Return to LanScape's home page Go back a page...       Active TopicsActive Topics   Display List of Forum MembersMember List   Knowledge Base SearchSearch   HelpHelp  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin

LanScape VOIP Media Engine™ - Technical Support
 LanScape Support Forum -> LanScape VOIP Media Engine™ - Technical Support
Subject Topic: Alternatives to licensing G729 - we request your input Post ReplyPost New Topic
Message << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Joined: January 26 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1666
Posted: February 13 2008 at 11:39am | IP Logged Quote support

To: All LanScape VOIP Media Engine customers and VOIP users
Subject: License costs associated with G729

Simply put - we need your input. We would like to know your thoughts regarding the use of other low bit rate codecs and how widespread these other codecs are in the VOIP industry. We have our own ideas regarding what is going on out there in the “VOIP jungle” but your perspective would certainly be useful.

Here is a bit of background:
We have just gone through another series of talks with the G729 licensing agent (Sipro Lab) regarding licensing G729 codec technology. We fully thank Sipro for their assistance and information regarding licensing G729. However we are once again absolutely amazed at the road blocks, cost and legal aspects associated with the licensing of G729 that still exist. Over the past few years G729 licensing still continues to be a huge deployment road block and prohibitively expensive proposition for us and for our customers. The cost of licensing is so prohibitive that it is holding back the deployment of superb VOIP technology to parts of the world that could use it the most.

Just in case any of the G729 patent holders are reading this:
Thank you for developing the theory and mathematics behind G729. However, it takes much more than a low bit rate codec to create and deploy superb VOIP software at an affordable price.

What customers want:
(This is the G729 licensing model our customers request the most)
No one time initial fees
No minimum term limit
No minimum annual royalty payments
Pay quarterly channel licensing per product (USD$2.50 to USD$6.50 per channel)

At present due to current licensing policies, G729 is not a cost effective low bit rate codec solution for customers. Period.

LanScape VOIP Media Engine:
The LanScape VOIP Media Engine incorporates G729/G729A codec capability. We developed our own codec implementation in software a few years ago. Because the VOIP Media Engine is not an “end user” VOIP product but a “VOIP development SDK”, no G729 licensing is required by LanScape. When customers purchase a VOIP Media Engine, they must pay G729 licensing fees to the G729 patent holders if they deploy their VOIP end product or application with G729 enabled. Currently Sipro Lab acts as the licensing agent to represent the G729 patent holders. The patent holders are separated into two groups (as of 2-13-08):

Group 1 (The consortium):
France Telecom
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
University of Sherbrooke

Group 2:

If you deploy a product using G729, you must pay the patent holders to use it. You pay the patent holders through the licensing agent - Sipro. There are large “up front” costs associated with the licensing (5 figures). You must also pay per channel licensing fees that must be reported each quarter of every year you license G729. You must also agree to lock into a license agreement for a specified number of years. You must also agree to pay minimum royalties per year for the licensing term (this cost is also 5 figures minimum each year).

Summary: Unless you are huge company with plenty of cash to burn, you will faint at what it finally costs to purchase a license to “use” G729 in any of your VOIP products. Add this cost to what it already costs you to develop, deploy and maintain your VOIP products (in addition to the legal aspects of the licensing) and you will slowly enter into a state of depression.

What we need from you:

We want your thoughts on alternative low bit rate codecs we can add to the VOIP Media Engine. You do not have to be a LanScape customer to submit your comments/thoughts. All comments are welcome.

How wide spread is this alternative codec in the VOIP industry?

Is this alternative codec widely supported by PSTN termination services? This is important.

The alternative codec(s) do not have to be royalty free – just less of a cost burden relative to channel licensing G729.

If you have the math background and experience to develop the next generation of low bit rate codecs that meet or exceed the characteristics of G729, we want to hear from you. We will be pursuing this endeavor and your input may be valuable. Special LanScape incentives exist that may also be of benefit to you. Contact us for further information.

The cost issues associated with intellectual property rights and patent royalty payments for low bit rate codec technology have been prevalent for years. We expect this to continue. We simply need to identify and focus on codec technology that is the most cost effective for our customers and VOIP application developers.

Thanks in advance to all who post.


Back to Top View support's Profile Search for other posts by support Visit support's Homepage

Joined: April 24 2006
Location: Iran
Posts: 188
Posted: February 16 2008 at 7:52am | IP Logged Quote Jalal


In the VOIP industry (as you mentioned) there are two groups of Codecs. First is the commercial ones and the others are free or open source codecs.

