Vapps–Wideband At It’s Core
As you may recall, I ranted about how conference calls suck. I think I can safely say I found a solution that sucks less.
I had a conversation with Vapps CEO Ben Lilianthal yesterday regarding the Vapps conference call services. At first, I had called into their conference call service using Skype via a Skype Out call. It didn’t sound any better than anything else.
Then Ben gives me the number I can dial–through Skype–that gets directly into the conference bridge. The difference in quality is absolutely amazing! Instead of compressing me down to G.729 as a typical Skype Out call, Skype is showing the call as AMRWB, otherwise known as G.722.2. The sound quality is just like I called Ben directly on Skype, which means it’s fantastic!
The secret to such high sound quality is that G.722.2–a wideband voice codec–is used inside the core of the Vapps service. This means that when people call in through Skype, there is no transcoding going on. The Skype participants sound wonderful.
Unfortunately, the non-Skype participants still don’t sound as good. However, with less codec transcoding going on, the overall call quality should improve a bit.
Pricing for the Vapps High Speed Conferencing service starts at $25 a month per room. A room holds anywhere from 10 people at the $25/mo price to up to 500 people at either a per-use rate or at $200/mo. You only pay for minutes if you use the toll-free number. Seems like a small price to pay to have a conference call that sucks less–much less.