An Introduction to VoIP for Australia

What is VoIP?

    Voice over IP is an emerging technology allowing access to free or cheaper phone calls. Typically calls between two users using the same Voice Service Provider is free. Calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) come at heavily discounted prices.

    Timed STD calls are generally not heard of among VoIP providers. Most Voice Service Providers (VSPs) offer 10 cent untimed calls to any land line in Australia. Calling next door costs 10 cents, while calling across the nation or to remote country towns also costs just 10 cents untimed.

    International calls are normally on par with calling card services or cheaper. Unfortunately mobile phone calls still carry a premium, mostly due to the wholesale costs of terminating a call into the country’s Mobile phone networks. Ironically, it’s often cheaper to call a mobile phone somewhere in the world, than it is to call one in Australia or the person standing next to you in your living room.

Do I need to make a lot of calls to save using VoIP?

    While heavy phone users have more to gain from VoIP, even the lightest of users can gain some advantage if they already have a suitable broadband connection.

    Today, most landline users are on a Homeline Plus ($29.95) or Homeline Complete ($26.95) plans from Telstra or an equivalent plan from a third party Telco.

    Telstra offers a Home Line Budget plan for $19.95, immediately saving you $10.00 or $7.00 a month before you even start to consider cheaper calls.

    The HomeLine Budget plan provides cheaper line rental, but the cost of calls are dearer. This doesn't worry VoIP users, as they make no phone calls on the traditional PSTN servvice. One of the conditions of the service is you must pre-select Telstra for STD and International calls and agree not to access other carriers by dialing access override codes. When this plan was introduced, Telstra had no restrictions regarding ADSL services. They have since introduced a requirement that the subscriber "must not acquire a broadband service from another service provider which is provided using line sharing technology". This anti-competitive move means you must use a broadband service that uses Telstra DSLAM Infrastructure.

    The features of VoIP also makes it more appealing compared to traditional telephony. Services such as Caller Number Display (CND) is normally provided free of charge, unlike Telstra who charges $6 a month for the service. Likewise is voice mail services, with many providers even emailing you a .wav file of left messages. (Note however if you choose to use the PSTN for incoming calls, you will still need to purchase these services from your PSTN Telco, be that Telstra or a third party)

    VoIP services are also portable. Provided you have access to broadband and comply with your VSP’s term and conditions, you can take the service anywhere. This comes in handy when moving house or business Premises. You can retain your existing phone number and there are no disconnection or reconnection fees. Many VSPs can activate your new service and phone number within minutes of signing up.

    Some providers such as Engin will also offer concurrent multiple calls subject to your available bandwidth. If you have to wait in line to use the phone at home, just add another box. There is no need for the expense of that second line.

    VoIP is also finding itself popular in share accommodation or among teenagers wanting their own phone line.

What do I need to make a VoIP call?

    To use VoIP you need :

The Sipura SPA-2000 Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA)

Is my Broadband reliable enough?

    While you may have no trouble with a bit of light browsing on the weekends, your realtime VoIP connection can only be as reliable as your broadband connection.

    If you have ADSL, consider how long you can keep DSL sync for? If you are on a long copper line, and suffer from regular dropouts, anytime your ADSL drops so will your VoIP connection. Any drop outs may mean ringing the person back and this not only comes as an inconvenience but erodes any savings being made.

    Also consider congestion on your ISP. A budget, oversubscribed ISP with packet loss may be a good cheap option for web browsing, albeit a little slow. However with real time VoIP, it may lead to packets being dropped causing breaks in your conversation or at worst case terminated calls.

    Cable broadband services typically share a finite amount of bandwidth among users on your cable segment. If you have a lot of users downloading in your area, this can reduce your available bandwidth. Many cable users witnessed degraded services over the Christmas holidays when everyone was home and hammering their cable modems.

    Wireless Broadband services such as Unwired and iBurst are also another excellent way of ridding the so called ‘telstra tax’ by removing the need for a copper phone and associated sky rocking line rental. However signal strength can play a big part in the reliability of your connection. Many people have reported good success with VoIP on non-line of sight wireless services, others have not. It can depend on location and proximity to the nearest tower.

Choosing a VSP

    No one Voice Service Provider (VSP) fits all. Typically there are two types of service providers, full service providers and limited service providers.

