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  78. Top 7 Strategies For Ensuring Call Quality While Minimizing Costs with LCR

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  79. Top 9 Indicators that Help You Identify a Bad Carrier

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  83. Understanding Global RTP Servers (Lowest Latency Possible, High Availability)

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  84. Understanding Network Address Translation (NAT) - A Beginner's Guide

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  85. Understanding the 9 Key Objectives of a VoIP Network Security Audit

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  86. Understanding the Complete Scope of a VoIP Network Security Audit

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  87. Understanding the Crucial Role of Session Border Controllers in Carrier-Grade VoIP Networks

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  88. Understanding VoIP Anycast Load Balancing

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  89. Understanding What a PBX System is and How it Benefits Your Business

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  90. VoIP Carrier Network Components - Understanding Session Border Controllers

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  91. VoIP Carrier Network Security - How to Conduct Security Audit?

    VoIP Carrier Network Security - How to Conduct Security Audit?

  92. VoIP Carrier's Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Up Their Traffic

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  93. VoIP Interconnects - Learning How VoIP Carrier Connect and Exchange Traffic

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  94. VoLTE - An Evolution in Voice Communication

    VoLTE - An Evolution in Voice Communication

  95. WebPones Explained: Understanding Web-Based Telephonic Communication

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  96. WebRTC 101 - The Best Guide for Beginners

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  97. What Are SIP Traces - A Beginners Guide

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  98. What Are The Top 10 Essential Call Center KPIs?

    What Are The Top 10 Essential Call Center KPIs?

  99. What Are VoIP Gateways and How Do They Work? A Comprehensive Guide

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  100. What is a Contact Center and Why Does Your Business Need One?

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  101. What is Robocall Mitigation Database? A Guide for Carriers and VoIP Operators

    What is Robocall Mitigation Database? A Guide for Carriers and VoIP Operators

Top 9 Indicators that Help You Identify a Bad Carrier

The inability to identify the problem correctly can often lead to delays in getting a resolution and extended losses. This issue is a bit more prevalent and impactful in the telecommunication world owing to the use of so many complex technologies.

There are so many components in a VoIP carrier’s network. Even the tech stack comprises too many tools and elements. So when a problem occurs, it becomes difficult to identify and resolve it quickly.

One particular problem area that often goes overlooked is a provider’s upstream or downstream carrier. Different carriers have to work together to deliver a call from point A to B. One bad carrier in this link can lead to disruptions.

If you’re unable to identify a bad carrier in your routing, you’ll lose a lot of precious time and along with a lot of business. Thankfully, some major indicators can help you identify a bad carrier in your routing.

We shall go through all of these indicators of bad carriers. I will explain each indicator and also suggest healthy and unhealthy thresholds for each. This will help you easily determine if a carrier in your routing is good or bad.

Let’s get started then!

1. Call Drop Rate

Call Drop Rate

The call drop rate refers to the percentage of calls that are prematurely terminated or disconnected before the parties involved in the call have finished their conversation.

This metric is a crucial indicator of the quality of service provided by a VoIP carrier in handling voice calls.

A high call drop rate indicates issues with the carrier's network, equipment, or infrastructure that result in calls being abruptly cut off.

This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and may also affect the carrier's reputation in the telecommunications industry.

Wholesale VoIP carriers typically monitor and aim to minimize their call drop rate to ensure reliable and uninterrupted voice communication for their customers.

The customer may also include other telecommunications providers, businesses, and individuals. Lower call drop rates are generally associated with better service quality and customer satisfaction.

As for healthy and unhealthy call drop rates, these thresholds can vary based on network infrastructure, traffic volume, and carrier goals. However, as a general guideline:

Healthy Call Drop Rate

A healthy call drop rate for VoIP carriers is typically below 1%. This means that less than 1% of all calls experience premature disconnection. Carriers should aim to keep call drop rates as close to zero as possible to ensure excellent service quality.

