How much data does a VoIP call use?

10th July 2018

Implementing a VoIP phone system can give your business much more flexibility in how it communicates with crucial contacts. Most users of our VoIP system see a minimum reduction of 75% in monthly phone costs, while you can assign virtual phone numbers to mobile handsets.

This enables your personnel to keep in touch with clients or customers while preserving the company’s usual, professional image – even on trips away from the office. However, this can pose the question of how many VoIP calls your employees could make or take on their mobile data plans.How much data does a VoIP call use?

Just a minute…or potentially many more

Calculating the data usage of a typical VoIP call can be taxing, as many variables are at play. However, Lifewirehas outlined a succession of rough calculations worth making.

As both outgoing and incoming calls will eat into a data plan, you should factor in both as you estimate the number of necessary minutes. To reach this estimate, you could note down how many VoIP calls you made and received – along with their durations – in a sample month.

Bytes can take bites out of a data allowance

So, how much data does a VoIP call use? The answer to this will depend on the codec used by the VoIP service. The codec is responsible for converting a voice into digital data and minimising data usage, such as through taking out silent moments, to lighten the financial load.

If your company uses our own hosted VoIP service, you can easily get in touch with us to learn the applicable codec. Let’s assume that the codec is G.729; as this burns 32 kilobits per second, multiplying that amount by 60 would give you the per-minute usage, which is 1,920 kilobits.

Converting this amount into kilobytes results in a figure of 240. However, this would still only account for outbound data; doubling the number can give us 480 kilobytes, which would include both outbound and inbound data. This figure is equal to nearly 0.5 megabytes.

The implications for on-the-go VoIP calls

These figures are very encouraging. They suggest that, if the monthly allowance on your owndata plan is a gigabyte or higher, this is more than enough data to let you place and receive hundreds – or potentially even thousands – of calls over VoIP when you have departed the office.

There is, nonetheless, still the question of bandwidth. When running VoIP calls on a standard computer, other apps and programs can devour data bandwidth and so possibly affect the clarity of your calls. When you are out and about, bandwidth can also be taken up – except, this time, by other users of the mobile network.

You can still help free up precious bandwidth by closing resource-heavy apps, like Facebook and Twitter, you don’t need at that moment. Our hosted VoIP phone service provides a thoroughly reliable solution for when using VoIP outside of the office – call us on 0800 088 6543 to learn more.