G.729 , G.723.1 , G.728 , G.726 and AMR are the most popular commercial codecs and iLBC , GSM, Speex, G.711 are the most popular free and open source codecs.

I have googled for a good comparison between these codecs. One good comparison of these codecs is located at : .

I tried to find some article to show which of these codecs is more popular than others but could not find a good reference. One good reference would be to search google about these codecs and comare result counts. I did this job and here is the result:


    Search Words                     Result Counts
    Softphone support G.729 codec :  37200
    Softphone support iLBC codec  :  35800
    Softphone support G.711 codec :  16400
    Softphone support G.723 codec :  15100
    Softphone support GSM codec   :  13900
    Softphone support G.726 codec :  12300
    Softphone support Speex codec :   3380
    Softphone support G.722 codec :   2140
    Softphone support G.728 codec :   1440
    Softphone support amr codec   :   1220

I know this is not a good comparison but this shows some popularity of these codecs.

From quality point of view there is no "right CODEC". The choice of what compression scheme to use depends on what parameters are more important for a specific installation. In practice, G.723 and G.729 are more popular that G.726 and G.728. I found some good quality comparisons from google: um=4

In first url the compare is based on MOS (mean opinion score) Scoring. If we sort down the codecs:


    Codec            MOS
    G.711            4.1
    G.729            3.92
    iLBC             3.9
    G.723.1 MP-MLQ   3.9
    G.726            3.85
    G.729a           3.7
    G.723.1 ACELP    3.65
    G.728            3.61

So you can see G.729, iLBC, G.723.1 are the best quality ones. Unfortunately speex, GSM is not included in this test but as these two codecs are available open source are widely used in open source or free VOIP products.

Our R&D guys have implemented GSM-FR, G.723.1, G.728, G.726 codecs for our Recorder software, and they are working to add some more codecs to the list such as AMR.
These codecs are available through a simple DLL interface for all supported codecs.
As these codecs are also commercial the same problem of G.729 also exists. But if still you decided to add these codecs we can discuss about it.

Adding GSM and speex codecs to the Media Engine would be great and so easy because they are available as open source. Another good option would be to prepare an interface for developers to add their own codecs to their software.

Jalal Abedinejad

Back to Top View Jalal's Profile Search for other posts by Jalal Visit Jalal's Homepage

Joined: January 26 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1666
Posted: February 18 2008 at 7:50am | IP Logged Quote support


Good post. Very informative. Thanks.

Back to Top View support's Profile Search for other posts by support Visit support's Homepage

Joined: April 24 2006
Location: Iran
Posts: 188
Posted: February 18 2008 at 8:57am | IP Logged Quote Jalal


Looking for a way to add G.729 support to Asterisk I found following site which has a link to the source code for G.729/A/B/D/E + G.723.1 codecs.

Hope you enjoy it...
Back to Top View Jalal's Profile Search for other posts by Jalal Visit Jalal's Homepage

Joined: February 10 2010
Location: Sweden
Posts: 3
Posted: February 11 2010 at 5:14am | IP Logged Quote thomas.s


I know this topic has been dead for a long time but I thought I would ask here anyway because my question is related to one of the questions you asked in the original post.

Are there any wirespread unlicensed (or less expensive) low-bitrate codecs that are widely supported by PSTN termination services?

We would very much like to avoid having to license the G729 codec but still need to use PSTN termination services over the internet so we need a low-bitrate codec that can do the job. iLBC seems like a promising alternative but I'm not sure how supported it is.

Best Regards,
Thomas Sköldenborg
Back to Top View thomas.s's Profile Search for other posts by thomas.s

Joined: January 26 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1666
Posted: February 11 2010 at 9:38am | IP Logged Quote support

Hello Thomas,

Yes – the licensing fees for g729 are steep.

As far as SIP trunking providers, it seems codec support is mixed depending on who you contact. Here in the USA the SIP trunk providers generally terminate calls using G.711 uLaw and G.729 codecs.

To determine if iLBC or other low bit rate codecs are being supported by SIP trunk providers, one would have to contact them directly. I performed a quick Google search this morning and there appears to be some SIP trunk providers that are supporting iLBC.

I would welcome anyone reading this support thread to offer information regarding what SIP trunk providers they are using and what codecs are supported. We have created a new thread located here:

SIP trunk providers and supported codecs =1

…that you can use to post your SIP trunk provider information.

Thank you,


Back to Top View support's Profile Search for other posts by support Visit support's Homepage

If you wish to post a reply to this topic you must first login
If you are not already registered you must first register

  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Contact LanScape Hear what the Lawyers have to say How youm may use this site Read your privacy rights