Today, Internet technologies have pervaded every corner of our society. More and more people are benefiting from the Internet in one way or the other. One of the current Internet technologies that may benefit us greatly is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). According to Hardy (2003, p. 2), VoIP is “the interactive voice exchange capability carried over packet-switched transport employing the Internet protocol.” With VoIP technology, one can call anyone in this world at a lower cost, compared to traditional telephone systems. However, VoIP technology has one significant drawback. It has a low degree of reliability. From experimental results it is known that VoIP can achieve only 98% reliability. The service down time per year for VoIP is almost 20 working days (175 hours). For most companies and government organizations, such a degree of reliability is unacceptable since the traditional telephone system can achieve 99.999% reliability with a service down time of only five minutes per year (Kos, Klepec, & Tomaxic, 2005). As a result, quality of service (QoS) is an important concept for VoIP. Using QoS, VoIP may be able to overcome its limitation in reliability. QoS is often defined as the capability to provide resource assurance and service differentiation in a network. The definition includes two important terms—resource assurance and service differentiation. Resource assurance provides a guarantee about the amount of network resources requested by the user. On the other hand, service differentiation provides higher priority of getting network resources to those applications that have critical latency constraints. Given the importance of low latency for voice communication, it is not difficult to predict that QoS will assume greater importance in the VoIP industry as this technology gains popularity in the mass market. It is reported that VoIP is aggressively growing, and this growth is expected to continue in the coming years.

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Published on 01/01/2011

Volume 2011, 2011
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch088
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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