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2013 European Modelling Symposium

The Performance of VoIP Over IEEE 802.11


Nor Khairiah Ibrahim, Mohd Raziff Abd Razak, Abdul Halim Ali and Wan Mohd Syahrir Mohamed Yatim
Wireless Research Laboratory
Universiti Kuala Lumpur British Malaysian Institute
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
norkhairiah@bmi.unikl.edu.my

Abstract- Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that


enables to transport voice over Internet Protocol. The growth
of this technology is due to the integration of voice and data
traffic over wireless infrastructure. The low cost of voice usage
on internet and wide spread of wireless technology has an
advantage to implement VoIP system in today IP network.
This study investigates the performance of VoIP over different
IEEE 802.11standard. The focus of the study will be on IEEE
802.11 b/g/n standard. Data related to the performance
parameter of the wireless network and the voice quality will be
collected. The qualities of voice are analyzed and summarize
into a graph between different Wireless LAN physical layer in
deployment of WLAN in the future.

VoIP system development

VoIP implementation

Performance evaluation

Keywords- Voice Over IP; WLAN; VoWLAN.

I.

Results and analysis

INTRODUCTION

VoIP is the technology that makes it possible to have a


telephone conversation over the Internet or a dedicated IP
network (packet switch) instead of dedicated voice
transmission lines (circuit switch). VoIP traffic does not
necessarily have to travel over the public Internet; it may
also be deployed on private IP networks such as Intranet
[1].
IEEE 802.11 standards define a through the air interface
between a wireless client and an access point or between
two or more wireless clients [2]. IEEE 802.11b/g/n WLAN
standard have different transmission technique and speed.
Theoretically, the performance of IEEE802.11 WLAN for
each standard supposed to be different from each other.
This paper evaluates the performance of VoIP traffic over
IEEE802.1b/g/n. This study is concern on measurements of
critical parameters that affect the quality of voice over wireless
networks such as packet loss, delay and jitter. Furthermore, the
voice quality will be measured using MOS and R-Factor. The
data produced will be collected and analyze.

Figure 1. Flowchart of method of study implementation

Figure 2. Wireless VoIP Network

Figure 2 shows the VoIP system that will be developed


for the purpose of this study. The network consists of server
and clients which will be connected through wireless
network. The server provides control and signaling protocol
to maintain voice traffic across the network. The switches
allow several network devices connected to each other. The
access point allows wireless connection for the client to
communicate to each other via voice server. The client
terminals act as the end point producing voice traffic across
the network.
WLANs are commonly and successfully designed for data
traffic but not for voice traffic as it is very sensitive to delay
and loss [3].There are several parameters that affect the
quality of voice over wireless networks such as delay, jitter and
packet loss:

II. MATERIALS AND METHODS


General overview of the study implementation is
shown in Figure 1.
In the VoIP system development, Open Source
application Asterisk was used as IP PBX which acts as
voice server. Several clients were connected to produce
voice traffic across wireless network.

978-1-4799-2578-0/13 $31.00 2013 IEEE


DOI 10.1109/EMS.2013.101

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x

distribution among the three wireless standards across the


measured distance.

Delay is caused when packets of data / voice take more


time than expected to reach their destination [4].
Jitter or delay variation is the difference value between
the delays of two queuing packets. Jitter value is
considered acceptable between 0 ms and 50 ms [5].
Packet loss occurs when packet of data travelling
across a network failed to reach their destination. The
acceptable packet loss rate is between 1% and 3% [6].

There are several ways in measuring the quality of voice


traffic. In this study, the quality of voice will be measured
using:
x
x

MOS is method of measuring VoIP quality. MOS


score ranges from 1 (Bad) to 5 (Excellent) [6].
R-Factor is one way of measuring the VoIP quality.
This value is derived from couple of parameters like
delay and network impairments. R-Factor ranges from
0 (Extremely poor quality) to 100 (High Quality) [7].

Figure 3. WLAN PERFORMANCE - R-Factor reading between


IEEE802.11b/g/n

Table 1 shows the voice quality measurement indicator


using R-Factor and MOS.

