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HD Voice Audio ConferencingChris Koehncke
I’ve been a big fan of improving voice quality. After all the quality of the telephone hasn’t changed in over 50 years. The new wideband codecs like G.722 are supported by IP phones from Cisco, Linksys, Polycom and Aastra. This HD Audio sound is remarkable, on a good speakerphone it sounds like the person is in the same room with you.
The benefits of HD Voice is clear (sorry for the pun), for long calls it’s likely less stressful and fatiguing to listen in, since you can hear the other party clearly, less likely to misunderstand and if the other person isn’t an expert in the language you’re speaking, well they’re likely to have fewer misunderstandings.
The problem though with HD Audio is that both of you need to be connected directly via IP. The odds of that happening outside your company is probably zero. So your HD phone has no one to call.
A new company offering HD Voice Conferencing named TurboBridge www.turbobridge.com has appeared. Nice website and they have a public SIP URI that you can point your IP phone or IP PBX directly to it via the Internet. In addition, they have a variety of local dial-in telephone numbers (so you don’t have to have an IP device to use the service).Â Finally, it you’re on the road or in some foreign country, they also offer FREE Skype conferencing, so you can dial in to your telephone conference via Skype.
Best of all – they’ll give you an unlimited usage conference bridge for only $49.95 a year, which works out to be abit more than $4 a month. They have other packages as well for larger enterprises. In addition, you can turn on 1-800 access on a low per minute rate if you need that (say for a special customer call).
I’m sounding like Billie Mays, but wait, there’s more (ha), hunting around on TurboBridge’s website I found this URL where you can get a FREE 30 day full unlimited use trial of their service.Â Here’s the link http://www.turbobridge.com/HiddenFree.php
I only had to enter my email and bang, my conference was active. I tried out TurboBridge with my Polycom phone (I just programmed their URI as a speed dial) and it connected immediately, cool British voice and working flawlessly. PLUS I didn’t use any of my LD minutes (a potential big savings for those making international conference calls).Â I may actually sign up for TurboBridge, it cheap enough and seems to work well.