negatively impact quality.

The Network

Once the voice packets exit the access network, we put them directly onto our engineered and geographically redundant nationwide MPLS network and carry them to PSTN Gateways using the real-time handling capability which MPLS offers. This reduces the variables in IP networking which adversely impact voice quality (like latency, jitter, and packet loss).

Not only do we have nationwide reach, but our equipment is housed in highly secure and redundant data centers in the Washington Metro area, as well as in Dallas, Denver, and Chicago.

Our significant investment in infrastructure provides companies with the confidence and trust they need in allowing us to handle their mission-critical voice applications.

The Tools – nexVortex Service Monitor (nVSM)

How can you can promise quality of service and definitively troubleshoot if you don’t measure it and report it?  The answer is you can’t.  So we also invested heavily in the development of tools and software to measure and report on voice quality.

We take voice quality measurements as the voice packets leave the premise, again after they cross the access network, and at multiple points as they transit our network on the way to the PSTN. We can then use these measurements to prove where voice quality is being delivered or where it is being compromised, and definitively troubleshoot and fix any issues found.

Remember earlier we discussed how many parties can be involved in moving voice packets from point A to point B?  With mSIP we can isolate, when, where, and what is impacting voice quality so that issues can be found and fixed.  There is no finger pointing – just definitive troubleshooting based on the data we collect, correlate, and report on for every call.

Channel partners love it and are using it to replace aging PRI interfaces as well as for large multisite PBX installations.

Talk to the Pros

nexVortex has been delivering cloud communication services for over 11 years.  This experience and the fact that we built, own, and run our service delivery platform has enabled us to innovate and to carve out a leadership position in delivering voice quality for cloud communications.

Please contact us today  and let’s discuss how we can help you improve the quality of your voice service with mSIP.


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