This forum includes tips for maintaining the best audio quality possible with the Ooma System. If your Ooma system is having issues with dropped calls, static audio or echo, look here for assistance.
#96618 by domm
Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:29 am
Does anyone know the lowest theoretical speed needed for Ooma to work? If I am reading the article below (cut & pasted from another Ooma thread) correctly, Ooma only takes 130Kbps at most. So in theory if I have 130Kbps of reliable & sustainable speed Ooma should work fine? I know Ooma recommends more but could I get away with less?


Re: Quality of Service Settings
by dyehya » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:31 am

I have spent a lot of time getting QoS exactly where I want it and all of the settings set just the way I like and am very familiar with how all of this works so hopefully I can shed some light on this even if the thread is a few weeks old! First I am going to give you some information on codecs and then answer each part of what you asked.

You can go under your main My Ooma number and under Preferences > System Enable the High-Bandwidth codec. Below is what the help section under that category of My Ooma says:

The audio codec is what Ooma uses to transmit your call over the Ooma network. By default, Ooma uses a low-bandwidth audio codec (iLBC) during your calls. The low-bandwidth audio codec takes up approximately 30 Kbps of bandwidth per call.

You can enable the high-bandwidth codec (G711), which enables your calls to be sent uncompressed over the network. We only recommend that you use enable option only if you have a consistently high-quality Internet connection, as the quality of your voice conversation may diminish if your connection drops voice traffic.


Someone else quoted 70Kbps for the G711 codec but I have not verified that.

Now to answer each of the questions:

If you disable the QoS completely from Upstream then if you are uploading at max and trying to have a phone conversation then there is an extremely high probability that you will have dropped calls and quality issues. If you have a reliable upstream speed, then you can set the QoS to that speed. You do NOT have to set it 10-20% lower than that speed if you truly get at LEAST that much bandwidth. If it is variable you want to set it to the lowest of the variance which if it is 1.9Mbps then you want to set it to 1945Kbps. Also you came up with 2250Kbps which is 2.19Mbps. Now having the number too large means that IF you are using up all your upstream AND are on a call there will be quality loss and problems. If the number is too small for example 1024Kbps then you would be losing roughly a Mbps of upstream bandwidth ONLY while calls are active.

Now part of the problem with these questions is your assuming the quality is ONLY affected by QoS. All QoS does is help reserve bandwidth WHEN CALLS ARE ACTIVE. The quality can be affected by the internet connection itself even if all bandwidth is available for the Ooma. Latency of the internet connection (response time to the server to the other caller and back), as well as the codec used as I described earlier. Now using the high-quality codec on a stable high bandwidth internet connection WILL give you better sound quality IF and ONLY IF there is available bandwidth and the connection is reliable otherwise the additional packets will be lost and may result in even poorer quality than the regular low bandwidth codec.

Setting the downstream QoS is really only needed if you are constantly downloading files that use 100% of your bandwidth or if your like me and want to have it where even if you are doing stuff that eats up all of your download and upload bandwidth you still want to make sure call quality isn't affected. Now setting this number to the lowest variance of your ACTUAL bandwidth so if it varies use the lowest number. Worst case scenario you lose a small amount of bandwidth when calls are active.

Reserved bandwidth is how much the Ooma system factors in and reserves when QoS is active during calls. Meaning that if you have your upstream set to 2048Kbps and you have the reserved set to 130Kbps, it will reserve 130Kbps and let you use the reset of the remaining 1918Kbps. Now remember with the low quality codec each call uses up roughly 30Kbps...so if you have a scout or telo handsets, etc. each active call is going to multiply that number. So if you have 2 calls on the hub and one on the scout that would be roughly 90Kbps which is why 130Kbps by default is usually enough for most people because that factors in over 4 active calls with bandwidth left over. Now if you decide to use the high-quality codec and get good results with that you may want to increase that number higher and if the 70Kbps I read elsewhere on the forums is correct then 3 calls could easily use 210Kbps.
#96619 by wbertacchini
Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:45 am
I have Century Link DSL and the measure that I have done with a speed test is 865 kbps download, and 765 kbps upload. Yes it is slow, but have used Ooma for over 2 years, and have not had a problem with any dropped calls or missed calls. I do not have anything fancy, just the Ooma hub plugged into my wireless modem/router. Only one portable phone plugged into the Ooma hub, and 3 phones extensions running off of it wirelessly. Used to have Ooma running through my phone lines through the house, but had one day last week where that was causing a problem, after 2+ years. Don't know why that happened all of a sudden, and haven't tried to go back to that, but I am happy just the way it is now. So unless the newer system works differently, I think you can't go wrong even at the lowest speed that your internet provider sends your way. :D
#96623 by domm
Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:31 pm
The internet package I presently am using gives me 700Kbps down & 300Kbps up & I have not had any problems so far (I have only been using Ooma for 3 days) but I am trying to find the absolute lowest speed needed. I don't use or need much speed for internet use & obviously the lower the speed package I could subscribe to & still have Ooma work well, the less it would cost me.
#96624 by lbmofo
Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:50 pm
256 Kbps upstream network speed (384 Kbps recommended). Since downstream is usually higher, they don't mention it but have got to be same or higher.
#96632 by domm
Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:23 pm
lbmofo wrote:256 Kbps upstream network speed (384 Kbps recommended). Since downstream is usually higher, they don't mention it but have got to be same or higher.