Unhealthy Call Drop Rate

Anything significantly higher than 1% can be considered unhealthy. When the call drop rate exceeds this threshold, it indicates serious quality issues that need immediate attention.

It's important to note that VoIP carriers should strive for continuous improvement and should not become complacent even if they are within the healthy range.

2. Call Setup Failures

Call Setup Failures

Call Setup Failure Rate refers to the percentage of attempted calls that do not successfully establish a connection between the calling party and the receiving party due to various reasons, resulting in a failed call setup.

When a person initiates a voice call using VoIP technology, the process of setting up the call involves several steps. These steps typically include call signalling, routing, authentication, and the allocation of network resources to facilitate the conversation.

The call setup failure rate measures how often these steps fail to work as intended, resulting in a call that cannot be completed.

Here are some common reasons for call setup failures in VoIP:

  1. Network Congestion
  2. Routing Issues
  3. Authentication and Authorization Problems
  4. Equipment Failures
  5. Interconnection Problems
  6. Quality of Service (QoS) Issues

Monitoring and managing the call setup failure rate is crucial for VoIP carriers to ensure the reliability and quality of their services. A high failure rate can result in dissatisfied customers and negatively impact the carrier's reputation.

VoIP carriers typically aim to keep the call setup failure rate as low as possible to provide consistent and dependable voice communication services to their clients. This involves continuous network monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimization efforts.

Healthy Call Setup Failure Rate

A healthy call setup failure rate for VoIP carriers is typically very low, ideally less than 1%. This means that less than 1% of all attempted calls experience failures in the setup process. In an efficient and well-maintained VoIP network, most calls should successfully connect without issues.

Unhealthy Call Setup Failure Rate

An unhealthy call setup failure rate is typically anything significantly higher than 1%. When the call setup failure rate exceeds this threshold, it indicates serious issues within the carrier's network or infrastructure.

3. Call Failure Rate

Call Failure Rate

Call Failure Rate is a performance metric that measures the percentage of attempted voice calls that do not successfully complete due to various reasons. These failures can occur at any stage of the call process, from call setup to call termination.

Voice calls in a VoIP network involve several stages, including call setup, transmission, and termination. Call failures can happen at any of these stages, resulting in an incomplete or dropped call.

Here are some common scenarios where call failures can occur:

Call Setup Failure: This occurs when the initial process of establishing a connection between the calling and receiving parties fails. Reasons for this failure can include network congestion, routing issues, or authentication problems.

Mid-Call Failure: Sometimes, calls in progress can experience issues such as dropped packets, high latency, or jitter, leading to poor call quality or disconnection.

Call Termination Failure: When a call is intended to be terminated by either party, but this process fails to occur properly, it's considered a call termination failure. This can happen due to network issues or equipment malfunctions.

Intermittent Failures: Calls may also fail intermittently, meaning they work sometimes but not consistently. These types of failures can be challenging to diagnose and resolve.

Monitoring the Call Failure Rate is essential for VoIP carriers to assess the quality and reliability of their services. Carriers strive to keep this rate as low as possible to ensure that customers can make and receive calls without disruptions.

A high Call Failure Rate can result in customer dissatisfaction, revenue loss, and a negative impact on the carrier's reputation.

Healthy Threshold for Call Failure Rate

A healthy Call Failure Rate for VoIP carriers is typically very low, ideally below 1%. This means that less than 1% of all attempted voice calls result in failures.

Unhealthy Threshold for Call Failure Rate

An unhealthy Call Failure Rate is generally anything significantly higher than 1%. When the Call Failure Rate exceeds this threshold, it indicates serious issues within the carrier's network or infrastructure.

4. Call Congestion

Call Congestion

Call congestion refers to a situation where the carrier's network experiences an excessive volume of concurrent voice calls, exceeding its capacity to handle them effectively.

This congestion can result in various call-related issues, including call setup failures, call quality degradation, and increased latency.

This can happen for several reasons:

High Call Volume: A sudden surge in call volume, such as during a peak calling period or a special event, can overload the network.

