No subject

Fri Jun 28 20:03:03 EST 2013


How much bandwidth does Skype need?
The bandwidth required by Skype depends on the type of calls you want to=20
make. The table below provides the minimum download and upload speeds=20
required, as well as the recommended speeds for best performance.
Call type
Minimum download
  / upload speed
Recommended download
  / upload speed
Calling  30kbps / 30kbps  100kbps / 100kbps
   Video calling /
  Screen sharing  128kbps / 128kbps  300kbps / 300kbps
   Video calling
  (high-quality)  400kbps / 400kbps  500kbps / 500kbps
   Video calling
  (HD)  1.2Mbps / 1.2Mbps  1.5Mbps / 1.5Mbps
   Group video
  (3 people)  512kbps / 128kbps  2Mbps / 512kbps
   Group video
  (5 people)  2Mbps / 128kbps  4Mbps / 512kbps
   Group video
  (7+ people)  4Mbps / 128kbps  8Mbps / 512kbps "

I do not know how that will display in people's different email=20
applications, in terms of its formatting.

But, it shows that, for high definition video calls, an upload data=20
transmission rate of at least 1.2Mbs, is reqired, and, preferably, at=20
least 1.5Mbps.

The "baseline" packages appear to involve an upload data transmission=20
rate of 1Mbps, which is, apparently, not enough for high definition=20
video calls.

"What is the point of getting connected to the NBN, if it does not=20
include high definition video calls?"

So, the "entry level" NBN package for providing the capacity for high=20
definition video calls, appears to be the "25Mbps/5Mbps" package, which,=20
shows comparative pricing of

    Provider   Cost   Data Limit
    Internode   $54.95   30GB
    iiNet   $54.95   40GB
    Westnet   $54.95   40GB
    Optus*   $75   120GB
    iPrimus   $59.95   40GB
    Telstra   $65   25GB
    Exetel   $54.50   50GB (unmetered offpeak)
    MyNetFone   $59.95   250GB
    Engin   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
    Club Telco   $55   50GB
     Activ8me (Satellite)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
    Harbour ISP (Satellite)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
    Skymesh (Satellite)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
     iiNet (Satellite)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
     iPrimus (Fixed Wireless)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
     Internode (Fixed Wireless)   =E2=80=94   =E2=80=94
     Skymesh (Fixed Wireless)   $39.95   20GB
     iiNet (Fixed Wireless)

Once again, I do not know how that will display in perople's email=20

The point is, that various monthly pricing figures have been put, for=20
ongoing access to the NBN (as opposed to the installation costs, which=20
are not included here, and, probably also vary between the vendors),=20
but, to me, the current ~1.5Mbps download speed (I do not know what is=20
the estimated upload speed - Optus keeps its expected data transmission=20
speeds, secret from it customers) appears to be adequate for most=20
things, with the main restriction on download speeds, being not the=20
carrier servce, but, what is happening between the computer CPU and the=20
web server CPU, resulting in download speeds varying from about 4-5bps=20
to about 1.5Mbps (when downloads are not stalled), appears to be mostly=20

I have managed to successfully engage in Skype video calls (but not=20
either Ekiga or Linphone) with people both interstate, in Australia,=20
and, in a country outside Australia, which worked, but, were not fluid,=20
high definition calls.

As a novice to video calls, I found them to be a worthwhile (and, to a=20
great extent, untapped) means of communication.

Unfortunately, we appear to not have, in the ADSL packages that cost=20
less than $80 per month, full duplex transmission that includes expected=20
ulpoad transmissionm rates of 1.5Mbps or higher.

I think that the only significant advantage (for me), in the purported=20
benefits of the NBN, is the potential for high definition video calls,=20
and, whilst most people have not taken up the opportunity to use the=20
World Wide Web, for making video calls, it has been used in science=20
fiction movies and television series, for decades, and, "we have the=20
technology". People seem simply too worried about their appearances=20
("will my backside look big in it?", "will it show my pimples?" "will it=20
show my grey hairs?", etc), but, with the prospect of high definition=20
video calls, people will be able to communicate, face to face, without=20
being physically present, and, with multiple people, concurrently, if=20
they are not so vain.

But, the capability for that, is not included in the NBN service=20
packages that have upload speeds of less than 1.5Mbps.

So, I think that (at this stage, as it offers the lowest upload data=20
transmission rate that can provide for high definition video calls), the=20
25/5Mbps level package, should be regarded as the minimum [package to=20
determine whether the NBN is worth having.

That is my opinion, anyway, and, no doubt, other will disagree.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992

More information about the linux-aus mailing list