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Prepping for 'VoIPmageddon'

In last month's No Jitter post, "VoIPmageddon: Is Quality Leading to a Telephony Meltdown?", I took an in-depth look at the looming crisis in call quality brought on by rapid VoIP endpoint adoption. Amid increasing reports of unacceptable latency, line noise, garbled speech, and dropped calls, my post explored possible explanations.

The post generated a significant response on both No Jitter and social networks, as the VoIP quality issue clearly resonated with many readers. As No Jitter reader John Leonardelli wrote in agreement, for example, "It's a huge mess, and it's gotten worse." Many readers have told me they, too, find my assessment that we may be moving to a time when 10%, or even more, of all calls have significant quality issues both realistic and concerning.

Understanding that this issue demands a deeper examination and discussion, the Enterprise Connect 2015 team has added a session to its March 16-19 Orlando conference aimed at doing just that. The session, "VoIPmageddon: Are We Headed for a Telephony Meltdown?" will take place Wednesday, March 18, at 3:45 p.m.

During the session, I'll discuss how VoIP calls typically cross many network boundaries and frequently include TDM legs, necessitating the use of a large number of gateways. Unfortunately, this means call-handling delays at each network edge, multiple SIP hops, multiple transcoding, and random echo management. All of this unforeseen complexity is resulting in degraded performance on a percentage of calls, with the potential for exponentially worse performance as time goes on. I'll share my calculation showing how in 2 to 4 years up to 10% of all voice calls may be unusable unless we begin to change the basic way we engineer VoIP across the total network.

I'll also provide tips for mitigating the impact of the emerging VoIPmageddon and guidance on evaluating service providers and SIP trunking vendors, as well detail how service providers and SIP trunking vendors can better manage their networks. I'll discuss steps that the industry needs to consider to alleviate the degradation in quality, as well as air the additional challenges that Net neutrality and voice over LTE may pose.

For users, consultants, channels, and vendors, VoIP quality is increasingly becoming a critical issue and will introduce significant user dissatisfaction that is virtually impossible to trace or resolve. Clearly, we all need to understand the issue. This is a must-attend session for anybody involved with VoIP today!

Register now for Enterprise Connect 2015 using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the cost of an event pass.