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 A quality of service (QoS) is a set of technologies for managing network traffic efficiently to enhance user experience. QoS is usually related to IP networks, but can also apply to circuit switched connections, and relates to the call establishment procedures rather than the transport.


In IP networks the two most common QoS methods are Diffserv and RSVP. Diffserv works on a per hop basis, with all devices (switches and routers) honouring the QoS markings applied to priority traffic. Traffic marked with a less priority or without any markings, will either be delayed or dropped at the expense of the priority traffic.


Devices which participate in RSVP QOS, create a end to end reservation for bandwidth at a specific quality level, before the call or session is established. If a particular path has congestion the RSVP algorithm can manage alternative paths if available, or reject the session completely.