In my 30 + years in the telecommunication industry, one problem I have seen consistently are issues where the end of a phone call might be interpreted not as a drop, but as a deliberate act with one party becoming offended.
So let’s take a look at the causes and some solutions.
By and large the most common cause of dropped calls that my company has seen are due to problems with older phone systems that still are using copper phone lines or similar. Such problems existed in 1919 and still do in 2019. In recent years problems with calls originating to or coming from cell phones have increasingly been contributing to problems with dropped calls.
One of the ironies of the dramatic improvement in cell phone service quality is that since one can rarely tell when another party is on cell phone or a landline or VOIP line resulting landline or VOIP carriers getting the blame for dropped calls that are in fact caused by cell phones. The slight upside to this is that folks these days are less likely to assume an abrupt end to a call is a deliberate act on the part of the caller.
Other causes of dropped calls include:
a) electrical power problems.
b) internet carrier or related IT problems.
c) user error, in which case it becomes an “accidental or deliberate disconnect” and not a dropped call.
d) on older non VOIP systems component issues.
e) user issues often related to persons new to the phone system.
On VOIP systems however.., the problems most times are not due to phone carrier carrier or issues or the equipment but one of 4 things;
- inadequate internet bandwidth – in which case a simple upgrade in speed will often solve the problem.
- Issues related the your internet service provider. These issues can usually be corrected pretty easily by contacting the customer or technical support department of your internet service provider. When contacting them include asking them to make sure everything in your carrier provided modem is set to allow, give priority to and/or not bloc SIP signals. In the rare times we have seen such calls not completely solve the problem we have found that insisting the carrier replace their modem has solved the issue.
- Make sure your ethernet switch or ( if you have a private router) is upgraded to the latest gigabyte technology and speeds.
- Talk to an IT professional about providing a thorough check of your IT system for viruses. Viruses can infect a computer and/or computer network at any time. Many virus can take up massive amounts of bandwidth on even the fastest of internet circuits and by doing so play havoc with your IP phones!
The best way to avoid dropped calls is through the use of the modern business telephone system.
On older phone systems, if a component is about to go bad dropped calls would be one of the problems one could experience. If it is not a problem with the systems components things that will cause a call to drop on a modern “land-line” system include a loss of electrical power and carrier issues. Switching to a VOIP system improves greatly the chances of this not occurring – but does not eliminate completely the potential for this problem to occur
So, what to do when you experience a dropped call:
- Immediately make a note of the phone number dropped, and the time of the dropped call
- Call the dropped party back, apologize for the interruption and inform them that the drop was a technical problem, not a deliberate act.
- If you have internet based (VOIP) phone service contact your local internet service carrier and create a service ticket. In most cases your Internet provider can help especially if provided the above information. As noted in this article earlier in some cases you may need to insist they replace your/their modem.
If over a period of several months you continue to experience dropped calls on a regular basis, consider changing local phone or internet service carriers. Most often however today’s carriers are very good at identifying and fixing these issues. As bothersome as these things are be patient with your phone or internet carrier since it may take several reported incidents before they can clearly identify and get a handle why this is happening.
If ongoing issues with dropped call is getting especially frustrating – hang in there! A solution can almost always be found! In the meantime consider taking a break and firing up a Jimmy Buffett tune on your computer or smartphone until things finally get resolved!
Problems with dropped calls have been around the since the days of Alexander Bell. As good as our modern communications infrastructure is, I don’t expect them to go away anytime soon. Take the advice I’ve given you here, and you’ll find the problem to be less pervasive, and frustrating.