In the old days, calls sounded great because they were circuit switched. Calls sounded even better when phone companies made the leap to TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing). This digitized the calls between the central offices at the near and far end.
In today’s world, there isn’t a big difference between digitizing calls with old fashioned TDM or VoIP packets. As long as there is enough bandwidth and the VoIP packets are routed correctly, a VoIP call will sound perfect.
However, there is always a delay because of the time difference in digitizing a call with VoIP and the quicker option of TDM. As long as the callers aren’t in the same workspace however, they won’t notice the delay.
The big issue with VoIP (and video conferencing) is when packets are routed improperly. The problem arises from congestion somewhere along the network. Typical causes of congestion are movies, YouTube, or anything that utilizes a lot of packets that aren’t time sensitive. Obviously VoIP packets are time sensitive. They can’t be buffered and any packets that don’t make it to the other end quick enough are essentially thrown out, making the conversation garbled and confused.
The solution is to separate VoIP voice packets from all the other Internet traffic, thus creating an entirely separate VoIP network. Find out how to accomplish this in our next installment.