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Facebook - Skype deal?

HD Voice (aka wideband codecs)

Recently there have been a lot buzz around the concept of HD Voice specially in telco forums.  This post will try to answer the most frequently asked questions around the concept.

What is HD Voice?
High Definition (HD) Voice is a marketing term referring to products and technologies supporting the transmission of audio signals in conversational services with higher quality (that means making the speech signal played in the receiver side as similar as possible to the original speech captured in the originator side).
As you can imagine, higher quality implies higher bandwidth consumption.
The technical term for HD Voice would be the use of wideband codecs as it would be described later.

Why is it important?
Because voice quality impacts in customer satisfaction being a competitive advantage over competence, and because according to some studies by skype  voice quality and average call duration are proportional [1].

Is it something new?
No. Skype popularized this already existing technolog…

Gmail phone calls from a technical perspective

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This week we received good news from google including phone calling support from gmail.   This feature is far from perfect and we expected it to improve a lot yet (specially in voice quality and integration with gmail site), but it is interesting to try to figure out how it works and how is it integrated with the rest of google communications suite.

Gmail phone calls is a service to make outgoing voice calls from gmail website to international mobile and fixed telephone lines.  The charging and the caller id are integrated with google voice (GV) if available for that google account.

From a technical perspective these are VoIP calls from the web client to the server infrastructure terminating the calls in the telephony network.

Client technology
The client is suppose to be the same application they use for the previous gtalk voice and video feature (in fact I hadn't to install anything new to start making calls).   That software is a native browser plugin scriptable from the web pag…

Why is Skype so successful as a corporate communication tool?

From my personal experience Skype is getting more and more presence as a non-official corporate tool providing advance communication capabilities.  According to the official reports 35 percent of Skype users utilize it for business purposes [1].
In my opinion the three more important features making Skype so attractive in those environments over other VoIP/Messaging tools are the following ones:
Unblockable communications: Some corporate networks try to restrict employees traffic making impossible to use other VoIP tools.  Skype is able to overcome that limitation encapsulating all the traffic under HTTP/HTTPS connections while maintaing a good enough voice quality.Conferencing support: Skype was a pioneer offering voice conferencing support without additional equipment in the network.  That innovative solution allows free and easy to use conferencing support, being a feature commonly used in corporate environments to maintain the audio meetings with your colleagues.Easy to use: Most o…

Overview of "Google Communication Suite"

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In the last  few years, Google position in personal communications market is going stronger including a large list of products ranging from different types of messaging to voice and video.   I've tried to make a summary of those products considering different dimensions in the next figures.


As we see, current "Google Communication Suite" is very disperse, probably because some of the products have been acquired recently and the integration is not clear yet.

From my point of view these are the short term perspectives of evolution of this product suite:
Any user will be able to get and associate international phone numbers to their Google accountsUnified Visual Inbox including activity from GMail, Google Voice, Buzz and maybe Google Wave.New Desktop Application (being an improved GTalk desktop application or a new web interface)Replacing Mobile Phone dialers with Google "Communicator"  Corporate services: Replacing current PBX and webconference products with inte…

Welcome to this blog

Today I'm starting this new blog to discuss trends, news and technologies around Real Time Communications.     The topics included under the Real Time Communications umbrella are those related to personal communications (voice, messaging, application sharing, presence...) using next generation networks (basically IP technologies). 

The aim of this blog is to bring a space to discover and discuss these trends, news and technologies in a simple, updated and objective way.

Suggestions for topics and any kind of comments are more than welcomed.