VoIP communications are quickly becoming the standard in businesses worldwide. But in some countries, like India, implementing and using VoIP can be difficult. In India, there are lots of rules and restrictions on how and when VoIP communications can be used. And in some areas of the country, there is a lack of infrastructure that makes optimizing for VoIP in India a challenging task.
In this post, we talk about how businesses can optimize for VoIP in India. We review some of the most recent rules and restrictions imposed on VoIP telephony in this region, and discuss ways that businesses can get great call quality with minimal infrastructure.
Contents of this article include:
VoIP in India is a frequently discussed but little understood topic. Many people think that the use of VoIP telephony is illegal in India. At the moment, it isn’t – but there are some restrictions on how it can be used.
According to recent regulations, it is legal to use VoIP in India. But, it is illegal to:
- Use VoIP gateways within India
- Terminate VoIP calls to landline/PSTN lines within India
This means that if you are using a softphone or an Internet application like Skype on your computer to call someone else using a softphone or an application like Skype, there are no issues. Calls from PCs or softphones are not permitted to call landline/PSTN numbers or destinations.
There are fewer restrictions surrounding VoIP calls in India that terminate to destinations abroad. If you are a company in India that solely does business with prospects in India, VoIP is only legal if you are communicating with prospects that are also using Internet telephony. And since you cannot be certain that the prospect or customer you are calling is using a landline or a VoIP number, a traditional, PSTN system is your best choice.
If you are a company in India that does business with prospects in other countries, VoIP calling is an affordable alternative to expensive long distance rates.
Optimizing for VoIP in India for Global Businesses
VoIP telephony is a cost-effective alternative for businesses in India that need to communicate with prospects abroad. It’s far cheaper to call the United States from India via VoIP than it is to pay long distance fees for the same call.
But, many businesses in India are concerned that the transition to VoIP telephony might lead to poor call quality. If you do not have the proper infrastructure in place to support VoIP calling, this is true.
Luckily, there are several ways that you can optimize your existing communications infrastructure for VoIP telephony.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol – which means that your VoIP calls are routed over the Internet. Because of this, your VoIP call quality depends on the level of Internet service that your business uses. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to handle VoIP calls, you will suffer from poor call quality.
So, how do you know how much bandwidth you need for good VoIP call quality? It’s simple. First, figure out how many concurrent (simultaneous) calls your business experiences during peak hours. Then, determine what codec your VoIP provider will use. (Don’t worry – we’ll talk more about codecs shortly.)
For most standard codecs, you need anywhere from 85 – 100 kpbs of bandwidth per concurrent (simultaneous) call.
How Codecs Affect VoIP Call Quality
A codec, which is short for encoder-decoder, converts an audio signal (the speaker’s voice) into a digital packet that can be transmitted via the Internet. Then, it turns the digital packet back into an audio signal so that the listener can hear you. The codec that your VoIP provider uses plays a big part in achieving good call quality.
The most common codecs include:
The G.711 codec has no compression, and it can be used anywhere that enough bandwidth is available. It’s commonly used for domestic (in-country) phone calls.
The G.722 codec requires more bandwidth than the G.711 codec, but it does allow for better call quality. (It also offers better call quality than calls terminated over the PSTN.)
The G.729 codec provides reliable call quality and is often used in situations where bandwidth is at a premium. For international calls, such as calls from India to the United States, it is a good choice.
How Quality of Service (QoS) Affects VoIP Call Quality
For most businesses, adequate bandwidth and the right codec is enough to ensure high VoIP call quality. If you’re still having call quality problems, like delay, jitter, or packet loss, you may need to adjust the Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router.
Quality of Service (QoS) allow you to prioritize specific kinds of data – like voice calls – within your network. If you configure your QoS settings to prioritize voice traffic, your router will place it in a reserved queue that takes priority over all other types of data on the network.
India VoIP Regulations
Many people think that the use of VoIP telephony is illegal in India. At the moment, it isn’t – but there are some restrictions on how it can be used. As of 2012, India passed legislation allowing VoIP usage to be legal, but the use of VoIP gateways still remains illegal as of 2019.
This means that if you are using a softphone or an Internet application like Skype on your computer to call someone else in India using a softphone or an application like Skype, there are no issues. Calls from PCs or softphones are not permitted to call landline/PSTN numbers or destinations.
A write up on the Telecom Licensing and Regulations in India details permitted VoIP use in India:
(a) PC to PC; within or outside India
(b) PC / a device / Adapter conforming to standard of any international agencies like- ITU or IETF etc. in India to PSTN/PLMN abroad.
(c) Any device / Adapter conforming to standards of International agencies like ITU, IETF etc. connected to ISP node with static IP address to similar device / Adapter; within or outside India.
(d) Except whatever is described in condition (ii) above, no other form of Internet Telephony is permitted.
How Bandwidth Affects VoIP Call Quality
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which means that your VoIP calls are routed over the Internet. Because of this, your VoIP call quality depends on the level of Internet service that your business uses. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to handle VoIP calls, you will suffer from poor call quality.
In order to know how much bandwidth you'll need for your business, you'll need to know how many concurrent calls you business will make during peak hours. Then, you'll need to figure out what codec your VoIP provider will use. (Don’t worry – we’ll talk more about codecs shortly.)
Typically, you'll need anywhere from 85 - 100 Kbps per concurrent VoIP call.
How Codecs Affect VoIP Call Quality
A codec, which is short for encoder-decoder, is a program that converts voice signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the internet during a VoIP call. The codec that your VoIP provider uses plays a big part in achieving good call quality. The most common codecs include the follow below:
|Codec name||Average bandwidth required||Description|
|G.729||8 Kbps||24 Kbps||Uses an algorithm for extreme compression, works well with low bandwidth|
|G.711||64 Kbps||80 Kbps||Offers lossless compression to reduce bandwidth needs, can be used for faxing as well|
|G.722||48-64 Kbps||80 Kbps||High quality, but requires more bandwidth|
|G.726||16-40 Kbps||56 Kbps||Used in international trunks|
|G.728||16 Kbps||32 Kbps||Offers toll voice quality for lower bandwidths|
Looking to Use VoIP for International Calls for your India Business?
We're here to help! Talk to us today and learn more today.