What Do Telecom Engineers Think About at Lunchtime (Jitter Buffers)

July 17, 2019

photo line of sandwichesMaybe it is just because lunch is a big deal in my town (Silicon Valley), but I like to think about how to improve life at my favorite deli during lunch time, as if I were part of the service team. In our deli, there is always a huge crowd at lunchtime. Let’s say top management told me to find a way to serve people once per minute, even though with all of the people milling around, on their cell phones and not paying good attention, they might not hear me and respond promptly when called. 

In this case, I would implement something akin to a jitter buffer. I’d create another short line and say: When your number is called, you get into this short line to wait.  If you arrive out of order, l can reshuffle you before your order gets processed.

This is exactly how a jitter buffer works in your VoIP/UC phone system. Jitter buffers are not large, as they have to be played back real-time, but typically hold 5-10 packets depending on the codec selected and manufacturer’s configuration. Thus, some out-of-order problems can be solved with a jitter buffer.

This smooths out the audio, and ensures that there is always something to play back (and would also make the deli counter work better!)

Call quality problems can be prevented if the right information is brought to bear about your network’s performance and configuration. See also the related blogs, Where Does VoIP Jitter Come From, and Do Out of Order Packets Effect VoIP.

Review our VoIP Troubleshooting white paper, or contact us with questions about how PathSolutions can solve call quality and many other VoIP issues.

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