Despite its increasing popularity, it is no secret that VoIP phone calls cannot quite replace a regular phone, if reliability and call quality is important. A new study now indicates that voice quality has not improved over time; Brix Networks claims that VoIP quality has decreased "significantly and steadily over the last 18 months."
Using a utility available at the firm's website, Brix says that consumers have conducted more than one million tests of voice calls since late 2004. In each test, users were able to grade the voice call quality ranging from one point (bad) to five points (excellent). Test calls with an average grade were regarded as having satisfactory quality. However, only 81% of calls fall into the range of 3.6 points or higher. Brix says that the average grade consistently decreased over the time of the test, which ran from late 2004 through mid-2006.