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Understanding VoIP: Codecs and Protocols

Before setting up VoIP for your business, there are multiple configurations and processes that must take place.  Two important considerations are codecs and protocols.

One step that takes place in a VoIP phone call is turning voice into numerous packets, and encoding it.  Codecs are used to encode and decode both ends of the conversation to allow the information to be sent and received across the network securely.  Different codecs have different characteristics and bandwidth requirements.  Two of the most popular codecs are G.711 Codec, which uses compression schemes, and G.729 Codec, which uses lossy compression.  The G.711 Codec requires more bandwidth than the G.729 Codec, but the G.729 Codec can impact the voice quality.

Once the codec has encoded the data, a protocol is used to transfer data to its target recipient.  A protocol is a set of rules or procedures that needs to be followed to allow an orderly communication, and determines the type of error checking and data compression that should be used, as well as how the sending and receiving devices should indicate that they have finished sending or receiving the message.  There are a variety of protocols that can be chosen, and they can be either hardware- or software-based.  The protocols that are most widely used in the industry include H.323, Mediate Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), Session Initiated Protocol (SIP), Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), Session Description Protocol (SDP), H.248, and Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP).

To learn more about the steps taken when using VoIP telephony, visit the AVOXI blog post “VoIP: What Is It and How Does It Work?

David Wise

David Wise

Chief Executive Officer, Founder at AVOXI
David has more than 18 years of management experience in the telecommunications industry. A graduate of the Citadel, David worked as a Senior Account Executive with Intermedia Communications and later co-founded Rapid Link, a leading provider of International callback and VoIP. David then founded AVOXI in 2001with a focus on providing niche international call center markets with customized voice and data services. read more
David Wise
David Wise

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