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  1. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Default BBM Voice - how does RIM do it so well?

    It's well known by now that BBMV has quite an amazing sound quality. Skype pales in comparising under the same circumstances.

    So how does RIM do it? What's their ace up their sleeve? Where BBMV is crystal clear Skype would be very frustrating to use.

    The conditions I used both in are this:

    Skype: laptop on 1.6mbps speed wifi to iphone on 100mbps wifi 2000+ miles away

    BBMV 9900 to 9900 mine on 1.6mbps speed, the other on 100mbps wifi speed 2000k miles away.

    In these conditions you literally can't tell the difference between BBMV and a normal call.
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  2. leejayh's Avatar
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    don't know - but i sure do like it!
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    Not sure but for an even comparison you'd need the same quality mics on all 4. I do get extremely good quality using BBM Voice with my wife. We both have 9930's. Sounds awesome.
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  4. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Very good question. Bbm voice is forsure better quality then skype voice chat on the same wifi network.
  5. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Skype: laptop on 1.6mbps speed wifi to iphone on 100mbps wifi 2000+ miles away

    BBMV 9900 to 9900 mine on 1.6mbps speed, the other on 100mbps wifi speed 2000k miles away.

    In these conditions you literally can't tell the difference between BBMV and a normal call.
    I typically find Skype sounds better than the PSTN.... except in terms of latency.
    Sometimes latency with Skype is an issue and sometimes it is not.
    Looking forward to trying BBMV if when it comes to the playbook.
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    Cant wait to give it a try!
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    RIM puts a little bit of magic into every BlackBerry handset.
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  8. tdawg00's Avatar
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    Is it a fair comparison, when Skype has a much larger user base thus needing to allocate its bandwidth resources to maintain a usable network worldwide? They have at least 600 million registered users. I dont know the percentage of active users. Not trying to negate anything but thats how I am looking at it.
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    Default Re: BBM Voice - how does RIM do it so well?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdawg00 View Post
    Is it a fair comparison, when Skype has a much larger user base thus needing to allocate its bandwidth resources to maintain a usable network worldwide?
    According to wikipedia Skype is a peer protocol, so they don't have to allocate any of their own bandwidth to the media part of the call in the common case.
  10. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdawg00 View Post
    Is it a fair comparison, when Skype has a much larger user base thus needing to allocate its bandwidth resources to maintain a usable network worldwide? They have at least 600 million registered users. I dont know the percentage of active users. Not trying to negate anything but thats how I am looking at it.
    If the comparison is about call quality then sure it is fair.
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  11. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    If the comparison is about call quality then sure it is fair.
    100% agree
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  12. tdawg00's Avatar
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    So how does RIM do it? What's their ace up their sleeve? Where BBMV is crystal clear Skype would be very frustrating to use. <<< Wasnt this your question? Again how many people use BBM voice vs. Skype. Skype can do multiple video calls up to ten people in one video session from different points in the world. I wouldnt expect landliine call quality from them in the first place. There is no ace up anyone sleeve, its just matter of allocating bandwidth to suit more users. Limited bandwidth = less quality . More bandwidth = Better quality.
  13. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdawg00 View Post
    So how does RIM do it? What's their ace up their sleeve? Where BBMV is crystal clear Skype would be very frustrating to use. <<< Wasnt this your question? Again how many people use BBM voice vs. Skype. Skype can do multiple video calls up to ten people in one video session from different points in the world. I wouldnt expect landliine call quality from them in the first place. There is no ace up anyone sleeve, its just matter of allocating bandwidth to suit more users. Limited bandwidth = less quality . More bandwidth = Better quality.
    What bandwith are you talking about? Bandwith of what? Bandwith usually refers to radio spectrum not internet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    What bandwith are you talking about? Bandwith of what? Bandwith usually refers to radio spectrum not internet.
    What is Internet Bandwidth?
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  15. SlcCorrado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    What bandwith are you talking about? Bandwith of what? Bandwith usually refers to radio spectrum not internet.
    Well for one, it is bandwidth .
    BB4Life
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    If Skype is peer to peer, where only the IP address / routing information is stored on a server, or even less, just the online status is stored on a server, so that when I log into skype, I can see which of my contacts are online, but when I connect to a contact on a Skype to Skype call, the data is not routed through a central server: a direct connection between our two devices is established.

    So no excuses for Skype's inferior call quality... the BB infrastructure may have a great deal to do with it, I don't know, but making 'excuses' for Skype is tired. How many times do I get knocked off calls or have delays or whatever when on a Skype call... frankly with high-speed internet on both ends, it's kind-of inexcusable that it would be so susceptible to network congestion... but IT'S FREE! Yes, Skype to Skype calls are 100% totally FREE, both the software used to make the call, and the call itself (aside from bandwidth charges to your internet provider) while BBM Voice requires specific hardware and I believe a fee-based BIS or BES service... so I guess you DO get what you pay for, and I'd expect that RIM would be a lot better at optimizing flow across their managed network than Skype would be across a public network.

