CounterPath Launches Linux Softphone

There can be no question that Counterpath is the leader in SIP soft phones. From the free offering in X-Lite to my favorite Eyebeam, and finally Bria they’ve long had a diverse offering and occupied a leadership position in the market.

In a move to strengthen the diversity of their range today Counterpath announced the launch of Bria 3.0 for Linux. This gives them a native release on Windows, Mac & Linux, which is a considerable achievement.

From their press release I see the following:

Bria for Linux features include support for:

  • Multiple VoIP accounts
  • Ubuntu 9.10 & 10.04, the world’s most widely used Linux distribution
  • A wide variety of codecs, including G.711 u/aLaw, iLBC, Speex, Speex WB, GSM, DV14, DV14 WB and L16 PCM WB
  • LDAP
  • Echo cancellation, reduced background noise, automatic gain control (AGC) and other mechanisms that enable clear, lifelike audio
  • DTMF via RFC 2833 and in-band/out-of-band DTMF
  • Speakerphone
  • Provisioning server

To be plain I’m a Windows user so this is on the periphery of my scope. Still, as much as I enjoy and recommend Counterpath products I do wonder why they haven’t implemented G.722 in the Linux variant of Bria?

G.722 is today the de facto standard in wideband audio codecs. Supporting G.722 allows for wideband interoperability with the broadest range of hardware and software systems. I thought that Counterpath had come to understand it’s importance back in early 2009 when, after some badgering, they finally started to offer G.722 in retail versions of Eyebeam.

I guess that they had to leave something for a potential v4.0 release. I know a few people who will find this omission troublesome.

  • Many overseas call centers use softphones exclusively for cost, ease of deployment, and easy integration with push URLs. I see Linux as a common workstation because they can be severely locked down and minimal virus vulnerabilities versus Windows workstations and all the licensing and updating required. For U.S. small businesses, an Apple or a Linux box makes much more sense because of the much lower total cost of ownership when you factor all the time and maintenance Windows workstations require.

    • I appreciate that those are typical use cases for soft phones. However, I still think that the decision to not include the G.722 codec is unfortunate.

  • I agree. G.722 should be standard in all softphones now. HD Voice and Video Conferencing are the next steps in communications and if your software doesn’t support it, you’ll be left in the dust. New iPhone will have video conferencing and that will really push the consumer adoption of softphones as more people begin to use the new technology, I believe. Few people have “home phones” these days (for good reasons), but almost everyone has a PC and smart cellphone.