    Full service providers will provide call termination for local, national, international and mobile calls as well as 13, 1800 service numbers and 000 emergency services. Full service providers can provide you a DID (Direct Inwards Dialing) number, i.e. a phone number on the PSTN that friends and family can use to ring you via VoIP.

    Limited service providers may provide call termination for local, national, international and mobile calls, but not offer 13, 1800 calls or emergency service calls. They may not be able to offer you a DID. These providers rely on hardware with dialplans and FXO (ports that connect back to your PSTN line) so unsupported calls can be routed via the PSTN. Alternately, gateways can be used route these calls via another VSP who does provide these services.

    Some providers charge a monthly fee, others have a prepaid service with no monthly fee. Some support BPAY, others only Credit Card.

    Some are geared towards users that make a lot of local calls, others towards users that make a lot of national calls, and even some towards user that make a lot of international calls. When determining a VSP, What you need to is get you last phone bill and find a plan that best suits your calling patterns. One VSP may save Joe Bloggs lots of money, but actually cost Mr brown more than his current Telstra line.

    When selecting a VSP you should also consider :

    • Technical support (If you think you may need it). Most if not all VSP will provide support for billing, or call routing issues. However many may not provide good assistance, if any at all, towards configuring router X with Analog Telephone Adaptor Y on ISP Z. Not only are there so many possible configurations, there is different firmware revisions and bugs to consider. It is unrealistic to expect good telephone support for so many different combinations of routers/ATAs. VoIP is a high volume, low margin business and sadly good technical support suffers. You may be better considering a cluey friend or family for configuration assistance. They can also visit your site/home to assist you with these issues.

    • Where the VSP's servers are located and how they peer/connect with your ISP. For the best quality you want to sign up with a VSP with servers in Australia. Overseas connections can cause latency or delay in your Voice Calls. You may also want to consider if they peer with the same transit providers than your ISP uses. It’s common to find voice quality issues attributable to the subscribers ISP and two customers of the same VSP having widely different call quality. Unfortunately most VSPs only have control of your VoIP data while it is on their network. They have no control over what Internet Service Provider you connect too, and the quality of backbone transit links can vary.

      For example say you live in Brisbane and you sign up with a VSP who has servers located in Brisbane. The VSP connects to Optus. It is possible your ISP doesn’t peer with Optus in Brisbane, but the transit network they use connects to Optus in Melbourne. What you may find, is your VoIP traffic being routed to Melbourne where it is routed onto the Optus network and then back to Brisbane. Yet, your next door neighbor may be signed up with the same VSP, but uses a different ISP who peers with Optus in Brisbane. In their case, their VoIP traffic stays within the state. Speak with other VoIP users on your ISP and gain their feedback on providers to use or providers to stay away from.

    • Hardware / Codec Compatibility. While this is becoming less of an issue as VoIP maturers, it has been observed that some hardware provides bad quality calls with certain VSPs. This same hardware may provide excellent calls for all VSP but not the one you just signed up with!.

    • Do you have friends or family already using VoIP? Most VSPs will offer free calls between subscribers on the same network. However at present there is no peering between providers. If you sign up with engin, but you have a friend on MyNetFone, then to ring that friend, your call must go via the PSTN and at the cost of a call. If you have friends or family already on another VoIP and you frequently ring them, you may consider signing up with the same provider to utilise free calls. After all, there is no point making Telstra rich.

    Possibly one of the good things about the VoIP industry in Australia is the absence of contracts. Most providers will allow you to terminate your service at any time. Many are also prepaid, so you can sign up with them and pay the minimum credit, maybe $10 for a risk free trial. If it doesn't turn out, you may be able to keep the account as a backup. Some providers such as engin offer special deals such as the first month free, to assist subscribers in a relatively risk free trial of their service.

    The biggest risk is normally the capital purchase of VoIP hardware, only to find out VoIP is not for you.

VoIP is Skype?

    If your new to VoIP and have heard about it in the media, you could be mistaken for thinking Skype is VoIP and VoIP is Skype. However, this is not the case. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is simply a technology used by even some of our largest telco’s for the haulage of voice. Skype, owned by online auction company Ebay, is a piece of very well marketed software that uses VoIP technology to allow Skype users to call other Skype users for free.

