Although most people consider enterprise-grade features and cost-friendliness to be the number one reason that businesses trust VoIP systems more and more, there is one thing that is not mentioned quite as often: crystal clear, uninterrupted voice calls. However, even if the VoIP service does provide HD-clarity voice calls, it is worth nothing if the calls are constantly dropping.
And not being able to properly place and receive calls could lead to serious disappointment in VoIP, even though in many cases the issue and its solution may be right under your nose.
Dropped Calls: So Alike Yet So Different
Long story short, basically any situation in which the call is abruptly ended before either party has finished their conversation should be considered a dropped call. However, dropped calls can appear in many different forms including, but not limited to, the following:
- Fast busy signal: a quick, unexpected sound that is similar to when a phoneline is busy.
- No audio: the call drops to dead air without warning, either from the very beginning or in the middle of the conversation.
- Incomplete calls: the call simply fails from the start or in the middle of the call and a fast busy signal or a specific message is heard.
- Terminated calls: the call is hung up after a specific amount of time without either party interfering.
- Calls are cut off: sentences go through but they are clipped before you finish them.
As you will see, there are many instances where the symptoms are eerily similar to one other. And that’s why dropped calls can be so deceptive, because not being able to read the signs properly may result in prolonging the discovery of the issue and ultimately leave you with a faulty phone system.
How to Troubleshoot Dropped Calls
Admittedly, memorizing all these types of dropped calls can be challenging, but it’s still a better option than doing nothing. In fact, it’s an important part in a clever method with which symptoms can be identified in a jiffy, therefore giving way for the best and often long-term solution.
The first step to figuring out which type of dropped calls is poisoning the system is to direct some of the following questions to your colleagues:
- Is everyone experiencing the same issue or is it limited to just a handful of us?
- Are calls only dropping if you dial to a particular destination or phone number?
- Does it always drop at the exact same point of the call or is it happening at random intervals?
- Do calls only drop when you talk or when remaining silent?
Once these are answered you can immediately move on to identifying the issue and finding the right solution.
Short-Term and Long-Term Solutions
Fast Busy Signal
A fast busy signal usually indicates interference, which is the result of having too many devices – particularly ATAs or routers – hooked up to the same network. To eliminate this problem you may need to either test each device until the faulty one is found or reduce the number of networking devices.
In this case testing the entire network for latency is the right solution. If that latency is more than 150 milliseconds, then your network can’t handle voice traffic properly and ultimately leads to audio issues. To prevent this from happening again try to use a bandwidth saver – like VirtualPBX’s VoIP Clear Fix Service or Vonage’s built-in solution – or simply opt for a better internet service.
There are various reasons why calls may not be completed. Sometimes it’s as simple as misdialing a phone number, however, more often than not there are instances where the issue is at the call recipient’s end, and so the fix is left to the VoIP service provider.
In this case it’s likely that the service provider is limiting calls to either 120 or 180 minutes. Since the termination of calls after a certain amount of time is a built-in safeguard that prevents users making fraudulent calls and getting large bills – and is therefore not a bad thing at all – the only good recommendation here is to avoid exceeding the maximum call time.
Calls Are Cut Off
When the end of sentences are simply cut off by the system it means that silence suppression isn’t properly set on the phone. To solve this problem, go to the settings of the phone and adjust silence suppression until all sentences can be heard in their entirety on both ends of the line.
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