PictureTel lends weight to new Internet telephony standard

PictureTel has added its name to a growing list of companies proposing a new audio codec standard for Internet telephony. Through the input of its chief technical officer, Rich Baker, PictureTel had a strong hand in shaping the rash of so-called 'H-dot' telephony and conferencing standards formalised last year - especially when it came to liason with other standards bodies, such as the ITU.

PictureTel has added its name to a growing list of companies proposing a new audio codec standard for Internet telephony.

Through the input of its chief technical officer, Rich Baker, PictureTel had a strong hand in shaping the rash of so-called "H-dot" telephony and conferencing standards formalised last year - especially when it came to liason with other standards bodies, such as the ITU (International Telecommunications Union). Like those standards, the The proposed G.723.1 is being put to the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium, a vendor-oriented group which oversees multimedia communications standards. Codec standards allow equipment from different vendors to interoperate. A decision on the proposal is scheduled to come out of the next meeting of the IMTC's Voice Over IP Activity Group in March.

Last year's decisions by Microsoft and Intel to drop their proprietary pursuits and line up behind the IMTC standards was a major factor in the success of those proposals, and the big two have co-sponsored the proposal to support the G.723.1 standard, along with DataBeam, RadVision and VideoServer Inc.

"By supporting G.723.1, the narrow-band audio codec recommended by the ITU [Internaional Telecommunications Union], application developers will be able to guarantee interoperability among Internet telephony applications," David Andonian, vice president of PictureTel's Personal Systems Division, said in a statement.

PictureTel has also announced a preliminary agreement with DSP Group Inc., of Santa Clara, California, to license its G.723.1 technology and incorporate it into the company's videoconferencing products.

PictureTel, located in Andover, Massachusetts, can be reached at on the World Wide Web at www.picturetel.com/.

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