Network Capacity: If the carrier's network infrastructure isn't adequately sized to handle the number of calls being made simultaneously, congestion can occur.

Resource Allocation: Inadequate allocation of resources, such as bandwidth or server capacity, can also contribute to congestion issues.

The effects of call congestion in a VoIP network can include:

Call Setup Failures: When the network is congested, it may struggle to allocate resources to set up new calls, leading to call setup failures.

Call Quality Degradation: Existing calls may suffer from poor audio quality, dropped packets, and increased jitter due to resource limitations.

Increased Latency: Congestion can introduce delays in call transmission, resulting in a noticeable lag between the time a person speaks and when the other party hears.

Customer Frustration: Call congestion can frustrate customers, leading to dissatisfaction with the service.

The metric Call Completion Rate (CCR) is often used to monitor Network Congestion. Here are the healthy and unhealthy threshold levels to measure Call/Network Congestion.

Healthy CCR Threshold

Healthy CCA healthy CCR for a wholesale VoIP network is typically 99% or higher. This means that at least 99% of attempted calls are successfully completed without issues.

A high CCR indicates efficient call routing, minimal congestion, and reliable network performance, which is crucial for providing a satisfactory service to customers.

Unhealthy CCR Threshold

An unhealthy CCR is generally anything significantly below 99%. When the CCR falls below this threshold, it suggests that a substantial percentage of calls are failing to complete successfully. Which is a clear indication of potential issues in the network.

Please note - It's essential to recognize that the specific threshold for an unhealthy CCR can depend on various factors. These include the expectations of customers, industry standards, and SLAs.

Some organizations may consider a CCR below 98% or even 97% as unhealthy, while others may have stricter requirements.

5. Intermittent Call Quality

Intermittent Call Quality

Intermittent call quality refers to the irregular and sporadic variations in the audio and overall communication experience during a voice call.

Unlike consistent, high-quality calls, intermittent call quality involves recurring issues or disruptions that can affect audio clarity, introduce noise, cause dropouts, or result in other audio-related problems during the conversation.

Intermittent call quality can manifest in several ways:

Audio Dropouts: Periodic silences or gaps in the audio stream where one or both participants cannot hear each other.

Static and Noise: Occasional background noise or static that interferes with the clarity of the conversation.

Echoes: Repeating echoes of the speaker's voice, which can be distracting and make it challenging to understand the conversation.

Choppy Audio: Irregular audio delivery, causing voices to sound disjointed or robotic.

Delays and Latency: Occasional delays in audio transmission, leading to noticeable lags in the conversation.

Jitter: Variability in the timing of audio packets, resulting in inconsistent audio quality.

Intermittent call quality can be highly frustrating for callers and can lead to a poor communication experience. These issues often occur sporadically, making them challenging to diagnose and resolve.

The MOS (Mean Opinion Score) is a metric used to assess voice call quality, including intermittent issues in VoIP networks. It's based on human listeners' subjective ratings, typically on a scale from 1 to 5.

Listeners rate factors like audio clarity, noise, distortion, and echo. Scores are aggregated to calculate an average MOS score, indicating call quality.

Troubleshooting intermittent call quality issues involves examining MOS scores to pinpoint problems and make improvements, such as optimizing networks or upgrading equipment.

Healthy MOS Score Threshold

A healthy MOS score threshold is typically above 4. It indicates consistently good call quality and a satisfactory user experience. A MOS score above 4 suggests that the majority of calls are of high quality, with few noticeable issues.

Unhealthy MOS Score Threshold

An unhealthy MOS score threshold is vtypically below 3.** A MOS score below 3 indicates poor call quality with noticeable and disruptive issues. Calls with such scores likely suffer from intermittent problems affecting the user experience.

Threshold Considerations

  • The specific thresholds can vary depending on individual network conditions, user expectations, and industry standards. VoIP service providers often define their own thresholds based on their quality goals and customer expectations.
  • It's crucial to combine MOS scores with other call quality metrics and user feedback to fully understand intermittent issues and make improvements. Consistently monitoring and addressing intermittent call quality problems can lead to better service reliability and user satisfaction.

