Voice traffic is buffered at the receiving end to help compensate for jitter. In effect, the conversation is stored until enough of the transmission is in memory to play for the receiver. TCP/IP delivers packets based on several routing algorithms. In order for VoIP to work properly, special attention must be paid to not only the paths that the packets take, but also the capacity and health of the network.
Excessive jitter makes a conversation undecipherable. New layer 3 switches offer relief as they are able to understand prioritization. Also the new SIP protocol sets up a "virtual" path to help all packets travel the same route to assist with reassembly.
You should download the whitepaper "VoIP - Is your Infrastructure Ready?" from www.siemon.com/us/white_papers/03-10-29-voip.asp . It explains all of the key terms, the technologies and how to check for network readiness. You may also want to get help from a certified infrastructure auditor.
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