    Used my millions of tech savy users around the world, Skype has very little infrastructure but relies on a P2P (peer 2 peer) supernode architecture to connect your call to your destination. This can have one side effect if you’re not careful. If you install Skype on a computer with a publicly accessible internet address and without a firewall, then your computer can turn into a Supernode used to connect and transfer voice data between other Skype users. This could result in your computer downloading and uploading a large volumne of data and exceeding bandwidth quotas. For most users behind a firewall or NAT enabled router, this is not a problem.

    As calls don’t go directly to your designation, but rather via other people’s computers Skype claims to encrypt your calls so other third party Skype users can’t listen to your conversations. A risk occurs that one day, if it has not already been done that someone will work out how to decrypt these calls.

    That aside, probably the biggest problem with Skype is in-flexibility and upgradeability. Skype, in its current form is a propriety software application you must run on your computer. This means in order to receive calls, your computer must be switched on all the times. Often this is impractical, hence users have to resort to prearranged times to call other Skype users.

    Being software, most Skype users use a headset connected to their computers. Skype adaptors and handsets are starting to become available to allow users the ability to use existing cordless phones or handsets, returning the feel of conventional telephony, but as this hardware still needs the Skype software, you are still restricted to the requirement of having your PC on.

    While one of Skype’s features is ease to setup, due to these restrictions you may consider a solution running on an industry standard protocol. A solution where you can mix and match service providers and hardware.

    For example, you could choose to buy a hardware based ATA or download a softphone and sign up with a free provider such as FreeWorldDialup or Voxalot. In this case, you get the advantage of free calls between users connected to FreeWorldDialup or Voxalot, no different to Skype, while at the same time the hardware based solution means there is no need to have your computer on all the time to receive calls - a much less power hungry power box connected directly between your phone and broadband router handles this.

    As the softphone and hardware ATA work on the same protocols, you can take the free option of downloading a softphone first, and when ready, seamlessly upgrade to a hardware option without the need to giving family and friends a new VoIP number. Using the industry standard SIP protocol means, you are not locked into a specific piece of hardware or one particular softphone, but rather have an extensive choice. Don't like one, try another.

    As you will see in the next section, this option also has the added advantage in allowing subscribers not using VoIP to ring you via PSTN to VoIP gateways around the world, and possibly for the cost of a local call.

Free peering VSPs.

    If you have no need to make calls to the traditional PSTN but want to use VoIP among friends or family, then there are free providers such as Free World Dialup or Voxalot. In simple terms, these providers act as a telephone directory. For example, you can register for a free account with free world dialup (known as FWD) or Voxalot and get a phone number unique to the provider that anyone connected to the same provider can call. Calls between users on the service travel entirely on the internet direct from ATA to ATA. Third parties sometimes offer Free PSTN Access Numbers to these providers in many countries so users of the PSTN can ring your VoIP service.

    In Australia, the Australian PSTN to VoIP Gateway offers this service. Australian PSTN users can ring 1300 558 592 followed by 393 and your FWD phone number to call your FWD registered VoIP phone. While the service doesn’t have any guarantee of uptime or if it will operate on the longer term, it does open up possibilities for interstate friends and family to call you for the cost of an untimed 1300 call.

    Early users of this service will know it once had a 1800 freecall number. During those days, I had family go interstate on a holidays. They would see a Telstra payphone on the side of the road, and without any change dial the freecall number and we would have a 10 minute conversation. They then checked into their hotel and made enquiries on how much a free call 1800 number would cost from the phone in the hotel room. The answer - free. We had regular 30 minute plus interstate calls throughout the period of the week and the best thing, when they checked out of the hotel the calls on the phome came to a grand total of $0.00. The cost to myself was a hardware ATA and a bit of bandwidth. The call quaility was close to excellent.

    This also opens up possibilities for friends and family traveling overseas. If they can find a Telco in the country they are visiting that provides a gateway into the FWD, then the same deal applies. They can call you back home for typically the cost of a local call, no different to any foreigners visiting Australia using the Australian PSTN to VoIP Gateway to call family (with a FWD service) back in their home country. VoIP can certainly open up some interesting possibilities.

    SIPBroker doesn't offer SIP based accounts (You can't register your ATA with them, but Sister company Voxalot can provide this service)), but provides means to peer between VSPs. The idea is, if your VSP peers with SIPBroker, then via SIPBroker you can access many other VoIP networks around the world. Unfortunately many Australian VSPs do not peer with anyone due to commercial reasons, but you can use SIPBroker with your Voxalot or FWD account.

