Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Video Callings in the Offing on the Internet.

The Skype™ Logo
Microsoft announced today that Skype's Group Video Calling Service Is Now Free. What this means is that Microsoft has decided to monetize Skype's Group Video Conferencing (GVC) services through other means, namely enterprise licenses. (Where else can they go, unless they are able to present higher functionality on a collaboration platform?).

This announcement is part of economic readjustment that the society is making, and has to make, as technology matures. For one-on-one calling, and even for long-distance music learning, Skype is already a wonderful solution as I found out recently.

The primary limiting factor, it turns out, is the upload bandwidth that you have: The video has to leave your end point, through the upload bandwidth available, to reach the other party. And, these days, even if you don't have 1 Gbps service that Google Fiber provides in some areas, many places do have 50 Mbps / 10 Mbps download / upload service, and 10 Mbps seems a good enough upload bandwidth to accommodate the 1.5 Mbps requirement that Skype itself recommends for one-to-one HD video calling. 3-person group video requires 2 Mbps, and is still well within the 10 Mbps upload bandwidth availability.

Even the amount of bandwidth used for video calling may not be that much. Consider this:

2-way video calling at 1.5 Mbps incurs a bandwidth usage of 1.5 x 60 x 60 Mbps, or roughly 540 MB, for a one-hour video call. If you make a video call everyday like that, you would incur about 15 GB/month, far below the set limit of 250 GB/month by Comcast, for example.

So, the world is going to see greater video calling, now that we have one more entrant to this free marketplace alongside Google Hangout and others.

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