6. High Post-Dial Delay

High Post-Dial Delay

High Post Dial Delay (PDD) refers to a significant delay in the time it takes for a caller to hear any audible response, such as ringing or a recorded message, after they have dialled a phone number or initiated a call.

It indicates a delay in the call setup process, specifically in the phase where the caller expects the call to start connecting.

High PDD can be problematic for several reasons.

User Experience: High PDD can lead to a poor user experience, as callers may perceive a significant delay before their call appears to be progressing. This delay can be frustrating and may give the impression of a slow or unreliable service.

Perceived Call Quality: PDD contributes to the perceived call quality. When callers experience long delays, they may associate it with poor service quality, even if the call quality itself is good once connected.

Efficiency: High PDD can affect the efficiency of a phone system or a VoIP service, as it prolongs the time it takes to initiate and establish calls. In cases where multiple calls are made, this delay can add up and reduce overall productivity.

Causes of high PDD can vary and may include network congestion, routing issues, delays in call processing, or problems at the recipient's end.

It's essential for telecommunications providers to monitor and minimize PDD to ensure a smoother and more efficient calling experience for users.

Healthy Threshold for Post Dial Delay

A healthy PDD threshold is typically low, ideally less than 3-4 seconds. In an efficient and well-maintained telecommunications system, callers should experience minimal delays between dialling a number and hearing a response.

Unhealthy Threshold for Post Dial Delay

An unhealthy PDD threshold is typically anything significantly higher than 3-4 seconds. If PDD consistently exceeds this threshold, it indicates potential issues within the telecommunication system that can impact user satisfaction and efficiency.

7. Failed Handovers

Failed Handovers

Failed handover rate in VoIP refers to the frequency at which attempts to transfer an ongoing voice call from one network or communication channel to another are unsuccessful.

Handovers, also known as handoffs, occur when a call transitions between different segments of a network or switches from one network provider to another while maintaining the call's continuity.

In VoIP and mobile communication systems, handovers are crucial for maintaining seamless voice calls, especially when a user is on the move.

These handovers are designed to ensure that a call in progress remains connected and of acceptable quality as the user transitions from one cell tower, Wi-Fi access point, or network provider to another

However, handovers can fail for various reasons, leading to disruptions or call drops. Common Causes of Failed Handovers in VoIP:

  1. Network Congestion
  2. Signal Interference
  3. Incompatible Networks
  4. Network Outages
  5. Authentication Issues
  6. Resource Limitations

Healthy Level for Failed Handover Rate

A healthy Failed Handover Rate is typically very low, often approaching zero or less than 0.1%. This means that the vast majority of handovers are successful.

Users should experience minimal disruptions when transitioning between different segments of a network or switching network providers.

Unhealthy Level for Failed Handover Rate

An unhealthy Failed Handover Rate is any rate significantly higher than 1%.

8. Incomplete CDRs

Incomplete CDRs

Incomplete Call Detail Records (CDRs) in telecommunications refer to records that lack essential information or are missing certain data fields related to a call.

CDRs are critical logs that provide comprehensive information about each call. The information includes details like call duration, start and end times, caller and recipient numbers, call direction, and more.

Incomplete CDRs can create gaps in call records, making it challenging to accurately analyze call traffic, billing, and network performance.

A subpar or unreliable carrier can contribute to the generation of incomplete CDRs in several ways:

Network Instability: A carrier with an unstable network may experience frequent call drops or disruptions. When calls are prematurely terminated due to network issues, the CDRs for those calls can be incomplete.

Inefficient Infrastructure: Carriers with inadequate or poorly maintained network infrastructure may encounter technical glitches or outages that affect CDR generation. These issues can lead to missing or inaccurate call data.

Ineffective Handover: Handovers, which involve transferring a call from one network segment to another, are prone to failure if the carrier's systems and network configurations are suboptimal. Failed handovers can result in incomplete CDRs.