    SIPBroker have PSTN access numbers in many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, U.K, and the U.S.A. For example if you are in Manchester, U.K and want to call your FWD service for a cost of a locl call, you can dial the Manchester PSTN to VoIP access number, +44-161-660-8447 and when prompted enter 393 for FWD followed by your FWD number. SIPBroker peers with these providers worldwide.

Hardware or Software?

    There are two ways to utilise VoIP. You can obtain or download software onto your computer which acts as a softphone, or you can get a hardware based solution.

    The software option is the cheapest with many voice providers offering free software. Alternatively you may download softphones such as Xten X-lite. Using a softphone requires a PC with a soundcard or USB based handset. While call quality can depend upon your setup, the main disadvantage is the requirement for your computer to be on to make or receive calls. This can be ideal if you are traveling with your laptop, but most people like the feel of the traditional handset with the advantage that it doesn’t require your computer to be on 24 hours a day to receive calls.

    Softphone: X-Lite v3.0 for Windows

    ATA: The Netcomm V100 single FXS port ATA

    Hardware comes in a few varieties. The simplest and cheapest is the standalone analog telephone adaptor (ATA). It is typically a bland little box that accepts an Ethernet lead (to connect to your broadband router) and has a RJ-12 phone socket or FXS port where you can connect your traditional handset or cordless phone. With this style of box, there is no intergration with the traditional PSTN line. Its sole purpose is to turn your phone into a pure VoIP phone and is ideal where a PSTN line doesn’t exist (i.e. You finally got rid of Telstra completely, and are now using wireless, cable etc) or if you want a spare 2nd line for your teenagers etc.

    The next style of box integrates your VoIP service with your PSTN landline service. It is essentially a box that connects in between your existing phone and landline. It allows incoming calls on your Telstra PSTN line to ring your handsets as normal. However outgoing calls are routed via VoIP to provide you a cost saving. This allows you to introduce VoIP without having to provide people with a new phone number. Everyone calls you via your existing Telstra phone number, but outgoing calls go via VoIP.

    The other big advantage is the ‘lifeline’ feature. If your ADSL or VoIP service goes down, or your ATA loses power, calls automatically fall back to your Telstra PSTN line. This ensures you always have a phone service. Most ATAs can also be programmed to route 000 emergency calls via the PSTN. When calls are made from the traditional PSTN to emergency services, the operator is shown the physical location or address of the service on their screens. While handling of 000 emergency calls via VoIP is improving many VSPs cannot guarantee the service, operators can sometimes be given the location of "unknown" and where the VSP does provide information of the location, the ATA is portable and the onus is on the user to update the location details with the VSP. There is nothing stopping you taking the service interstate or even overseas on a holiday or when you move house you may forget to update your details with the VSP.

    As VoIP becomes mainsteam, phones that natively support VoIP are starting to hit the markets. These desktop phones are typically aimed at the corporate sector, but can be of interest to some home users. They look just like a traditional desk phone, but instead of having a RJ-12 socket for connection to the PSTN, they accept an Ethernet cable and require a IP address. Cordless phones that natively support VoIP are also emerging in the market place.

    Deskphone: The Netcomm V85 VoIP Speaker Phone

    Having a cordless phone base station connected to an ATA and then connected to your broadband router, all with there own plug packs can create a mess of wires, lack of power points and a confusion on how to hook them all up. VoIP by nature of its connectionless protocols do not work well behind most common domestic NAT based broadband routers. Most modern modems run firmware to identify SIP (VoIP Signaling) traffic and open the necessary RTP (VoIP Voice Streams) so as to make VoIP as transparent and painless to the end user. However older routers will require special port forwards, DMZs or firmware updates. Some NAT implementations can drop the call after a fixed delay, eg 5m32s. If your ADSL link goes down, it can take a while for your ATA to notice that it has gone. When it comes back up, there is often a delay of minutes or tens of minutes before the ATA will realise you have a link again. In some cases, the ATA may never reattempt a connection.

    Integrated VoIP/ADSL routers help alleviate many of the above problems. The ATA component sits on a public IP address eliminating NAT issues, while being intergrated with the ADSL modem, it also knows when your link goes down, immediately switching to the PSTN. When the link comes back up, it takes a few seconds before the integrated ATA registers and switches outgoing calls back to VoIP. As there is only one box, there is only one plug pack and the numbers of cables are cut down dramatically. These devices are becoming quite popular among ADSL users.

