G 729 and G 711 are voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone codecs, which are programs that compress the sound of your voice for easier transmission during an internet phone call, decompressing it on the other end. G 711 has better quality but requires more bandwidth while G 729 requires less bandwidth, but quality suffers as a result.
Some VoIP providers only support G 729 or G 711. However, RingCentral supports both codecs across all its service plans, so it’s a good solution for solopreneurs and call centers alike. The affordable business phone system includes unlimited domestic calling, an auto attendant for routing calls, and virtual faxing. Check out RingCentral’s website to learn more or to sign up for a 15-day free trial.
Who the G 729 Codec Is Best For
The G 729 codec is best for call and contact centers as well as telesales organizations with a high volume of calls because it supports multiple simultaneous phone calls with ease. However, it is not supported by most VoIP providers and is not a feature you can typically choose from a menu. This is why it’s important to shop around for a system specifically built to support high call volumes.
Who the G 711 Codec Is Best For
The G 711 codec is best for smaller teams and solopreneurs that don’t make many simultaneous phone calls. This codec is supported by most VoIP business phone system providers but, due to its high bandwidth requirements during phone calls, it’s not recommended for companies with an unusually high call volume.
G 729 vs G 711 at a Glance
|G 729||G 711|
|Compresses Call Data||Yes||No|
|Supported by Most VoIP Providers||Not always||Almost always|
|Supports Multiple Simultaneous Phone Calls||With ease||With difficulty|
What’s the Difference Between G 729 vs G 711?
The underlying technology of G 729 and G 711 codecs that compress audio data during phone calls are similar, but the main difference is how the audio signal (your voice) is transmitted. G 729 compresses audio data packets, so they use less bandwidth while traveling to the person on the other end of the line. Unfortunately, data compression can lead to a decrease in overall sound quality.
G 711 doesn’t compress the audio signal, as significantly, to deliver better sound quality but requires substantially more bandwidth. However, there’s no guarantee that your customer’s network can handle uncompressed data as well as yours, which could also lead to sound quality issues for the people you call. You can test the speed of your bandwidth to find out how well it can handle uncompressed data and to determine which codec is best for your business calls.
How Much Bandwidth Do I Need for G 729 vs G 711?
Bandwidth is the maximum rate at which your network can transfer data from one point to another. Both G 729 and G 711 codecs require a certain amount of bandwidth to support reliable VoIP calling. Because G 729 compresses data transmissions, it consumes about 8 Kbps of bandwidth per call. The G 711 codec uses 64 kbps to transmit its uncompressed data.
The amount of bandwidth you’ll need to support either codec depends on how many phone lines you plan to use simultaneously on your VoIP network. Keep in mind that, in addition to phone calls, bandwidth speed is subject to fluctuation and your network may also be supporting virtual faxing, internet browsing, and other activities that influence the overall speed.
This chart shows how bandwidth speed may differ from actual VoIP bandwidth availability:
Bandwidth Limitations for VoIP
|Bandwidth (Upload Speed)||Bandwidth Fluctuation (Subtract)||Internet Browsing Activity (Subtract)||Bandwidth Available for VoIP|
|500 Kbps||- 105 Kbps||- 250 Kbps|
|1 Mbps||- 210 Kbps||- 500 Kbps|
|5 Mbps||- 1.05 Kbps||- 2.75 Mbps|
|10 Mbps||- 2.1 Kbps||- 5.5 Mbps|
|30 Mbps||- 6.3 Kbps||- 16.75 Mbps|
If your bandwidth speed is 500 Kbps, you may have only 145 Kbps available for VoIP calls. A VoIP system using the G 729 codec uses eight kbps of bandwidth per call, so your network could theoretically support 18 calls simultaneously (145 Kbps available ÷ eight Kbps per call = 18.1 concurrent calls). Conversely, a VoIP system using the G 711 codec can only support about two calls at a time (145 Kbps available ÷ 64 Kbps per call = 2.2 concurrent calls).
When determining which codec is best for your business, you’ll need to calculate your available bandwidth speed and how many lines each codec can support. Solopreneurs and very small businesses with slower bandwidth may face no issues using G711 and a limited number of phone lines. However, call centers and large companies should consider prioritizing the support of more phone lines while using G729 over its associated minor sound quality issues.
G 729 vs G 711 VoIP Codecs: Pricing
Until recently, some VoIP providers passed on their licensing costs to customers by building them into the price of their service plans. However, the patents on G 729 expired in 2017, and the patents on G 711 expired in 1972, meaning both codecs are now royalty-free and cost nothing for VoIP providers to use.
G 729 & G 711 Codec VoIP Providers
Most VoIP business phone system providers use the G 729 codec, the G 711 codec, or both. VoIP providers know that the codecs impact call sound and quality. Therefore, they choose the best standard for their system and, in some cases, offer both so customers can choose which codec is right for their unique needs when installing their VoIP system.
These five VoIP providers offer one or both codecs with their business phone system.
RingCentral, a top-rated VoIP business phone system, supports both G 729 and G 711 codecs. With service plans starting at $29.99 per user, per month and advanced features like included toll-free minutes, a multilevel auto attendant, and automatic call recording, RingCentral has options for any size business and features that grow with your company.
RingCentral also offers features like unlimited audio and video meetings with screen sharing, toll-free calling minutes, and integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Desk. The system is easy to set up, and customer support includes an online knowledge base and ticketing system as well as phone and chat support. RingCentral offers a free trial 30-day, money-back guarantee when you purchase an account. Check out RingCentral’s website for details.