Delayed CDR Generation: Some carriers may have systems that generate CDRs with delays. If a call is dropped or disconnected before the CDR is generated, the record may not capture the complete call details.

Lack of Fraud Detection: Carriers that do not have robust fraud detection and prevention mechanisms in place may be vulnerable to fraudulent activities. Fraudsters can manipulate call records, leading to incomplete or falsified CDRs.

Healthy Threshold for Incomplete CDR Generation

A healthy threshold for incomplete CDR generation is typically very low, often approaching zero or less than 1%.

In an efficient and well-maintained telecommunications network, the goal is to minimize incomplete CDRs to ensure accurate and comprehensive call records.

Telecom providers aim for near-complete and accurate records, where missing or incomplete CDRs are a rare occurrence.

Unhealthy Threshold for Incomplete CDR Generation

An unhealthy threshold for incomplete CDR generation is any rate significantly higher than 1%. If the rate of incomplete CDRs consistently exceeds this threshold, it indicates significant issues within the telecom system of your provider.

9. Frequent Network Outages

Frequent Network Outages

Low service uptime in telecommunications refers to a situation where communication services, such as voice calls, messaging, or data connectivity, are available and operational for only a limited percentage of time within a given period.

It means that the services experience frequent interruptions, downtime, or unavailability, leading to a reduced overall uptime percentage.

Low service uptime can have significant adverse effects on both users and telecommunication service providers.

For Users:

Communication Disruptions: Low service uptime results in frequent disruptions in voice calls, messaging, or data connectivity. Users experience dropped calls, delayed messages, or unreliable internet access.

Frustration and Inconvenience: Frequent service interruptions lead to user frustration and inconvenience. Users rely on seamless communication for personal and business needs, and interruptions can hinder their ability to stay connected.

Loss of Productivity: In business settings, low service uptime can significantly impact productivity. Employees may struggle to make important calls, access critical data, or collaborate effectively with remote teams.

Missed Opportunities: Users may miss important calls, messages, or opportunities due to service downtime. This can affect personal relationships, business deals, and time-sensitive communication.

Dissatisfaction: Users become dissatisfied with the telecommunication service when uptime is consistently low. This can result in customer churn as users seek more reliable providers.

For Telecommunication Service Providers

Customer Churn: Low service uptime often leads to customer churn as dissatisfied users switch to more reliable providers. This can result in a loss of revenue and market share.

Increased Support Costs: Providers must allocate resources to address customer complaints and troubleshoot service issues during periods of low uptime. This leads to higher support costs.

Operational Costs: Providers need to invest in network infrastructure upgrades, redundancy solutions, and disaster recovery plans to improve uptime. These investments incur additional operational costs.

Regulatory Compliance: Low uptime can lead to non-compliance with regulatory requirements, potentially resulting in penalties and legal consequences for the provider.

Reputation Damage: Providers with a history of low service uptime may suffer long-term damage to their reputation, making it difficult to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Loss of Competitive Edge: In a competitive telecommunication market, low uptime can erode a provider's competitive edge, as users prioritize reliability when choosing a service provider.

Healthy Uptime Threshold for VoIP Network

A healthy uptime threshold for a VoIP carrier's telecom network is typically in the range of 99.9% or higher. This means that the network should be operational and available to users for at least 99.9% of the time in a given period.

This translates to a maximum allowable downtime of around 8.76 hours per year. This level of uptime ensures that users experience minimal disruptions and can rely on the service for their communication needs.

Unhealthy Uptime Threshold for VoIP Network

An unhealthy uptime threshold for a VoIP network is any value significantly below 99.9%.

Let’s Conclude

I hope you took note of the healthy and unhealthy thresholds for all the listed indicators. In most cases, it hovers around the 1% mark. This should give you an idea of how much stability the industry and customers expect from you.

We hope this guide helps you to identify and take bad carriers out of your routing. This will help you maintain a high level of QoS and ensure customer satisfaction!