Feasibility of Voice over IP on the Internet

Sherman, Alex; Nieh, Jason; Freund, Yoav

VoIP (Voice over IP) services are using the Internet infrastructure to enable new forms of communication and collaboration. A growing number of VoIP service providers such as Skype, Vonage, Broadvoice, as well as many cable services are using the Internet to offer telephone services at much lower costs. However, VoIP services rely on the user's Internet connection, and this can often translate into lower quality communication. Overlay networks offer a potential solution to this problem by improving the default Internet routing and overcome failures. To assess the feasibility of using overlays to improve VoIP on the Internet, we have conducted a detailed experimental study to evaluate the benefits of using an overlay on PlanetLab nodes for improving voice communication connectivity and performance around the world. Our measurements demonstrate that an overlay architecture can significantly improve VoIP communication across most regions and provide their greatest benefit for locations with poorer default Internet connectivity. We explore overlay topologies and show that a small number of well-connected intermediate nodes is sufficient to improve VoIP performance. We show that there is significant variation over time in the best overlay routing paths and argue for the need for adaptive routing to account for this variation to deliver the best performance.



More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-027-06
Published Here
April 27, 2011