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How can IT measure the call rate for an endpoint?

Video expert Stephen K. Campbell explains what call rate is and how call rate can be measured for video conference endpoints.

Can you explain what call rate is and how IT can measure the rate of a call for an endpoint?

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Call rate can go by several different names, and a manufacturer may use the names interchangeably. Call speed, call rate, call bandwidth, or simply speed or bandwidth all basically designate the maximum amount of bandwidth a video codec will use to send a video call, including audio and video streams, to another endpoint or multipoint control unit (MCU), also known as a bridge.

There is a caveat that call rate generally refers to the bandwidth that a video call would consume if the call were being placed via an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) line. ISDN was the primary transport mechanism when video conference systems began to appear in large numbers. The majority of video calls today are placed over an IP network, so the call rate specified in the codec setup should be increased by 20% to account for the IP overhead added to the packets in the form of headers.

The video conference endpoint settings can be checked to determine what call rate, speed or bandwidth will be used for calls. An IT administrator can also check the statistics from a switch port or interface, or use a tool such as MRTG, ManageEngine or Solar Winds, to monitor bandwidth utilization. Of course any other traffic on the interface will change the number, so filtering by IP address, or looking at the endpoint port, will eliminate other traffic.

For more information on call rate and video conference bandwidth

  • How to calculate bandwidth for desktop video conferencing: Learn how to determine the bandwidth needed for video conferencing, including identifying call rate.
  • Managing video conferencing bandwidth demand: Learn how to control and monitor bandwidth demands for your video conferencing system.
  • Calculating bandwidth requirements for business video conferencing: Understand the video conference requirements for your network and how to support these requirements.

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