Voxalot Web Callback – No need for hardware or software.

    If you’re thinking you must have a computer or hardware to make use of VoIP’s cheap call costs, think again. The people at Voxalot never cease to innovate. Using a third party VoIP service, Voxalot Web Callback servers can dial two PSTN numbers and effectively couple them up.

    This allows you to make use of VoIP call pricing while needing no special hardware or software – just a web browser or mobile phone.

    Once you enter the two phone numbers into the Web Callback form on the Voxalot webpage, the Voxalot server via your VoIP account dials “your number” first. When you pick up this phone, it then dials the second number. When the 2nd party picks up it connects the two calls.

    With many VoIP service providers offering untimed calls anywhere in Australia for 10 cents, this service allows anyone with a VoIP account and a web browser to make calls to any landline in Australia for 20c untimed (The voxalot server makes two outgoing calls using your VoIP account.) Alternatively you can also make mobile and international calls.

    The service offers plenty of flexibility giving you a choice of VoIP provider. The only requirement is your VSP must support two or more concurrent connections. Otherwise you will need to enter two VoIP accounts – One to ring your phone and the other to ring the other party.

    This service has endless uses. It is just the thing to establish personal STD calls at work or at your friends place.

The Phase in Period . . .

    Switching from your solid, decades old PSTN landline to VoIP can have its teething problems. It wouldn’t be recommended to sign up and switch the household or business over on the first day. Nor would it be smart to send the shiny new VoIP phone number to the printers for your business stationary straight away.

    You may want to sign up, get the hardware sorted, do a couple of calls and phase the service in over a period of weeks. This gives you time to make sure your ATA retains its registration to your VSP, so you don’t lose dialtone. If you are using a DID, loss of registration will mean no incoming calls.

    The first couple of calls after signup may sound fantastic but it's not to say there are not loading issues with your VSP or ISP that effects your call quality at 9am on Monday mornings or during other busy periods of the week.

    These issues, if any, take a few days to surface and can take even more time to rectify. But there is no doubt when you get any issues sorted, VoIP provides a continuous good quaility service at a excellent price.

Do I need a DID?

    A DID (Direct Inwards Dialing) Phone number is used by users of the PSTN to ring your VoIP service. If you are using VoIP as your primary phone service (you don’t have a landline connected) and want people to be able to ring you, you will need a DID.

    A common configuration for ADSL users is to use the PSTN for incoming calls and use VoIP for outgoing calls, taking advantage of the excellent calling rates. This means you can switch over to VoIP without the need to give anyone your new phone number, as they can call you on your existing number. In fact, you don’t even need a VoIP DID phone number, which is good as DIDs normally attract a monthly fee.

    However note that services without a DID is unable to provide any Caller ID to the receiving party. When you ring someone, Caller ID will indicate the number is “Private”. In today’s world with the influx of Telemarketers, some recipients may not answer your call when no valid number is displayed.

How much Bandwidth does VoIP use?

    Once the ATA registers with your voice service provider, it will periodically send messages back and forth to ensure your ATA hasn’t dropped of the internet and that the VSP knows how to contact your ATA should a incoming call come in. The frequency of these messages will depend upon the registration time set in your ATA and the replies it gets back from the VSP. Generally this traffic is no more than a couple of Mbytes a day.

    The bandwidth required during a phone call will depend upon the codec your ATA and VSP has negotiated and if you have silence suppression enabled.

    The two commonly used codecs used are G.711A (or G.711U) and G.729. G711 transmits VoIP data uncompressed and provides the same Voice Quality than the PSTN. With overheads it uses about 87.2Kbps in both directions at the Ethernet layer. During a call, you are transmitting approximately 87.2Kbps while at the same time receiving 87.2Kbps. This equates to about 39Mbytes a hour of incoming traffic.

    As a comprise between data traffic and quality, the G.729 codec is preferred by many VSP and users alike. It compresses data to provide a good quality call with a data rate of approximately 31.2Kbps or 14Mbytes a hour.

    Fortunately most ISPs only base your download quota on incoming traffic. Before moving to VoIP you will need to work out how many VoIP minutes you will likely to use in the month and ensure you will have adequate quota on top of your normal data traffic. Once you have VoIP you will need to monitor your usage to ensure you do not become shaped.

