Customer Network Setup Guide and Recommendations


Prior to deploying the FluentCloud hosted phone system in your office there are a few important considerations to be addressed. A Hosted VoIP solution requires a solid, high-speed Internet connection. Because of this, our team likes to do discovery on your current network setup to ensure that your deployment of our hosted phone solution is fantastic from day 1.


On occasion, we will make some recommendations based on what we find. Switching to a Voice over IP (VoIP) system will require sufficient bandwidth and a router that handles Quality of Service (QoS).


Step 1 – Determine your bandwidth requirements

Step 2 – Choose a high-quality, commercial grade router that supports QoS

 

Step 1 – Determine bandwidth requirements

The quality of your VoIP call is contingent upon having a reliable, high-speed Internet connection. We have customers who use DSL, Cable, Fiber, and Ethernet over Copper. You no longer need to keep paying for your expensive T1 lines!


You need to have a high-speed Internet connection to use FluentCloud. You will notice that almost all Internet packages are asymmetric and the upload bandwidth will often be much slower than the download bandwidth. The limited upload bandwidth will be a factor to consider which may impact call quality. Namely, this will affect people hearing you on the phone.


In order to determine what bandwidth will be required, you’ll first need to determine how many people will be on the phone at any given time. Each call will consume bandwidth so when calculating your bandwidth requirements you’ll need to estimate the maximum amount of users that will be on the phone simultaneously at any given time


HD Codec (g722) – Uses 64 kilobits\second per call

Traditional Codec (g711) – Uses 64 kilobits\second per call

Compressed Codec (g729) – Uses 8 kilobits\second per call

 

Internet companies will rate their speeds in Megabits per second (Mb\s)

1 Mb = 1024 kilobits


When estimating your network usage and how much bandwidth will be required for your phones. Please keep in mind that your estimates must be based off of the upload speed. In addition, if your Internet connection drops at any point during the day or is not reliably sending packets of data then you will experience call quality issues.


Important Consideration

Voice and data are now sharing a single Internet connection. The speed and consistency of your Internet connection will directly impact the performance and call quality of your VoIP phone system.


Your Internet download and upload speeds are equally important. The upload speed will affect the ability for people to clearly hear you and the download speed affects the ability for you to hear someone talking to you.


It is really beyond the scope of this document to estimate the data usage on your network. But we’ve included some factors to consider when estimating how much data your office uses. Most companies are transitioning to Cloud based services for their accounting, ERP, CRM, and sales processes. All of these services will consume a lot of bandwidth.


Plus users are streaming Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube all day which will also consume large amounts of bandwidth.


Ideally your average network usage will only equal 75% of your allotted bandwidth. This will give your network the much needed flexibility to account for large bursts of data usage that can happen randomly throughout the day.


We can’t stress enough how important QoS is when managing your network. QoS will allow you to set priority to FluentCloud and ensure the phones have priority over normal web traffic. QoS helps your network quality remain unaffected when large bursts of data occur.


QoS is the process of assigning priority to specific data as it crosses your network. When using FluentCloud your phones and computers are now using a shared data connection. This means that your computers and phones will both be using your Internet connection.


We recommend giving priority to the FluentCloud phones. Most routers have the ability to prioritize devices on the network according to the MAC address. The MAC address on your phone will be located on a white sticker on the back of the phone. Polycom phones will typically begin 0004F2 and Yealink phones will begin 0015. If you have problems locating the MAC address please contact FluentStream Support for assistance. Other routers can designate certain IP addresses as priority and these would include the IP addresses for the FluentCloud servers.


The phones will communicate with the FluentStream servers over the following ports.


SIP Traffic: Port 5060 UDP/TCP (used for phone registration)

RTP Traffic: Port 10000-20000 UDP (used for audio stream)


In addition, our geo-redundant infrastructure utilizes servers located in Tier 4 data centers across the country. All of our server addresses use the fluentcloud.com domain. We recommend configuring a policy rule to prioritize all traffic to/from *.fluentcloud.com.


 

Step 2 – Choose a high-quality, commercial grade router that support QoS


A router is the networking device that connects your computers to the Internet modem. The router is a very important component of your local network and is responsible for managing the ingress/egress of all data across your network.


QoS is to networking as the HOV lane is on the highway. Some traffic gets prioritized over others to ensure timely delivery of data. Voice transmissions over a network are sensitive to disruptions that may occur from “traffic jams” at your router.


There are numerous options when buying a router. The wide selection of devices can make it difficult when deciding which option is best. We have tried our best to narrow down the endless array of options by providing a list of recommended routers. We recommend routers that enable users to do the following:


-Ability to disable/enable SIP ALG (we need to disable SIP ALG)

-Ability to disable SPI Firewall (we need to disable SPI Firewall)

-Ability to prioritize web traffic by setting up QoS


Please check out our list of Compatible Routers on the following pages.