    I'm not being an apologist for Skype, but you are comparing a paid service to a free service, so the infrastructure investments differ.
    I was tapering off. I'm all tapered out now.
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  17. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorax1284 View Post
    If Skype is peer to peer, where only the IP address / routing information is stored on a server, or even less, just the online status is stored on a server, so that when I log into skype, I can see which of my contacts are online, but when I connect to a contact on a Skype to Skype call, the data is not routed through a central server: a direct connection between our two devices is established.

    So no excuses for Skype's inferior call quality... the BB infrastructure may have a great deal to do with it, I don't know, but making 'excuses' for Skype is tired. How many times do I get knocked off calls or have delays or whatever when on a Skype call... frankly with high-speed internet on both ends, it's kind-of inexcusable that it would be so susceptible to network congestion... but IT'S FREE! Yes, Skype to Skype calls are 100% totally FREE, both the software used to make the call, and the call itself (aside from bandwidth charges to your internet provider) while BBM Voice requires specific hardware and I believe a fee-based BIS or BES service... so I guess you DO get what you pay for, and I'd expect that RIM would be a lot better at optimizing flow across their managed network than Skype would be across a public network.

    I'm not being an apologist for Skype, but you are comparing a paid service to a free service, so the infrastructure investments differ.
    Are you saying that if you do take the paid Skype options your voice calls will sound better?

    BTW, Skype also requires specific hardware and somebody to pay for the wifi network you'd be using, so it's not really all that different, it's not completely free of cost.
  18. tdawg00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    What bandwith are you talking about? Bandwith of what? Bandwith usually refers to radio spectrum not internet.
    Bandwidth refers to radio spectrum and not the internet???? Seriously ?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Are you saying that if you do take the paid Skype options your voice calls will sound better?
    Nope... they don't offer a better quality paid service... the fees you pay to Skype are to connect to landlines, and for the most part that is for long distance calls. So you're paying for the ability to connect to the telephone infrastructure, not for 'better service'.

    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    BTW, Skype also requires specific hardware and somebody to pay for the wifi network you'd be using, so it's not really all that different, it's not completely free of cost.
    True, but I think of the difference like this: if you want to use BBM Voice, you must have a BlackBerry brand device and a BlackBerry "account".

    With Skype, you can use 'hardware you already have' and you don't need a specific type of service (any internet connection will do, any hardware platform will do, and your contacts can also be on any platform and hardware).

    The costs of getting into BBM Voice are higher than that of other services, but the quality is superior.

    Skype is ubiquitous: the only people who can NOT connect to Skype are those who don't have any of a PC or Tablet or Handheld running Windows or Windows Phone or Android or Linux or OSX or iOS... or those who ONLY have access to a BlackBerry and do not also have access to one of the other platforms... but the ONLY people who can connect to BBM Voice are those that have access to a BlackBerry brand device on a BlackBerry network.... where choice is narrower, costs are usually higher, in some measurable sense, not getting into specifics.
    I was tapering off. I'm all tapered out now.
  20. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorax1284 View Post
    Nope... they don't offer a better quality paid service... the fees you pay to Skype are to connect to landlines, and for the most part that is for long distance calls. So you're paying for the ability to connect to the telephone infrastructure, not for 'better service'.



    True, but I think of the difference like this: if you want to use BBM Voice, you must have a BlackBerry brand device and a BlackBerry "account".

    With Skype, you can use 'hardware you already have' and you don't need a specific type of service (any internet connection will do, any hardware platform will do, and your contacts can also be on any platform and hardware).

    The costs of getting into BBM Voice are higher than that of other services, but the quality is superior.

    Skype is ubiquitous: the only people who can NOT connect to Skype are those who don't have any of a PC or Tablet or Handheld running Windows or Windows Phone or Android or Linux or OSX or iOS... or those who ONLY have access to a BlackBerry and do not also have access to one of the other platforms... but the ONLY people who can connect to BBM Voice are those that have access to a BlackBerry brand device on a BlackBerry network.... where choice is narrower, costs are usually higher, in some measurable sense, not getting into specifics.
    But at the same time I'm half way trough my 2 years contract and now I have BBMV, it doesn't cost me anything extra, so to me it's free.
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  21. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdawg00 View Post
    [I] Limited bandwidth = less quality . More bandwidth = Better quality.
    The OP's modest 1.6mbps is good for approximately 20 concurrent G.711(the gold standard) media streams.
    I do not deny the existence of internet bandwidth
    But it is generally not a significant influence on call quality.

    Latency/jitter is generally the most significant factor in perceived call quality

    Latency makes it difficult to start talking when the other person finishes and vice versa.
    Packet loss is characterized as choppiness.
    Packet loss can also sound like an intermittent hum or metallic buzz.
    After these two factors comes codec and hardware quality.
    Think of listening to an mp3 with headphones on your smartphone versus listening to the same thing as "music on hold".