Four common parameters have been identified to


evaluate the performance of the VoIP systems such as jitter,
packet loss, MOS and R-Factor. Data were collected for the
parameter and presented as in graphs. The experiment
produced satisfying results for the overall performance of
VoIP over IEEE 802.11b/g/n. The graph in Figure 4-7
shows the VoIP performance comparison for IEEE
802.11b, IEEE 802.11g & IEEE 802.11n in 2.4GHz
frequency band. As the client move further from Access
Point (AP), their signal strength became lower and thus
affecting the VoIP performance.

TABLE 1. VOICE QUALITY MEASUREMENT

R-Factor
90 100
80 - 89
60 79
Less than
59

MOS
4.3 - 5.0
4.0 - 4.3
3.1 - 3.6

User Satisfaction Level


Excellent
Good
Dissatisfied

1.0 - 2.6

Not recommended

In the experiment, Tomasoft CommView and


NetSurveyor were used to measure the performance of the
wireless network and the quality of the voice in the IP
network. The performance parameters were measure in an
uncontrolled environment. The result gathered is used to
analyze and study the behavior of the network.

III. RESULTS
The following results show the comparison of voice and
network quality performance which will reflect the overall
successful of the VoIP system in IEEE 802.11b/g/n WLAN
standard.
Figure 3 illustrate the signal strength performance of the
wireless network for different standards. The figure shows
that the signal strength exponentially decays as the wireless
client move further away from the access point. This
behavior will influence the quality of the voice of the VoIP
system. The experiment shows that 802.11b has better
signal strength even though the signal strength has similar

Figure 4. Comparison of jitter between IEEE802.11b/g/n

Although all wireless standards have excessive jitter,


most of the higher jitters happened at distance above 60

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meter as shown in Figure 4. This result indicates that jitter


value will fluctuate over distance and time.

Figure 7. Comparison of R-Factor between IEEE802.11b/g/n

Based on the analysis; jitter, packet loss, MOS and RFactor are related to each other, which prove the
relationship between the entire elements in the performance
of VoIP especially in wireless environment.

Figure 5. Comparison of packet loss between IEEE802.11b/g/n

In Figure 5, packet loss on all wireless standards does


not exceed the recommended loss, which is 1%-3%. The
result shows that the decrease of signal strength contributed
to changes on packet loss value.

IV. CONCLUSION
VoIP over IEEE 802.11 has a lot to offer. Whether
small or large organizations, the importance of VoIP is very
significant. Many organizations have start using VoIP as
main communication between employees. The real
advantages of VoIP over wireless include mobility and
cost. In the world full of competition, VoIP gave slight
advantages to organization that are using it.
In this study, the result indicates that there are
differences in the performance of VoIP using different
wireless standard. This means that different wireless
standard will show different quality of VoIP performance.
Several factors have to be considered in using VoIP such as
voice quality impairment, the medium used and
environment involve in the implementation. Other factors
include the distance between the access point and VoIP
client, and the interference from other 2.4GHz device. All
of these factors have significant impact on the performance
of VoIP on IEEE 802.11 standard.
There`s a lot of factor to be consider in implementing
VoIP over 802.11b/g/n. In order to obtain the best quality
of VoIP system, VoIP parameter such as delay, jitter and
packet loss has to be put into consideration and the
parameter must be at the acceptable value. In order to
achieve that, the access point must be installed in
recommended area. Based on the result, the range between
VoIP client and Access Point (AP) must not exceed 65
meter to produce better call quality.

Figure 6. Comparison of MOS between IEEE802.11b/g/n

Call quality as shown in MOS score is above 4 which


indicate good quality of call as shown in Figure 6. In Figure
7, the R-Factor shows promising result as it value are above
80 on all wireless standards which reflect to the good
quality of MOS score.

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REFERENCES
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[2] IEEE802.11 Standard, Facts &Channels, http://www.air802.
com/ieee-802.11-standards-facts-amp-channels.html;
Retrieved 11 Nov 2010.
[3] A. Kundu, I.S Misra, S. K. Sanyal& S. Bhunia, VoIP
Performance over Broadband Wireless Networks under Static
and Mobile Environments, International Journal of Wireless
& Mobile Networks Vol. 2, No. 4, November 2010.
[4] L. Zheng, L. Zhang, & D. Xu, Characteristics of network
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[7] A. Daniel, Difference Between R-Factor and MOS Score in
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