Blog

How to Calculate VoIP Bandwidth

Posted by Team NetFortris

When considering a hosted VoIP phone system, bandwidth is the key to cloud success.

If your company is planning the move to a cloud-based business phone system, answering the question, “Do I have the bandwidth I need for VoIP?” is critical. You can find out fast and free with the NetFortris VoIP Bandwidth Formula.

Think of your office's bandwidth as a two-way street, taking in and spitting out data. This means you need to think about both the upload and the download speed of your Internet access. Using the number of phones you gathered above, let's run the numbers:

# of Business Phones 

X .09 megabits per second (Mbps) 

2

——————————————————————————————————

= Recommended minimum bandwidth

Our VoIP Bandwidth formula helps you compare your current Internet service plan to the speeds necessary for a cloud-based business phone system.

Multiplying by two approximates the regular Internet traffic from a similar number of computers. This calculation provides a minimum download and upload speed to make sure the voice calls and data your cloud phone system with VoIP phones will play well with your other Internet use.

Upload speeds are often lower than download, so for most people that's the one to watch when comparing the results of this little equation with your current bandwidth.

A good rule of thumb

If you don’t want to do the math or aren’t sure how much to add for the added data needs in the sidebar, here's a good rule of thumb. With bandwidth prices dropping and the savings you’re likely to experience versus keeping traditional business phone lines, go with the old adage “the more the merrier.”

We find a typical office works best with download speeds from 10 and 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 to 10 Mbps. 

Taking the next steps

If you’re checking bandwidth, you’re probably already considering make a move from traditional phone lines like a PBX system or just regular landlines to VoIP – or from one business VoIP provider to another. Here are three steps we suggest to make a sound decision:

  1. Compare apples to apples. What do you have now, and what does it cost? How do those benefits and costs compare to what your new potential business VoIP providers offer? We think you can get more features and potentially save your business a bundle. We recently heard from a restaurant chain that one of its franchisees is saving $300 per month yet getting way more than just a dial tone!
  2. Take a test drive. Look for a free, no-commitment live demo where you can ask questions.
  3. Seek expert help. We offer a free Buyers Guide to help you make a good decision for your business. 

Taking the Next Step

Bandwidth is just one of the requirements for a successful cloud-based business phone system so don’t give up if your speeds score low or your Internet service doesn’t pass muster. NetFortris experts provide custom assessments of network quality and equipment requirements, and welcome the opportunity to demo our company’s award-winning Heads Up Display (HUD) software.

If your business is ready to move beyond the basics, NetFortris is a full-service communications technology provider. We offer several options for upgrading your business communications including Cloud PBX. A hybrid PBX solution combines existing landlines with new onsite hardware and cloud-hosted unified communications software.

Additional Notes about the Formula

This quick calculation covers the minimum bandwidth we recommend. Your business should consider boosting your speeds above this if you do a lot of data-dependent tasks such as: 

Streaming and sharing screens. Folks who do a lot of training via video conferencing or screen sharing to help customers will want more than the bare minimum. High-quality, multi-location video conferences can require up to 1.5 Mbps each. Don't get us started on YouTube and Pandora.

Contact center call volumes. Ask about more bandwidth to handle increased concurrent calls when your office acts like a call center taking a lot of sales inquiries, customer service or technical support.

Other Internet-based services. If you have cloud-enabled security cameras, backup service, or business software (i.e. accounting packages, document storage, design suites), make sure you've got extra wiggle room.

Beyond bandwidth, there's some more technical stuff you may also want to consier. For example, packet loss and latency can affect call quality. Check your connection at PingTest.net. We also suggest working with your prospective VoIP business phone system provider to ensure your router will have Quality of Service(QoS) to protect call quality. 

 

It’s easy to assess your bandwidth today. Let NetFortris help you get started.