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June 3, 2005

How Many VoIP Calls on 802.11b at the Same Time?

By Glenn Fleishman

Matthew Gast crunches and improves Cisco’s simultaneous VoIP over WLAN call estimates for 802.11b: Gast, author of the recently released 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition, uses Cisco’s calculations for overhead and throughput to figure out how many VoWLAN calls could be made at the same time using 802.11b, which is still considered a standard for Wi-Fi VoIP on the receiver end.

The results aren’t pretty: if all 802.11b devices are running at 11 Mbps, you can achieve from 11 to 15 calls depending on voice encoding factors. This is why a lot of institutions are considering or deploying 802.11a for VoIP: they’ll be able to handle dozens of calls on a single AP and deploy APs densely in the same area without overlap.

Posted by Glennf at June 3, 2005 1:16 PM

Categories: limitations

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Discussion of this issue is not complete unless we also look at Cisco's own documents:
which say that it can handle seven G.711 calls.
also says that no more that 15 to 25 802.11b devices associated to an AP, which is important if you have a lot of 802.11b phones ando ther devices located in a confined area, such as a conference room or lecture hall.

Frank Bulk

Posted by: Frank Bulk at June 3, 2005 2:58 PM