I admit, codecs are something I don’t pay much attention to. But Aswath does, and today he points out that one of the reason why SkypeOut doesn’t sound as good as Skype-pure, is because the gateway makers don’t support wideband codecs which Skype uses. What it means is that while Skype leverages the total broadband experience, SkypeOut means that voice coming from broadband networks has to well hide its muscles and act like a little ninny when hitting the traditional networks. (Incidentally SkypeOut has a million users, which I guess would make it the largest Voice over the net company!) Aswath says the current generation of ATAs also do pretty much the same thing.
While we are on the topic of codecs, one of the issues with ATA based deployments is that it is not feasible to add wideband codec to the ATA, since the standard telephones sample only at the baseband. I hope that the new breed of cordless phone based IP phones pay attention to this and build their handsets so that they can operate at the wideband frequencies.