AT&T Corp has announced the availability of licences for its patents relating to speech compression standards for video conferencing. The AT&T Bell Laboratories patents cover algorithms selected by the International Telecommunications Union’s Study Group 15 for inclusion in the G.728 Recommendation for videoconferencing over digital facilities such as ISDN, and the G.723 Recommendation for use over analogue lines. The G.728 Recommendation provides toll quality telephone bandwidth speech compression at 16Kbps, and is also used in other communications applications such as combining multiple speech channels over a single digital line. Ratified by the Union in 1992 for floating point implementations and in 1994 for fixed point implementations, it was selected for inclusion in the H.320 video conferencing specification in 1992. The G.723 Recommendation for analogue transmission is a low-bit rate speech compression technology that can operate at either 5.3Kbps or 6.3Kbps, and is up for ratification by the Union this November. Both the G.728 and G.723 licences are essential for any company using these recommendations, said AT&T. The royalties associated with either patent licence include an up-front fee of $10,000, plus a $1.00 per channel per device fee for G.728, and a 50 cent per channel per device fee for G.723.