You may not know exactly what jitter is, but there’s little doubt you’ve experienced it. While on a call, the other person’s sentences seem to be coming over in a jumble, sometimes with full words or parts of a sentence missing. Jitter is a common problem with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), but it can be a relatively easy problem to diagnose and resolve.
What’s jitter? Compared to traditional phone communication delivered over a static copper wire, your VoIP communication is delivered over the internet. Instead of transmitting a steady stream of sound, VoIP divides the sound into small data transmissions, called packets. The packets are then sent over the internet and put in order for the recipient.
Jitter occurs when those data packets are delivered out of order or dropped altogether, referred to as packet loss.
Diagnosing the root of jitter: Once you’ve determined that your call quality is suffering from packet loss, finding out what’s causing it is usually relatively simple. Most jitter occurs from one of three basic problems:
Congestion: If your network is overloaded with devices, users or a simple increase in traffic (a common occurrence with so many enterprises receiving much more data with cloud solutions), you may need to check your bandwidth and determine whether it’s time to change your network configuration.
Wireless network: While a wireless network makes it possible to work without cables snaking around the building, it also creates a connection that may be too weak for VoIP.
Hardware issues: If you’re using an outdated modem, an Ethernet cable that’s damaged or a misconfigured router, these are issues that could be causing jitter.
Resolving the problem: The good news about jitter is that it doesn’t hide and grow without your knowing about it; the bad news is that you’ll need to resolve it quickly. Once you’ve checked over each of the above areas, address the issues with the following solutions:
Upgrade your connection: This is often a simple solution to your jitter problems, and an inadequate internet upload and download speed that can’t handle VoIP requires a better connection.
Install a jitter buffer: A jitter buffer simply collects the packets and delivers them in order to prevent any of them arriving out of sync. These are generally installed in desk phones and end points to prevent jitter.
Invest in better hardware: To decrease jitter over VoIP lines, you may need to purchase a router with service settings specifically for handling VoIP at the quality you need.
When you access communications solutions from AMD Communications, you’ll be equipped to experience crystal clear voice communications every time. Contact us to learn more about our implementation process for preventing jitter.