    OP In terms of the above in which ways is BBMV better than Skype?
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  22. canuckvoip's Avatar
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    DrBoomBotz is right on track.
    BBMV uses what has become quite the defacto standard for VOIP protocol. That is SIP (session initiation protocol). In North America the most commonly used codec is G711. This is the codec chosen to most mimick ordinary copper based land lines. This codec consumes approx 85k/s per phone call. G729 codec is compressed and consumes slightly less than half of that bandwidth at around 40k/s. An emerging standard is G722 (HD voice) and that codec samples around twice as much as G711 but only consumes about the same bandwidth (85k/s) and sounds incredibly good!

    Now lets talk about packets. Packets of data sent between servers/computers (through routers) are often between 500 and 1500 bytes in size. That is variable. Whether you are downloading email, surfing, watching vids, or using voice on a network, you are sending and recieving packets of the size your router is setup for. But... and this is a HUGE but...
    Email/websurf/downloading files etc all use a scheme where if a packet is dropped by either side or anything inbetween, that packet is asked to be re-sent and it is re-sent. That takes time.
    VOIP however uses a scheme where dropped packets are NEVER re-sent, ever! It takes too long to wait and therefore is never asked for. It adds to delay. It's known as a real time protocol (RTP).
    So... if you, your caller, or any hop/router inbetween you is dropping packets/causing delay/jitter on the internet, VOIP will suffer. VOIP is an excellent indicator of a crap connection.
    RIM has a leg up here with BBMV. It all goes through their network. That way they can "prioritize" SIP VOIP packets over ordinary BBM text packets. So, a BBMV call will take precedence over any other type of packet. They will have to add another layer of prioritization on their routers when they let video loose on BBM. More than likely, VOIP first, Video second, and text last. Just guessing on that, they can do whatever they want.
    In the end, if you have a good WIFI connection to RIM servers, and so does the person at the other end, it's golden. If not, it'll suck just like any other VOIP app.
    Bear in mind that BBMV is new, and there's probably not alot of traffic on there yet.
    I do not work for RIM, so this is just my "best guess" on the infrastructure. I'm a VOIP/PBX guy...
    Last edited by canuckvoip; 12-17-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  23. JR A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckvoip View Post
    DrBoomBotz is right on track.
    BBMV uses what has become quite the defacto standard for VOIP protocol. That is SIP (session initiation protocol). In North America the most commonly used codec is G711. This is the codec chosen to most mimick ordinary copper based land lines. This codec consumes approx 85k/s per phone call. G729 codec is compressed and consumes slightly less than half of that bandwidth at around 40k/s. An emerging standard is G722 and that codec samples around twice as much as G711 but only consumes about the same bandwidth (85k/s) and sounds incredibly good!

    Now lets talk about packets. Packets of data sent between servers/computers (through routers) are often between 500 and 1500 bytes in size. That is variable. Whether you are downloading email, surfing, watching vids, or using voice on a network, you are sending and recieving packets of the size your router is setup for. But... and this is a HUGE but...
    Email/websurf/downloading files etc all use a scheme where if a packet is dropped by either side or anything inbetween, that packet is asked to be re-sent and it is re-sent. That takes time.
    Voip however uses a scheme where dropped packets are NEVER re-sent, ever! It takes too long to wait and therefore is never asked for. It adds to delay. It's known as a real time protocol (RTP).
    So... if you, your caller, or any hop/router inbetween you is dropping packets/causing delay/jitter on the internet, VOIP will suffer. VOIP is an excellent indicator of a crap connection.
    RIM has a leg up here with BBMV. It all goes through their network. That way they can "prioritize" SIP VOIP packets over ordinary BBM text packets. So, a BBMV call will take precedence over any other type of packet. They will have to add another layer of prioritization on their routers when they ley video loose on BBM. More than likely, VOIP first, Video second, and text last. Just guessing on that, they can do whatever they want.
    In the end, if you have a good WIFI connection to RIM servers, and so does the person at the other end, it's golden. If not, it'll suck just like any other VOIP app.
    Bear in mind that BBMV is new, and there's probably not alot of traffic on there yet.
    I do not work for RIM, so this is just my "best guess" on the infrastructure. I'm a VOIP/PBX guy...
    I logged in from my phone just to Like and Thank you for this comment.

    I love learning random tid bits that don't really improve the actual execution of something or make something I have significantly better; it's just "nice to know".


    And I'm being utterly serious (no sarcasm).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRAnciano View Post
    I logged in from my phone just to Like and Thank you for this comment.

    I love learning random tid bits that don't really improve the actual execution of something or make something I have significantly better; it's just "nice to know".


    And I'm being utterly serious (no sarcasm).

    Thanks JR, I appreciate the sentiment! Someone wiser than I will probably correct me on something regarding RIMs servers or something, but these are the fundamentals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckvoip View Post
    So... if you, your caller, or any hop/router inbetween you is dropping packets/causing delay/jitter on the internet, VOIP will suffer. VOIP is an excellent indicator of a crap connection.
    Yes that is what we found out the hard way. We installed a VoIP phone system a few years back and attempted to use "best effort" broadband for it. We found out really quickly how inconsistent best effort broadband is (hence the term "best effort"). We ended up going back to centrex lines for the trunks and kept VoIP internally. I had not really thought about the "no re-send" property of the VoIP packets as being the reason for issues.

    Thanks for the explanation. Excellent.
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