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VoIP on 3G Pros and Cons

Updated on March 12, 2013
VoIP Over 3G
VoIP Over 3G

Emergence of Wireless VoIP

In the early days of VoIP, Internet calling was only possible using a computer with a wired Internet connection or with Wi-Fi. The use case scenarios were a bit convoluted and it is extremely inconvenient as a long-term calling option. A few years ago however the iPhone made its debut and changed the smart phone industry forever. While previous players like O2 existed, they were never really popular and the idea of someone having a powerful handset with a large screen and no keyboard was still unpalatable to many.

Apple broke that perception and ushered in the era of mobile computing. Ever since then, apps have been unshackled from their traditional hardware restrictions and have been ported over to new mobile hardware instead. VoIP is one such example. Though it can be used over Wi-Fi which is actually an excellent alternative, the true value of this technology is its usage over wireless data networks such as 3G and 4G.

But how well does VoIP perform on this base? 3G has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration when relying upon it for making VoIP calls.

VoIP Using 3G

Let's start with the benefits of a wireless data network like 3G when used with a real-time communication protocol like VoIP. To start off with, the single greatest advantage is its widespread coverage. Strictly speaking from a performance and connection point of view, Wi-Fi is a superior alternative. But its crippled coverage area rules this out as a possibility for mobile Internet calling as a permanent solution. After all, what's the point in being "mobile" without the ability to step outside your house? 3G also performs admirably when it comes to being able to handle the necessary bandwidth requirements of VoIP. Most 3G connections are more than sufficient for this purpose.

The disadvantages of 3G come to the fore when you consider the qualities of the network connection such as jitter, latency, and lag. With regular Internet browsing, you hardly noticed this because viewing a webpage is not a real-time activity. But when talking to another person, even a delay of a few tens of milliseconds can degrade a VoIP call horribly. And this is the biggest drawback of 3G. Later technologies such as 4G are much more powerful and well suited to VoIP calling. Contact your SIP vendor to learn more about Boston PBX pricing options. There are many hosted VoIP phone systems you can consider to suit your business needs.


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