Voice Faults can vary in terms of cause and affect, it's important to do as much work as possible to isolate and gather as much information as possible prior to fault lodgement so that the team can work quickly and effectively to find the problem and implement a solution.
Types of Faults
As mentioned faults can vary in cause and affect, this is because faults for voice come in all different varieties, some of the main ones which are commonly found are listed below:
- Call Drop-Outs - This is when the call sessions has been established between the two parties however the call is subject to drop, cancelling the session from both sides or at the very least intermittent audio connectivity for both parties.
- Issues Receiving Calls - Call Sessions Establishment fails or never occurs when it should.
- Issues Making Calls - Call Sessions Establishment fails or never occurs when it should.
- One Way Audio - Audio between either the called party or the caller party is one way.
- No Audio - No audio is received by either party or one party is completely unable to send and receive.
- DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency) - Issues with Key Presses, used for automated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems.
- Caller ID - Issues with the caller ID displaying incorrectly.
- Jitter - Defined as a variation in the delay of received packets. At the sending side, packets are sent in a continuous stream with the packets spaced evenly apart. Due to network congestion, improper queuing, or configuration errors, this steady stream can become lumpy, or the delay between each packet can vary instead of remaining constant.
- Packet Loss - Where voice packets have been lost in transit, uncommon but can result in a drop in audio and even a loss in session if severe.
- Delay - Delayed packet transmission, this can be more common with multiple hops and international destinations, Party A may transmit voice but the transmission of the voice may take multiple seconds to the point when Party B is speaking over Party A seconds later.
- Crackling - Distortion in the audio stream, this can be from a number of factors but 'crackling' and 'pops' can sometimes be heard on audio streams if the transmission is poor.
- Feature Issues - These are for issues with a configuration rather than the above, routing not working correctly, audio files not playing as intended etc.
Troubleshooting Your Service
It's important to accurately report the type of fault, this assists in classification of ticket priority furthermore it also gives you a starting point to begin your own troubleshooting.
Regardless of the type of fault the best place to start is by doing your own tests of the service.
Place a call to the number/s and note down key information:
- Time (Include Timezone)
- Caller ID
- Carrier Network of Caller
- Called Number
- Answerpoint (If Possible)
Some faults may be prevalent when calling from certain carriers but not others, it's recommended before lodging a fault to make at least 3 test calls from at least 2 different carrier networks before lodging a fault.
This can be even more prevalent on issues stemming from call quality which can vary greatly between handset to handset due to hardware issues.
It's also recommended to attempt calling the answerpoint directly bypassing our network, if issues are still prevalent calling the answerpoint the issue is almost guaranteed to sit with the PBX or PBX provider.
Final tips are to double-check there is no typos in the platform flows or answerpoints and to also ensure issues don't occur when calling outbound from your PBX, if this is the case the issue will rest with the PBX provider.