Healthdirect Australia Help Center

    Bandwidth and data usage

    This page gives IT staff an overview of the minimum bandwidth requirements to use Video Call.

    Network and Bandwidth

    To work smoothly, Video Call requires a minimum broadband speed of 350Kbps upstream and downstream for a 2 endpoint call.

    You also need an internet connection that sends and receives data quickly enough, so latency should not be more than 100 milliseconds.

    Check your broadband speed by running a speedtest

    Video Call will work on ADSL, cable, optical fibre and 3G, 4G and 5G connectivity setups.

    The set-up you are using may have an effect on the quality of your Video Call:

    • If you're connecting via a wireless LAN from a busy office, the packet loss and delays introduced by other devices competing for space on the wireless may make it difficult to get sustained bandwidth for Video Call.
    • If you are connecting from home on a lower bandwidth connection, and you are using bandwidth for uploads (or downloads) of other data, you might need to pause other activities to get sufficient bandwidth for Video Call.

    Make sure you have sufficient, sustained and available bandwidth of at least 350Kbps to hold a high-quality Video Call. Please note, if you choose to use Full HD video quality in a call, you will require more bandwidth and use more data as outlined at the bottom of this page.

    Bandwidth use per video

    Video Call is built using peer-to-peer connections. This has the advantage that each connection finds the shortest possible path to send the data, and thus reduces the delay in the connection. But it also means that the more users enter a call, the more incoming and outgoing connections you will have.

    Make sure to calculate an extra 350Kbps both upstream and downstream per extra party you bring into the call.

    NOTE - Video Call is planning a future functionality where only the downstream bandwidth usage will increase, not the upstream when bringing in another party.

    Data usage per call

    Healthdirect Video Call will use up to 1Mbps if that bandwidth is available to them. So, assuming you have enough available upstream and downstream bandwidth, and the call goes for 30 minutes, and it's a call with 2 endpoints, your data usage will be a maximum of:

    • Data Usage = 30 [min] x 60 [sec] x 1 Mbps x 2 [users] / 8 [bytes] =  450 MB.

    If your call is made on minimum bandwidth usage, the usage may be more like:

    • Data Usage = 30 [min] x 60 [sec] x 350Kbps x 2 [users] / 8 [bytes] =  158 MB.

    It is likely that you will use something between these two numbers.

    This calculation is made with 2 endpoints providing one audio-visual connection upstream and downstream each.

    If you are planning to bring in a third, fourth or fifth party, your bandwidth usage will increase.

    Group Calling data usage

    For healthdirect Video Call group rooms, the recommended minimum requirements for a group call are as follows:

    • Upload: A minimum of 350kbps upstream bandwidth for sending audio/video
    • Download: A minimum of 350kbps downstream bandwidth for each other participant in the call for receiving audio/video from the media server, using the following formula:
      • Downstream bandwidth required = (n-1) * 350 (where n is the number of participants in the call)
      • eg. Downstream bandwidth requirements for a call for 10 participants
        • 9 * 350kbps = 3150kbps (~3.1 Mbps)

    Please note, adding content such as sharing will add an additional stream of 350kbps for each participant.

    Full High Definition (Full HD) video quality data usage

    If the Video Quality is set to Full HD Quality in a Video Call, the video feed will be very high resolution which will use more data. This setting is available in the Settings drawer in the Call Screen if you have a camera that supports Full HD. When Full HD is selected, you will be sending a higher bandwidth video feed so will require more upload speed. If the other participant in a two person call also selects Full HD, you will also need more download speed to receive their video feed. The bandwidth required is:

    • For a Full HD Video Call between two participants the bandwidth required is around 2.5Mbps for both upload and download. To ensure the call is stable it is recommended you have between 2.5 and 3.5 Mbps upload and download internet connection speed.
    • If there are more than two participants in the call and they have their Video Quality set to Full HD, you will require a further 2.5Mbps of download bandwidth for each participant. You will also require more upload bandwidth as your video is sent to more than one person. Here is an example:
      • For 4 participants it would be 7.5Mbps upload and download speed.

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