How Do My Phones Work?

What are IP Phones?

IP (Internet Protocol) phones are computing devices that look like phones. Instead of relying on a circuit-switched wired network from a provider, IP phones use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to send data wirelessly across the Internet. 

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP allows phone calls to be made over the internet without the use of analog lines. Instead of sending the data through copper telephone wires, VoIP services convert the sound from the phone into packets of data that are sent to another destination over the Internet.

As long as the local internet connection is stable and robust, the packets will be sent and received to allow users to have a live conversation over their desk phone.

What Factors Affect My Phone’s Calls?

Since IP devices (e.g., CoPilot VoIP desk phones, cordless handsets, and softphone apps using Wi-Fi) rely on an internet connection, any outages and issues present in the location’s network will be experienced through the phones as well. These network issues include latencypacket loss, and jitter

What is Latency?

Latency is the measurement of the time it takes for data packets to reach a destination. For VoIP, if latencyis too high (usually above 150ms) then calls will experience audio issues due to the high delay in voice packets reaching their destination.

What is Packet Loss?

Packet Loss occurs when packets of information do not reach their end destination and get “lost”. In a VoIP call, this can be heard as choppy audio that makes the call appear “staticky”, “jumbled”, or “stuttery”. 

If there is a large, noticeable amount of packet loss, phone calls made through a VoIP system may experience more difficult symptoms, like one-way audio and connection issues. 

Warning: Even a 1% packet loss can significantly degrade phone call quality. 

What is Jitter?

The variation in the delay of received packets is called jitter. 

On the sending side, packets are sent in a continuous stream with the packets spaced evenly apart. Due to internet network congestion, improper priority queuing, or other configuration errors in network equipment, this steady stream can become inconsistent with delays between each packet.

How Can I Check My Network’s Health?

One of the simplest ways to check the general quality of your internet is to run a ping test. Using a computer’s Command Prompt or Terminal, a user can send a basic data packet to another device, website, or server in the form of a “ping”. The recipient device then sends a “ping” back. To show if there is any latency, the time it takes for the sending device to receive a response is measured in milliseconds (ms) and recorded.

Another way to check a network’s speed and health is to run a speed test. Speed tests can check for the download and upload speeds of a network and other conditions that may affect the network, like latency, packet loss, and jitter. 

✔ You can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), Managed Service Provider (MSP), or IT team and request that network diagnostics be performed to verify that the phones will be able to receive a healthy, consistent connection. 

It is also recommended to review our Network Setup Recommendations with your IT Team, Managed Service Provider, or Internet Service Provider to ensure that your network equipment has been configured to allow the phones’ traffic.