How to Calculate Bandwidth For IP Communication

I have used IP Telephony and video conferencing a few times and I am convinced of their utility. Now I want my whole company to switch to using it, and I want all my employees to be comfortable. All my accounts and other operations are completely computerized and I believe my Network is already choked. How do I calculate additional bandwidth needed?

This scenario often needs practical understanding on how to calculate the bandwidth used for desktop video conferencing. Video conferencing indeed provides a very challenging application for different business networks. It does not only specify needed bandwidth, it also requires a low amount of packet loss, as well as a highly controlled jitter. Meeting all these needs require QoS (Quality of Service) to be implemented on both sides.

Video Conferencing – Business Environments

Today, the usual video conference deployments include combined room based systems, desktop video clients through the use of webcams and smartphone-based video clients. With the increasing availability of smartphones and tablets, the challenge included in the preparation done by an organization to provide support to video conferencing has turned out to be tremendous. The use of these mobile devices is expected to be in random locations.  This is an additional factor to be considered when calculating the bandwidth needed in an organization.

calculate bandwidth

The Process of Calculation

In order for an organization to calculate the required bandwidth to be used in supporting the necessary video conferencing procedures, here are the steps on how to do so:

Step 1:

Writing down the number of endpoint types as well as the number in each location.The endpoint type simply refers to the model and make of the video codec.

Step 2:

Identifying call speed or call rate for each of the endpoint type.The call speed/call rate determines the maximum allowable resolution which is expected on a single video call. The higher the rate is, the better the resolution of the video will be, but it is also expected that the network bandwidth load is also higher. The call rate generally represents the amount of bandwidth needed on an ISDN dial up call. For instance, for IP networks, a 20% overhead should be expected. Therefore, a 512kb call can consume up to 614kb in an IP network.

Step 3:

Estimation of concurrent usage. For instance, there is a need to identify the number of desktop video conference systems in a certain site which will be used at a specific time. Therefore, if there are six systems and three will be used, then the expected concurrent usage is at 50%.

Step 4:

Calculating the bandwidth required in every site. In order to produce a calculation of the required bandwidth, the number of each endpoint type should be multiplied by their specific call rate in order to get the total value of call-rate based bandwidth. Then, the demand from all the endpoint types should be added to the value. The sum will then be multiplied by 20% (which is the overhead of the call rate), in order to determine the demand for network bandwidth in a certain site.

As mentioned earlier, it is also very important to provide an estimate for the calculation of mobile video systems. The accurate inventory may not be available depending the type of network used (3G and guest Wi-Fi access). Ultimately, the connectivity experience in an organization should work seamlessly for everybody using the system. Aside from satisfaction of the services, it also contributes to the enhanced productivity in the system. Indeed, a significant amount of resources should be carefully used in calculating the necessary bandwidth needed in an organization.

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About the Author: Shameem

I am Shameem, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Chennai, India.


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