Vonage, another highly rated business phone system, supports the G 711 codec. Service plans start at $19.99 with core features that include a virtual receptionist, mobile apps, and voicemail-to-email transcription. Vonage also offers an a la carte menu of additional features like a local phone number for $9.99 per month and a paperless fax number for $14.99 per month.
Vonage is a good match for companies wanting a service provider that offers add-on features to create custom phone plans. The desktop and mobile apps are intuitive and easy to use and are backed by customer support options that include an online knowledge base and ticketing system, live chat, and phone support. Vonage also offers a 14-day free trial, and you can cancel at any time without penalty. Start your free trial today.
Nextiva, our pick for best VoIP business phone system, supports only the G 711 codec. Service plans start at $34.95 per user, per month and include unlimited domestic calling, free local and toll-free phone numbers, and an auto attendant. Nextiva is right for organizations that want a business phone system with the best collection of features and superior customer support.
Additional Nextiva features include CRM integration, analytics and reporting tools, and a conference bridge. Customer support services include an online ticketing system, live chat, phone support, and a comprehensive knowledge base. The company offers a free demo of its product when you contact the sales team. Visit Nextiva’s website for details.
Jive, a VoIP business phone system and virtual phone number provider, supports the G 711 codec. Features include unlimited domestic calling, free international calling, mobile apps, conference calling, an auto attendant, and unlimited free calling to 52 countries with plans as low as $19.95 per user, per month. Jive is best for business with international team members or clients as well as companies that expect to expand outside of the U.S. market.
Jive is easy to set up, and its features are easy to use. Customer support tools include a VoIP glossary to help customers learn about unfamiliar terms, a searchable knowledge base, a section dedicated to downloads for tools like mobile apps, and a video library with training tutorials. The company offers a free demo of its product when you contact the sales team. Visit Jive’s website today for details.
Freshcaller is a VoIP business phone service that supports the G 711 codec and includes built-in call center system features such as queue visibility, agent presence status, and customer interaction history. The company has a free plan as well as paid plans from $19 per user, per month. Freshcaller is a good choice for businesses and sales teams wanting a VoIP service with call center management tools.
Freshcaller users say the service is easy to use and can easily handle the high volume of calls in a call center. Customer services options include email and phone support, an online knowledge base, and an online support ticketing system. The company offers a 14-day free trial. Head to Freshcaller’s website for details.
Pros & Cons of G 729 vs G 711 VoIP Codecs
Most VoIP phone service providers support either G 729 or G 711. In some cases, they support both. However, it’s not typically a service plan feature that allows users to choose one or the other, but rather a function of the underlying technology the VoIP provider has chosen to build into its service. Nevertheless, it helps to understand the pros and cons of each codec when making a VoIP phone service purchase.
Pros of G 729
- Low bandwidth requirements: One of the biggest advantages of G 729 is its low bandwidth requirement. This can be an important consideration for companies with limited, low, or throttled bandwidth.
- Supports multiple phone calls with ease: The low bandwidth required for calls using the G 729 codec means businesses can make more simultaneous phone calls than with the G 711 codec.
Cons of G 729
- Not supported by some VoIP providers: Some VoIP providers don’t support the G 729 codec because they believe the call quality is inferior to G 711.
- Doesn’t transmit nonvoice audio very well: Nonvoice audio such as music on hold can be choppy or laggy when using the G 729 codec.
Pros of G 711
- Superior sound quality: The G 711 codec creates sound quality that’s on par with a standard telephone line because it doesn’t compress voice data before transmitting.
- Supported by most VoIP providers: The G 711 codec is supported by most VoIP providers, making it easier for customers wanting this codec to find VoIP phone services that meet their needs.
Cons of G 711:
- High bandwidth requirement: Since G 711 doesn’t compress audio data before transmission, it requires a higher amount of bandwidth to support quality calls.
- Doesn’t support multiple phone calls well: G 711’s higher bandwidth requirement means this codec doesn’t support multiple simultaneous VoIP calls as well as the G 729 codec.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a codec?
Codec is an amalgamation of the words “code” and “decode.” It’s the technology in a VoIP business phone system that compresses (codes) the sound of your voice during a phone call for easier transmission, then decompresses (decodes) it at the other end for the listener to be able to hear what you’re saying.
What is data transmission?
Data transmission is the transfer of digital information from one endpoint to another. In the case of VoIP business phone service, it’s the encoding and transfer of your voice to the listener on the other end of the line.
Are there other VoIP audio codecs besides G 729 and G 711?
Yes. The G 722 codec is mainly used for high-definition VoIP audio calls made on local area networks such as within an office building or small office. The G 723 codec is commonly used on dial-up networks because of its very low bandwidth requirements. However, this codec needs more computer processor power to transmit data efficiently.
When shopping for a VoIP business phone system, it’s important to make sure the underlying codec technology can support the call volume needs of your business. Companies that don’t need to make a lot of phone calls at once and businesses wanting the best call sound quality should consider the G 711 codec. Organizations that need to conserve bandwidth and call centers with a high call volume may find the G 729 codec is more suited to their needs.
Business owners that want the best of both worlds should try RingCentral, which supports both G 729 and G 711 codecs. Its affordable service plans feature unlimited domestic calling, video conferencing, and unlimited fax. Visit RingCentral for a 15-day free trial.