    Some VoIP subscribers have used 256/64Kbps services without any issue. Some have even reported successfully international calls using dialup. So while you may be able to get good call quality while shaped, it is recommended you have at least a 512/128k service.

Now that I have VoIP, how can I make further savings?

    While substantial savings can be made on local, national and international calls, calls to 13x and mobile phones are often only marginally cheaper if not very similar to your traditional landline Telco. The reason is normally due to the call termination costs the carriers charge for these services.

    In 2004, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) determined that the price mobile phone carriers charge for call termination is at least twice the cost of delivering the service and as a result has put in a plan to regulate the call termination costs. This plan sees the termination costs fall three cents per minute on the 1st of January each year until it reaches 12 cents per minute in January 2007.

    However while we wait for mobile phone call termination costs to fall, many mobile phone carriers already offer excellent mobile to mobile call costs, capped calls or monthly plans. You may want to evaluate your mobile phone call charges and decide to make calls to mobiles on your mobile phone, rather than VoIP.

    13x calls attract a similar premium. Some VSP's such as Engin once offered these calls as 10 cents untimed, but has been forced in recent times to increase the price on these loss making calls to a more sustainable price. For example, Engin currently charge 28 cents untimed on 13x calls, but only 10 cents untimed to any landline in Australia.

    Many businesses offer 13x numbers as a single local call number to customers regardless of what state they are in. However as VoIP now introduces 10 cent untimed calls to any landline in Australia, you may find it cheaper ringing what was a STD number rather than the 13x number. Most businesses are only happy to give you a (0x) xxxx xxxx landline number to ring instead of more expensive 13x numbers. VoIP may one day negate any purpose to have 13x numbers.

QoS – The miracle cure ?

    High traffic or congestion on your internet link will lead to high latency and high latency is one thing VoIP doesn’t like. The most common result is your conversation will break up very much like when you are on a mobile phone call in a poor reception area. You will only hear part of a conversation.

    The easiest way to overcome this problem is not to download or use your internet connection while on a phone call. This may be easy when you live by yourself, but become increasingly difficult when several people in your household use the internet and/or phone.

    QoS or Quality of Service may be touted as the miracle cure. It can be in certain cases, but not all. QoS can be used to prioritise your Voice traffic giving it a higher priority than other traffic such as your Web downloads or emails. It normally consists of two parts.

    Your router will contain a buffer holding your internet packets that are queued for sending. QoS settings can be applied to your VoIP traffic, enabling VoIP traffic to be sent first before all other traffic. This works well on your upstream link, as your router decides what it needs to send first. However your downstream link is controlled by your ISP’s router. This router you have no control over and can be where a problem lies.

    IP packet headers have ToS or Type of Service bits which can be set to describe how to best handle the packet (minimize delay, maximize throughput etc) as it passes through multiple routers on the way to your VSP’s servers. This is just like putting an airmail priority stamp on a letter to ensure it goes by air mail and not on a slow boat to china.

    The idea here is routers downstream can read the bits and best determine on a packet by packet basis how to handle the data. You could set the bits in the header of your voice traffic to give it priority and expedite its movement though the internet’s routers. With any luck your VoIP server could send back the packets with the same settings and your ISP’s router will prioritise your downstream data.

    This makes such a good idea that next week while your are waiting for your web download from the states to compete with everyone else’s traffic on a congested international link, you think – what happens if I flag all my traffic as high priority?

    For this reason your ISP’s routers will only respond the ToS bits of packets coming from trusted routers, typically routers that the ISP or backbone link provider own. They will certainly not respond to flags your modem or other equipment set. You are untrusted, so as other network providers. If your ISP uses, for example, Telstra as its backbone provider, Telstra is not going to honor flags your ISP sets, unless they have some prior arrangement.

    So the only time any priority will be given to VoIP data on your downlink is when you sign up with a VSP that your ISP runs, i.e. that your ISP has control of the entire network right up to the VoIP server (e.g. Internode’s Nodephone) or when your ISP has a special arrangement with the VSP to offer QoS - e.g your ISP may be wholesaling VoIP services from a third party.

    If, however you don’t meet the above two criteria, like most of us, you will have QoS on your upstream traffic but have no control over what happens on your downstream link. Now is QoS the miracle cure everyone touts it as?

Australian VoIP Providers

Australian VoIP Hardware

Copyright 2006 | Craig.Peacock at | 30th July 2006.