Businesses across the world have realized the importance of VoIP as an emerging telecommunication technology. It has helped enterprise communication to become more efficient and smarter. VoIP or, Voice over Internet protocol, is a technology that transmits analogous voice signals in the form of digital packets over the Internet. Have you ever wondered what technology is used to transform analogous voice signals into digital packets? Well, it is the VoIP Codec that does the trick!
VoIP Codec is an algorithm, available in the form of embedded software in hardware devices or installed on the server. The Codec converts voice signals into digital data packets for transmission over a secured network or the Internet. The words compressor-decompressor or coder-decoder is the origin of the modern term Codec. Codecs have been devised to achieve 3 primary goals:
In VoIP telephony systems, a codec is used to encode the analog signals in the form of digital packets. When the packets reach their destination, they are decoded by the same codec. This is all done to transmit the voice signals on a digital medium, while both the speaker as well as the recipients remains oblivious of the complex encoding or decoding being implemented.
2)Compression and Decompression:
We cannot afford to use huge bandwidth while transmitting voice signals in the form of data packets. Thus, codecs are used to compress and make these lighter for transmission. There are specific compression algorithms that store the same data but in a compressed form for transmission. The same compressed signals are then decompressed at the recipient’s end for returning them back to normal digital voice signals.
3)Encryption and Decryption:
From the security point of view, Codecs perform the critical task of encryption and decryption of data packets. The process of encryption changes the data packets into a jumbled or complex form which cannot be decoded by others. Thus only the same coded can be used to decode the data packets while securing them from hacking. The data packets are decoded back to their original form on reaching their desired destination.
There are a variety of codes used by VoIP and different codes are available for fax, video, voice and text. Businesses need to be aware of the different types of codecs available in the market and decide on the ones that they think would make their VoIP calls secured and error free. Some of the popular codecs used are listed below:
- G.711 is a 64 kbps codec that is considered to be the best for voice signal transmission. It is not at all demanding on the processor and the minimum requirement for its functioning is 128 kbps on both sides.
- G.722 is a 48/56/64 kbps codec and can easily adapt to different compression.
- G.723.1 is a 5.3/6.3 kbps coded that offers high compression but with superior audio quality. This codec can be used with dial up but it requires too much processor power.
- G.726 is a 16/24/32/40 kbps codec that can be considered as an upgraded version of G.723 and G.721
- G.729 is an 8 kbps codec that utilizes the bandwidth perfectly and is error tolerant.
- GSM is a 13 kbps codec that offers high compression and freely available. GSM phones use this encoding technique.
- iLBC is a 15 kbps codec that does not register high packet loss and is available for free.
- Speex is a 2.15 / 44 kbps codec that does not use too much bandwidth as it uses variable bit rate.
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