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How does your network overcome latency and jitter?
Latency is defined as the amount of delay measured in milliseconds that occurs in any round-trip data transmission.
Latency is inherent in any Internet connection. It cannot be avoided, only minimized using a better managed network.
Due to the physics involved in using a satellite link for data transmission, there is a latency of 500 ms for a round-trip transmission.
This latency is much higher than terrestrial networks delays.
This undesirable feature can negatively affect the performance of many business applications.
What sets apart one satellite ISP from another is the network induced latency (i.e. latency induced due to coding and processing delays).
The most efficient satellite networks offer total latency of less than 600 ms (including both the physics component as well as the network induced latency).
Figures as high as 1200-1700 ms across satellite networks is not uncommon and are due to the use of commercial-grade equipment coupled with poorly managed networks.
While these levels of latency are acceptable for web browsing and basic Internet applications, it definitely does not work well for applications such as VoIP, streaming video and high-bandwidth applications.
Jitter is defined as the fluctuation in latency and can often worsen the performance of networks, in some cases much more than latency itself.
This is another consequence of oversubscribed networks.
Latency and jitter are key parameters used to assess the performance of a network and should be one of the first questions you should ask your operator.