G.729 and G.711 are two different codecs used by mainstream voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) systems that transmit phone calls as data over the internet. G.711 offers better audio quality, but requires more bandwidth. G.729, on the other hand, requires less bandwidth, but call quality can suffer.
The codec used by a business phone system is not something most providers advertise or typically allow users to specify, but it’s worth noting that RingCentral supports both G.729 and G.711. This makes it a good option to consider for those unsure which technology is best for their calling needs. On top of that, the system comes standard with unlimited domestic calling, an automated attendant, and video calling. Check out RingCentral’s website for more details.
G.729 vs G.711 at a Glance
Compresses Call Data
Supported by Most VoIP Providers
Supports Multiple Simultaneous Phone Calls
What’s the Difference Between G.729 vs G.711?
G.729 and G.711 codecs are used by business phone systems to transform audio calls into digital signals that can be transmitted over the internet. However, G.729 also compresses audio into data packets so that they use less bandwidth while traveling to the other side of the call. This is fast and helps users with slower internet speeds, but the trade-off is that audio quality suffers as a result.
G.711 prioritizes VoIP sound quality. It does not compress audio, so your calls will sound crystal clear as long as both parties have a fast stable connection. However, this requires more bandwidth than a call made over G.729. It also requires the person you are calling to have enough bandwidth on their end to receive the call.
We recommend using our free VoIP speed test to measure the full strength of your network. It will help you determine whether your internet setup can support G.711 calls or if G.729 might be the more sensible choice. You can also check out our full article for a more detailed checkup on your connection.
How Much Bandwidth Do I Need for G.729 vs G.711?
In basic terms, bandwidth refers to the maximum rate in which your network can transfer data from one point (in most cases, your computer or mobile device) to another (usually someone else’s device). Both G.729 and G.711 require a minimum amount of bandwidth for reliable VoIP calls. However, the disparity in the amount of bandwidth they require is quite large.
On average, a call made over G.729 consumed about 8 Kbps of bandwidth per call because it compresses the data being transmitted over the internet. In comparison, G.711 uses 64 Kbps for its uncompressed call data. As such, it requires much more bandwidth in a realistic business setting when multiple lines and other connected devices are in use.
Bandwidth speed may differ from actual VoIP bandwidth as follows:
Bandwidth Limitations for VoIP
Bandwidth (Upload Speed)
Bandwidth Fluctuation (Subtract)
Internet Browsing Activity (Subtract)
Bandwidth Available for VoIP
- 105 Kbps
- 250 Kbps
- 210 Kbps
- 500 Kbps
- 1.05 Kbps
- 2.75 Mbps
- 2.1 Kbps
- 5.5 Mbps
- 6.3 Kbps
- 16.75 Mbps
It’s unlikely that your VoIP system is going to be the only internet activity on your network. Therefore, if your bandwidth speed is 500 Kbps, there’s a good chance you may only have as much as 145 Kbps available for your VoIP phone calls. Using the G.729 codec, you could theoretically support up to 18 calls simultaneously. Conversely, you could only support about two calls at a time with the G.711 codec.
Determining the best codec for your business will consist of calculating your available bandwidth and how many lines you can support with each codec. If you are a freelancer or a very small team, you should have no issue supporting one or two calls at once over G.711. However, larger offices may want to use G.729 to free up as much bandwidth as possible.
G.729 vs G.711 VoIP Codecs: Pricing
In the past, many VoIP providers passed on their codec licensing costs to customers by factoring them into their pricing plans. However, the patents for G.729 and G.711 expired in 2017 and 1972, respectively, which means that both codecs are royalty-free. Therefore, they now cost nothing for VoIP providers and customers.
Pros & Cons of G.729 vs G.711 VoIP Codecs
Most VoIP systems support either G.729 or G.711. Sometimes, they support both. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages for small businesses:
Pros & Cons of G.729
Low bandwidth requirements: VoIP calls over G.729 compress data, which means that you can make and receive calls even with a modest internet connection.
Not supported by some VoIP providers: Not all VoIP providers support the G.729 codec because of its inferior call quality.
Supports multiple phone calls with ease: The low bandwidth requirements of the service means that you can more easily support many VoIP calls at once on a network.
Doesn’t transmit non-voice audio very well: Hold music and other audio can sound choppy when using G.729.
Pros & Cons of G.711
Superior sound quality: G.711 calls sound better than G.729. This is a result of not compressing audio transmission.
High bandwidth requirement: The G.711 codec requires substantially more bandwidth than the G.729 codec, which could make it a poor choice for larger teams.
Supported by most VoIP providers: G.711 is standard in more modern VoIP systems than G.729.
Doesn’t support multiple phone calls well: G.711 doesn’t support as many simultaneous calls as its counterpart.
Who the G.729 Codec Is Best For
The G.729 codec is ideal for large teams that are on the phone all day. They are especially good for customer service and sales teams with high call volumes. However, it is worth noting that it is not supported by most VoIP providers. Make sure your vendor offers G.729 functionality before adopting a VoIP system.
Who the G.711 Codec Is Best For
The G.711 codec is the most popular one in 2020 and offers fantastic audio quality during calls. If you have a fast internet connection and do not have a particularly high call volume, G.711 will likely be the best choice. For freelancers who only make one call at a time, this is by far the better option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a codec?
Codec is an amalgamation of “code” and “decode.” As it relates to VoIP, a codec compresses, or codes, the sound of your voice during a phone call and decompresses, or decodes, it at the other end so that the other person can hear what you are saying.
What is data transmission?
Data transmission refers to the transfer of digital information from one device to another. When it’s applied to VoIP, it means the encoding and transfer of your voice audio to the person at the other end of the line.
Are there other VoIP audio codecs besides G.729 & G.711?
Yes, there are. The G.722 codec is usually reserved for high-definition VoIP calls made within a local area, such as the same building or office. Additionally, the G.723 codec is common on dial-up networks because of its exceptionally low bandwidth requirements. However, there is a trade-off in the sense that it needs more computer processing power so that it can transmit the data efficiently.
When researching a VoIP system for your team, you might focus on things like call management features, mobile apps, and the like. While these are important, the codec your service uses can also have a large impact on your phone service. G.711 tends to focus on call quality while hogging bandwidth, while G.729 sacrifices audio fidelity in exchange for using less data.
RingCentral is one of the most popular VoIP providers on the market because they provide a powerful service at prices most small businesses can afford. Not only that, but the service supports the use of both G.711 and G.729 codecs. Click the button below for more details.