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Voice quality holding back VoIP?

Or is that only for consumers?
Written by Sylvia Carr, Contributor

Or is that only for consumers?

Quality of service is the most common barrier for enterprises considering the switch to voice over IP (VoIP), according to new research.

Nearly half of businesses named quality of service as a downside to VoIP, more than any other aspect of the technology, including business disruption, cost or security, according to a survey of 150 participants at last week's VoIP for Business show in London.

Speaking at the show, Deloitte partner David Tansley agreed that voice quality and reliability continue to be major pitfalls for VoIP in the enterprise. "Data networks fundamentally are not designed to deal with real-time voice traffic," he said.

However, Ovum research director Peter Hall believed quality of service is more of a concern for consumer VoIP applications run over the public internet - not for enterprise services.

He said: "In the enterprise, if done properly, there shouldn't be quality of service issues."

Despite concerns, VoIP is on the rise in the UK. While around 15 per cent of UK businesses have deployed IP telephony, within the next two years that figure should jump to closer to 40 per cent, according to Ovum.

Cost was another concern named by organisations surveyed by Verizon Business at the VoIP for Business show. While most organisations perceive VoIP as a way to reduce costs, experts argue that the true business case lies in the productivity and efficiency gains the technology can provide.

Meanwhile less than one per cent of businesses surveyed named security as a barrier to adopting VoIP. Networking vendors such as HP ProCurve have told silicon.com security is the number one concern for enterprises with regard to their networks, though HP emphasised that VoIP shouldn't affect network security one way or another, as it's just one more application running on the network.

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