Using Talkatone with a non-broadband internet connection

By Husain Sumra|Friday October 1, 2021

From early on, Talkatone has focused on providing great call quality to our users.

When you place a call using Talkatone, we use something called an “audio codec” to encode your audio signal into data packets that can be sent and received over the Internet and then decoded back into audio.

To ensure great audio quality to our users, we have been using a codec that can deal with loss and jitter:

    Loss occurs when a data packet never makes it to the recipient because it got lost in transit. In audio terms, it’s akin to voice cutting out.

    Jitter means that not all data packets arrive at the same speed, or may even arrive out of order. In some codecs this translates into voice being “stretched out”. Because audio calls are real-time, excess jitter can be equivalent to loss: a packet that arrives way too late is discarded.

Even on the wired internet, loss and jitter regularly occur, and they are even more common on cellular data connections. In spite of this, we believe Talkatone’s codec has been effective at dealing with both loss and jitter, and that our codec smoothly handles loss and jitter to give you great audio quality.

Our latest efforts to improve audio have focused on a different question: how well does Talkatone work when the user has an internet connection with limited bandwidth?

To this end, we’ve made a few changes in the app and tested audio calls at various Internet speeds. Our findings show that even on a connection with less than 200 kilobits per second in each direction, Talkatone calls work, including the use of touch tones to navigate a phone menu on the other side. To put this in perspective, the FCC publishes a guide with typical minimum bandwidth requirements for various online activities. For example, the FCC believes that Online Gaming requires a minimum required bandwidth of 3-4 Megabits per second.

So, whether your internet connection is choppy or slow, Talkatone is looking out for you.


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