Voice over IP

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January 14, 2009

Quality and Productivity Enhancements Available with VoIP Wideband Code

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Consumers tend to have a mixed reaction to new technologies. While we often want to be the first on board with the cutting edge, we only want to risk so much in the event that the latest technology is a fad or does not work as well as promised. When Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was first introduced, it was met with some interesting reactions as consumers were leery of leaving their traditional landlines behind.

Much has changed since the early years of VoIP and it has now become an accepted communication channel within the enterprise and the home. Now, VoIP providers are rolling out support for wideband business phone systems and those subscribers with the right equipment can enjoy the clearest phone calls ever available.

In a recent VendorGuru.com piece, author Joe Taylor, Jr. examines how this new wave of hardware compatible with the G.722 audio format allows VoIP services to improve the quality of speakerphones and conference call systems. The enhanced audio allows solo callers to experience greater presence and clarity.

The technology advancements have applications within the call center and other enterprise as call center agents and other corporate users can rely on new tools to increase productivity while also building stronger rapport with callers over clear connections.
 
The G.722 codec was originally designed as a solution for high-end videoconferencing solution as it made conferencing more effective through the capture of more of the high-end frequencies bouncing around larger spaces. This method can enhance the clarity of most participants in group settings.

Broadband Internet bandwidth is now catching up to the needs of the G.722 codec, which is helping to drive wider adoption of the standard. Audio compression was supported by an algorithm that was protected by a patent until 2008.

When this patent expired, products and VoIP services flooded the market to support this format. Without the need to add royalty payments into their pricing systems, providers can now offer business phone systems based on the standard for roughly the same price as a PCM-based VoIP system.

In order to extract the maximum value from the system, key decision makers must replace their existing systems completely or choose a new system that maintains backwards compatibility with older equipment. Consulting with VoIP providers enables an organization to determine if making the switch now makes fiscal sense or if they should wait a couple of quarters for the emergence of less expensive equipment.

While G.722-based business phone systems can deliver significant quality enhancements to calls, this quality is still determined by the strength of the VoIP providers’ landline bridge connections. In fact, calls from wideband VoIP systems must still be converted for basic voice lines. Experts in the industry still promise that the quality and clarity of wideband calls entering analog conversion can still improve the voice presence of outbound calls.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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