What are network requirements for Web Conferencing between companies?
If you have plans on using web conferencing as a part of your business, then you need to be prepared for the requirements. Having a web camera and an Internet connection just doesn’t cut it anymore. According to a 2004 study conducted by Yankee Group, as a bare minimum you would need at least some form of file and document sharing, application and screen sharing, text chat and record and playback.
With travel becoming more and more expensive companies are looking for ways to decrease costs while still remaining competitive. More and more small businesses and non profit organizations are using video conferences to help their business prosper.
Web conferencing takes place when several computer users are connected and exchange information between them, users see the same things on their screens in real time. In order for web conferencing to function on an optimal level you need to make sure your devices have been updated, furthermore you need to have a network which is ready to support conferencing. One thing to remember is that network requirements are almost as important as as audio, video devices or software, one company that can provide a stable network is Blue Jeans Network.
There are three dangers that must be taken into consideration in order to improve the quality of web conferencing, these include:
- Packet Loss
One problem users often encounter when trying to complete a web conference is latency, or network delays for packets between two users. When looking at web conferencing there are several reasons why delays occur, these include:
- A delay in the compressing of video and audio data.
- A delay in the Network cards on the receiving end
- A delay in the decompressing of video and audio data
In order to keep communication unlimited there can be a maximum latency of 300ms, the most common time is currently 100ms. In other words if the delay is shorter then the communication will run more smoothly and the quality of the video will be much better. Several network websites (like Blue Jean Network for example) are doing their best to ensure your connection will have the least possible network latency.
The second biggest issue that needs to be taken into consideration is packet loss, while data loss might not be of great importance when dealing with small files, it quickly becomes an important issue when data is compressed and sent in a continuous flow.
One way of dealing with data loss is through so-called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connections. One problem with these connections however is that for these each endpoint waits for the other to confirm whether the data has been received or not, and this increases the risk of delays.
Bandwidth is one of the more important requirements when considering whether to utilize web conferencing or not. A lack of bandwidth can quickly have an impact on latency, jitter and packet loss. The most important fact to remember is that you need to strive towards having at least a bandwidth of 768kbit/s, this will ensure that the peak traffic level is processed precisely and there is no disruption in the web conference.
Taking the above-mentioned facts into consideration, it becomes clear that you need to make sure your systems are optimized and meet the necessary requirements before you can start using video or audio conferencing as a means of communication. It is important that steps are taken towards reducing latency, just as packet loss should be reduced to a minimum since even the smallest packet loss can result in pixilation and a loss in picture quality.