VoIP Messengers: Possible Challenges and Their Solutions

VoIP Messengers: Possible Challenges and Their Solutions
November 13 12:58 2018 Print This Article

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP or IP telephony) is a popular and widespread technology of delivering voice and multimedia over IP networks. Everyone used or at least heard of such messengers as Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Duo, etc. VoIP is often used in business and everyday interaction and becomes one of the main communication types. Therefore, its quality is one of the most pressing issues to consider.

The global VoIP market annually increases its revenue, and according to the forecasts, the growth will reach $ 140 billion in 2021.

VoIP market

VoIP operating principles

With the advance of multiple Internet networks, VoIP obtains new ways of access and is used via Wi-Fi, EDGE or 3G, LTE (4G). The call’s performance is based on the following principles:

How VoIP works

Signalling stands for setting up the link between a caller and a person who receives a call. Channel setup means the automatic setting of a protocol. It is used to transmit data between users. The most popular protocols include RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol), MGCP (Media Gateway Control Protocol), SDP (Session Description Protocol), etc. The next stage of VoIP call implementation is voice coding or digitalization. The speaker’s voice is always translated to digital signs, reduced, and then carried through the network. On the last stage the codec (a program for data encoding/decoding) converts (encodes) the information to analog message.

The use of mobile VoIP messengers not only reduces the cost of communication but also grants additional benefits of easy installation, scalability, number preservation, etc. Currently, there is a wide range of messengers that offer various services using VoIP. The most popular of them are Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, etc.

Typical challenges of VoIP products and their existing solutions

Providers of VoIP products constantly offer additional functions to make the communication as convenient as possible. However, their clients often face problems while using the VoIP applications to make a video or a voice call.

We’ve interviewed our QA experts, specializing in testing VoIP, and will describe the most common problems associated with the use of this technology and offer solutions for them.

Challenges of VoIP

Challenge 1

Voice and video transmission delay is one of the most urgent issues. A person hears what you’ve said after 1-2 seconds which can be the result of packet loss. “The typical problem is a sound or video distortion caused by a weak Internet connection (often mobile)” add QATestLab QA Engineers.

QATestLab specialists solve this problem by performing application testing on different networks (2G, 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi). This helps to point out the necessary requirements and specifications for proper VoIP functioning.

Challenge 2

High battery consumption. Most VoIP applications are regularly synchronized with the server, and only a small part of applications use push notifications to activate the application only at the moment of receiving a signal from the server.

This matter can be resolved by using the application that determines the level of battery consumption in the active and background modes.

Challenge 3

Issues with the restoration of the call / line after a break or interference. Due to this fault, it is possible to take a call after another user declined it. “As a result, a person gets to an empty chat room”, says our specialist Anatoliy and recommends to conduct excessive functional testing to eliminate this problem.

Challenge 4

Connection problems when the 3rd client joins the conversation (if there was a group call feature). A typical issue is when there is no notification that other participants have ended the call and the function of automatic exit is not available. A thorough regression testing is essential after a new feature or function has been added.

Challenge 5

Crashes when connecting / disconnecting a headset for outgoing / incoming calls. “Very often such trivial issues are omitted by developers and testers” share our QA experts. In-house testers often do not have enough experience or necessary equipment to perform a thorough testing. The possible way out is to strengthen the existing team with the third-party QA vendor.

Challenge 6

Our specialists define security vulnerabilities as another important problem to face.  “VoIP uses the Internet for data transmission, therefore there is a place for outside interruption, malicious attacks, and other threats” explain QATestLab Test Enginners. Passwords and firewalls present a possible decision to this problem. Passwords will ensure the data security and firewalls can limit the traffic after the session is over.

To Summarize

VoIP technology is one of the most popular solutions for distant interaction. Numerous features and functions enable users to apply video and multiple user chats to their business communication. Fast development and constant upgrades cause numerous failures that should be fixed to present the high-quality product. Experienced QA specialists will help you to test the product and reveal existing problems and bottlenecks. Possible fixings depend on the product characteristics, and QA professionals appear a noticeable support for developers in finding ways for their solutions.

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Emma Dallas
Emma Dallas

has 3-year experience in blogging, technical writing, and copywriting.

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