If you are correct then I am near the lowest speed possible for Ooma to work properly. The network speed I was using prior to buying this Ooma was 600Kpbs down & 150Kbps up but I asked my ISP to give me a trial run for a few days at a higher speed package so they moved me up to 700Kbps down & 300Kbps up. As of June 4th I will be lowered back down to 600Kbps down & 150Kbps up so I assume if you are correct my Ooma will no longer work unless I subscribe to the higher Network speed. I will let you know.
#96633 by lbmofo
Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:27 pm
It would still work but you'd get subpar quality I think. The recommended speeds are if you were to want optimal quality but since Ooma requires less bandwidth than other VoIP, you may still experience good enough quality with lower speeds.
#96752 by domm
Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:19 am
lbmofo wrote:It would still work but you'd get subpar quality I think. The recommended speeds are if you were to want optimal quality but since Ooma requires less bandwidth than other VoIP, you may still experience good enough quality with lower speeds.


So I asked my ISP to lower my speed to the lowest package they offer which is 600Kbps down & 150Kbps up & tried Ooma. As you said lbmofo, while it does work, the quality is sub par with lots of garble & missed words. The lowest speed package is the one I have always been on so if I used Ooma I would have to subscribe to the next package up which would add to the cost of using Ooma for me so that takes away allot of the savings I was hoping for.

PS: I called Bell Canada to ask if I would be charged for canceling my phone service & low & behold they came up with a new deal for me that saves me about $180 per year so for now I've decided to stay with them. I will always have Ooma in my mined as a threat if Bell raises my rates in the future. Thanks for all your help & gl.
#96753 by lbmofo
Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:02 am
domm, hope to see you soon.

Sometimes, it isn't the pure $ out of pocket.

For me, before Ooma, I was paying for 3Mbps/256Kbps DSL but only got 1.5Mbps/256Kbps for years. Doing things on the internet was like watching grass grow and paint dry at the same time.

After getting Ooma, I cancelled my overpriced DSL and got cable internet. Thanks to Ooma, my internet speed is more than 10X faster yet in total, I am spending $10 less per month. $10 savings per month isn't much but Ooma made it possible for a better internet experience, therefore better quality of life with less money.
#96764 by domm
Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:50 am
lbmofo wrote:domm, hope to see you soon.

Sometimes, it isn't the pure $ out of pocket.

For me, before Ooma, I was paying for 3Mbps/256Kbps DSL but only got 1.5Mbps/256Kbps for years. Doing things on the internet was like watching grass grow and paint dry at the same time.

After getting Ooma, I cancelled my overpriced DSL and got cable internet. Thanks to Ooma, my internet speed is more than 10X faster yet in total, I am spending $10 less per month. $10 savings per month isn't much but Ooma made it possible for a better internet experience, therefore better quality of life with less money.


I hear what your say-in lbmofo but in my area we don't have cable or DSL so the only options are satellite or wireless from a cell tower near by. The fastest package the wireless provider offers is 1Mbps up & down & it is very expensive so I figure it would not add a whole lot of added enjoyment going from 600Kbps down to 1Mbps down & the cost would skyrocket so with Bell I stay. gl
#96868 by GMOOMA
Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:15 pm
I set the upload to 512kbits and that seemed to have solved some fax issues I was having (placebo?)
not sure if the internal ooma qos functions actually work behind the router or if they only activate when the ooma is a router..

for me this seems a reasonable tradeoff.. I have 50/8 internet so dedicating 512k upstream isn't a big deal for me

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