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Author Topic: Quality of Connection Between GV and Paid VoIP Service  (Read 4971 times)
LTN1
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« on: March 18, 2015, 09:17:09 pm »

I use my OBi202 only for Google Voice. For those who have paid VoIP services (like CallCentric, PhonePower, VoIP.ms, etc.) with their OBi, is the quality of the connection better or does that only depend on the quality of your ISP?

I'm asking because on shorter calls of 5 to 10 minutes, GV is clear with the OBi. However, with conversations spanning 30 minutes or more, I can sometimes hear minor breakage and jitter for a brief moment. I'm just wondering if the paid VoIP services are susceptible to that also?
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 05:30:26 pm »

Both Google Voice and most of the SIP-based, pure-play VoIP providers are using various combinations of IP-based carriers to pass audio during calls.  There are many points of failure or degradation along the path from one end to the other, over the public internet.  It's difficult to try to generalize that one end-to-end call via one ITSP will always be better than another ITSP's calls.  Each ITSP can choose to route each call via one or more carriers, and those carriers can subsequently route their calls out via other carriers, in series.  On top of that, you have the (often more significant) variations in your home network connection to your ISP.  Regardless of the length of the call, all ITSPs are susceptible to sound quality issues at some point.

Some ITSPs advertise that they only use "premium" routes, for a "premium" rate.  Certain carriers that provide higher-cost service actually do control more of the call path, and can indeed offer higher-quality connections.  For example, Comcast is one of the largest owners and operators of IP networks in the country.  They can use their own, dedicated private network for most of the call path, using traffic routing and QoS to prevent disruption from other network traffic.  This is one example of "you get what you pay for".

You can take the ITSPs out of the picture, and simulate end-to-end SIP VoIP connections, to objectively measure your own home network and ISP's reliability for VoIP calls, by using the VoIP simulation test provided by Visualware:  http://myspeed.visualware.com/index.php

Click on your country on the map to get started, and select the G.711 CODEC test to several different endpoints.   Repeat the tests, at several times during the day and during the week, to get a broader set of measurements.  Any test result below a MOS of 4.0 suggests that you have a problem with your broadband service.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
LTN1
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 08:27:22 pm »

Thanks Steve. Your example of Comcast with you get what you pay for rings about right. Comcast does charge almost as much as a landline. Customers paying premium pricing should expect to have a higher quality connection with less voice breakage and jitter than say a free service like GV going over a less controlled personal network.

If I never want to experience any voice breakage or jitters in using GV, I just use my landline to call my GV number then dial out from there. When doing that, the call is pretty much perfect. Why is that the case Steve?
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 09:05:38 pm »

Quote
If I never want to experience any voice breakage or jitters in using GV, I just use my landline to call my GV number then dial out from there. When doing that, the call is pretty much perfect. Why is that the case Steve?

I guess it depends on what sort of land line service you're using -- copper wireline POTS, or FiOS fiber optic POTS, or SIP VoIP.  If that leg of the connection is high-quality, then it may be more reliable than your OBi <--> Google Chat leg, for the network quality reasons mentioned earlier. 

If you eliminate or ignore any contribution to poor connection quality by your own ISP, and only look at the path from GV outward to the called party, it can be going over very fat pipes between Google's backbone and a large-scale carrier via a direct peering relationship, or it could be hopping through GV to a carrier, to that carrier's transit carrier, to the final carrier, before it hits the called party.  It all depends on which other carriers are involved "from here to there".

An interesting side note, is that, if you eliminate the PSTN carriers, or at least eliminate their low-bandwidth POTS-era design, and instead make calls directly between two VoIP endpoints, it opens up near-future dramatic improvements in call audio quality through the use of adaptive multi-rate wideband audio CODECs, such as G722.2 AMR-WB.  The good news is that the mobile phone carriers are rapidly deploying this ("HD-Voice" over LTE), a few VoIP carriers are supporting, or will support it, and Google Hangouts supports it already.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
LTN1
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 10:38:01 pm »

The landline that I have--I believe is copper wire POTS. I don't think it is fiber optics but I'm not sure as I never inquired. I have never thought of SIP VoIP as a landline--though some seem to use that term for their VoIP service.

In the end, with the current home-based technology, I should be happy that my home VoIP service with GV and the OBi is providing as good of a service as it is--given the low cost of a $74 device.
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