Wi-Fi Locking and Performance Issues with VoIP
Using VoIP with Wi-Fi
One of the biggest advantages of using the Internet for your telecommunication needs is that you can leech off powerful Wi-Fi networks whenever you're within range. For most people, this is almost all the time because you spend your day at the workplace or at home – both of which tend to have freely available wireless Internet. This has the advantage of not only being free, but also providing you with a high-performance communications medium.
Some users however may find issues with receiving VoIP calls when their phone is sleeping or when the screen is switched off. This is because smart phones have a limited battery life and most operating systems try and manage background services such as Wi-Fi in such a way that they are used only when necessary. For example, you won't be browsing the Internet when your phone is sleeping. Certain applications like VoIP however require a constant connection because they are always required to respond immediately during an incoming call. The app can misbehave or not perform up to your expectations if the Wi-Fi is disabled or switched off when your phone is idle.
The solution – at least on Android phones – is to enable options to lock your Wi-Fi all the time. This will ensure that it is always up and running and ready to service you whenever required. Though this may lead to a decrease in battery life, it may be compensated by technologies allowing you to switch off your wireless data network or even your voice network entirely when Wi-Fi is available because you don't need them. In fact, this might even save battery life.
Locking Your Wi-Fi Network
In Android, there are several ways to ensure that your Wi-Fi remains on all the time to service VoIP calls. You can either change the setting itself in the preferences page of the operating system, or you can configure the application to keep it on for you while it is running in the background. Personally, I prefer the latter approach since if I uninstall the VoIP application I don't have to go to the operating system preferences and reset the Wi-Fi lock option. I feel it's best for the applications to manage their own resources in this matter.
Android also has a special API for the Wi-Fi manager that enables something known as a high-performance lock. This setting not only makes Wi-Fi available when the phone is asleep, it ensures that it is operating at the highest level. This of course creates a greater drain on the battery life but will ensure that there is never any latency or packet loss and that your VoIP application is as responsive as possible.
VoIP over Wi-Fi and over wireless data networks is one of the fastest growing Internet traffic segments today. Contact a local Los Angeles VoIP systems provider to find out how you can get started with VoIP for your organization with minimal hardware requirements.