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Solve VoIP choppy voice

Article ID: 000101
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Choppy voice on a VoIP connection is usually an issue with insufficient or unavailable bandwidth.  A typical two-way conversation takes about 90kbps on both the upload and download on a G711 codec.  (There are other, more compressed codecs that can reduce the required bandwidth, G729 being a popular one.)  In some cases you could have enough bandwidth from your ISP but a computer application is grabbing the available bandwidth, essentially taking it away from the VoIP transmission.  Usually bandwidth issues result in brief dead spots in the conversation, sometimes described as a stutter or a staccato sound.

  • Try turning off all your computers to see if the issue still occurs.
  • Test your bandwidth, both upload and download.
  • Check for file sharing software, these programs usually run in the background and use your bandwidth to upload files.
  • Check your computer for malware and Spyware.
  • If your router has QoS, then enable it for your VoIP connection.

Your bandwidth should not be continually less than 80% of your ISP's subscribed level of service.  If it is, then you should have your ISP's technical support look at your connection. 

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Typical bandwidth* usage for different codecs.

  • G711 -    87.2kbps -This is the best quality codec.
  • G729 -    31.2kbps -A compressed good quality codec.
  • G723.1 - 21.9kbps -The codec best for satellite, (more compressed).
  • G726 -    55.2kbps
  • G728 -    31.5kbps

*These figures are the nominal Ethernet bandwidth one-way and are only for the voice traffic on a single call.  To calculate how much bandwidth would be required you will also want to consider internet use by computers and other devices.  (Also, remember a three way call (two parties called), will take twice the nominal bandwidth.)


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