Test & Measurement


A test system to meet the VoIP challenge

19 September 2007 Test & Measurement

The challenges facing a successful Voice-over-IP (VoIP) installation can be extremely complex both to identify and troubleshoot, yet there is a tremendous thrust both locally and internationally to forge ahead regardless. Many organisations, both users and installers, welcome this new technology and the benefits it can bring with open arms. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the technical challenges associated with its implementation.

To a large number of potential VoIP clients and installers it is simply a matter of installing the necessary 'black boxes' and hopefully all will be well, proof that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. A poor VoIP installation reflects badly on the installer and the equipment manufacturer, and the poor customer will no doubt spread the news on how this new VoIP technology is a total waste of time.

Without a good understanding of VoIP and the tools to verify the installation, potential problems can be almost impossible to detect and rectify. VoIP, unlike standard data transmission, is a realtime application and cannot sustain the retransmission of frames in the event of errors; any network issue which affects the efficient transportation of the voice packets will cause voice quality issues.

In most cases any implementation of VoIP will require integration into the standard PSTN telephone system. Most IP (Ethernet) technicians do not have a full understanding of the PSTN system and vice versa: most PSTN technicians do not have a comprehensive understanding of IP-based networks. yet a seamless convergence between the two technologies with a singular, interrelated, approach to network troubleshooting is essential.

In addressing the various issues associated with troubleshooting, monitoring and convergence of IP and PSTN and to provide a solution for both installer and user, Barlow Communications has released a portable single platform which is able to simultaneously monitor, test, simulate and report on any aspect of VoIP and PSTN voice communications.

The Sage Instruments 960B is able to monitor both VoIP and PSTN networks for quality issues, generate both VoIP and PSTN calls, connect to any 2- or 4-wire circuit and perform end-to-end tests.

Complete libraries of tests are available for almost any voice scenario and powerful reporting tools ensure that actual quality and performance issues can be documented.





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