VoIP has revolutionized the way telecommunication is done. Voice over Internet protocol allows voice packets to be sent over Internet bandwidth enabling cheap communication. There are many companies which offer voice over Internet services and some of the leading ones are Vonage, Skype, Yahoo and Net2Phone. Consumers can access VoIP over Internet connections like broadband and DSL. Satellite Internet is a new technology that has become very popular in recent times and VoIP providers are able to offer services to customers in remote regions using it. It will still take some time until VOIP by satellite is ultimately stabilized and customers can enjoy the full benefits.
Some of the challenges faced by service providers include packet loss, jitters and limited bandwidth. Service providers like Hughes and Skyframes which have their own satellites are teaming up with the VoIP providers to offer voice services to customers. Designing a VoIP network would require details on the bandwidth requirement for VoIP data. Satellite Internet providers are facing challenges on the bandwidth capacity that would be required to offer VoIP services via satellite channels. G.729 (b) encoding with a 40 b payload and header compression would require 10 Kbps of bandwidth. Packet loss is another challenge faced by service providers offering satellite VoIP services. Packet loss causes degradation in voice quality. The protocol used for voice traffic transmission is UDP/IP and if the data packets are corrupted they cannot be retransmitted. TCP/IP protocol allows retransmission of data packets. It is important to maintain very low bit error rates to offer high quality voice services to customers. Jitters are another technology hurdle that is faced by satellite VoIP service providers. It is used to calculate the delays in packet arrivals that happen because of network delay. If this factor is not within acceptable limits the quality of voice becomes poor and the receiver may not be able to enjoy a good conversation. Jitter buffers are used to overcome this hurdle and ensure that there is less delay in the network. Researchers and scientists are working relentlessly to overcome all hurdles that come in way of experiencing a smooth voice call through satellite Internet.
VoIP by satellite is not ideal because of some more factors. Latency factor refers to the time delay in locating the Geo-stationary satellite and the speed of light. There is a delay of 280 msec because of latency factor. Traffic congestion in the network also affects the quality of VoIP service. This can result in voice packets being dropped, delayed or reaching the receiver out of sequence. Compression technology is another parameter for delivering high quality VoIP service. There are two compression technologies that are followed as industry standards. The G.729 codec uses bandwidth of 18Kbps and RTP uses around 10 Kbps per second. If service providers are able to cope with the technological challenges of VoIP over satellite, it will not be long before remote areas of the United States can connect with the rest of the world.