Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Skype Killer Offers Free VoIP, SMS and Videoconferencing : JAJAH

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I am impressed. JAJAH is a new free software to make free audio and video calls to anyone connected to a PC to the Internet, to SIP-compliant devices and smartphones, as well as to interconnect to standard telephone and mobile users around the world.


Better than Skype?

The software is easy to use, simple to install and operate. Most functions are as easy to use as on Skype or better.

After a few seconds of having installed it I immediately tried a phone call to my own local phone number and within instants of my dialing, it was ringing! That was too much. Not only the speed and reliability appeared impressive but I had NOT credited Jajah any money to call landlines! (As I was to discover later the company is offering a five minutes of free calls to let users try out the new service).

JAJAH uses a more effective codec than Skype's own and seems to be capable of providing even higher quality audio results while using less bandwidth.

1) Live text chat which can also go out to mobile phones (SMS/text messaging service),

2) Real-time text message translator,

3) Calls forwarding - with the added ability of being able to specify whther calls should be forwarded to your preferred telecom device at all times or only when your computer is turned off

4) Conference calls are also included in the default feature set

5) Five minutes of pre-paid calls.

6) Search for Skype users from Jajah and easily add them to yor buddy list.

7) Ringtones and skins

8) JAJAH employs VAT (voice activated transmission) and AEC (acoustic echo cancellation)

9) All calls are secured by end-to-end encryption.

10) Voice mailbox.


With JAJAH it is possible to call standard telephone numbers and cellular phones at very low rates just like it is possible with the popular SkypeOut feature.

JAJAH is not a memory and resource hog and can run on your computer without slowing everything down. The good thing is that it also doesn't require a broadband bandwidth connection to achieve its magic.

The quality of the audio is crystal-clear and without noises or dropouts.

Just like Skype, JAJAH is based on a P2P (peer-to-peer) network system.

A pure peer-to-peer network does not have the notion of clients or servers, but only equal peer nodes that simultaneously function as both "clients" and "servers" to the other nodes on the network. This model of network arrangement differs from the client-server model where communication is usually to and from a central server.

JAJAH´s uses its own proprietary protocol, supporting firewall traversal, NAT detection and bandwidth saving peer-to-peer technology. At the same time JAJAH supports the four major telecommunications protocols used today in the digital world:

a) SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol, is a signaling protocol for Internet conferencing, telephony, presence, events notification and instant messaging. SIP was developed within the IETF MMUSIC (Multiparty Multimedia Session Control) working group, with work proceeding since September 1999 in the IETF SIP working group.

b) IAX2. The IAX revision 2 protocol is used by the Asterisk VOIP PBX as an alternative to SIP, H.323, etc. when connecting to other devices that support IAX (a limited list at the moment, but growing very rapidly).

c) H.323 A standard approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that defines how audiovisual conferencing data is transmitted across networks. In theory, H.323 should enable users to participate in the same conference even though they are using different videoconferencing applications.

d) POTS The "plain old telephony system" to call any telephone on the public switched telephone network, whether it's a standard landline or a mobile phone.

JAJAH employs a proprietary codec for all JAJAH-to-JAJAH calls, which, according to the company, guarantees more quality than any other codec available at the moment, while using only a quarter of the bandwidth other codecs are eating. JAJAH´s audiocodec requires 4 Kbytes/second and therefore can be used with any internet connection including dial-up.

In addition to this JAJAH also supports the following codecs:

1) Skype´s proprietary voicecodec was developed by Global IP Sound and is used by Skype.
(Frequency: 16KHz, Bandwidth: 112 Kbit/s)
2) G.711 Both versions, G.711 ulaw and G.711 alaw are supported.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 64 Kbit/s)
3) GSM The popular codec used from mobile networks.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 32Kbit/s)
4) G.729 The usual SIP telephony codec. It is a standard ITU codec.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 8 Kbit/s)
5) G.723.1 (previously just "G.723") standards-based voice codecs. This codec was designed for video conferencing / telephony over standard phone lines, and is optimized for real-time encode & decode. G.723.1 is part of the H.323 (IP) and H.324 (POTS) standards for video conferencing.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 6,4 Kbit/s)
6) G.726 works in four bit rates, viz., 16, 24, 32 and 40 Kbps. This is waveform coder and works based on the principle of Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM). This coder takes signals sampled at 8000 samples/second and converts to compressed form, depending on the selected rate.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 32 Kbit/s)
7) iLBC (internet Low Bitrate Codec) is a FREE speech codec suitable for robust voice communication over IP. The codec is designed for narrow band speech and results in a payload bit rate of 13.33 kbit/s with an encoding frame length of 30 ms and 15.20 kbps with an encoding length of 20 ms. The iLBC codec enables graceful speech quality degradation in the case of lost frames, which occurs in connection with lost or delayed IP packets
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 15,20 Kbit/s)
8) Speex is an Open Source/Free Software patent-free audio compression format designed for speech. The Speex Project aims to lower the barrier of entry for voice applications by providing a free alternative to expensive proprietary speech codecs. Moreover, Speex is well-adapted to Internet applications and provides useful features that are not present in most other codecs. Finally, Speex is part of the GNU Project and is available under the variant of the BSD license.
(Frequency: 8KHz, Bandwidth: 32 Kbit/s)

Rates for calls to standard telephones

Calls to standard telehones in the USA, GERMANY, UK, SWEDEN, SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, NETHERLANDS, AUSTRALIA, IRELAND, CANADA and many other countries for or below 1,7 cents*/minute.
Calls to standard telephones in AUSTRIA, CHILE, BELGIUM, POLAND, PORTUGAL, GREECE, ISRAEL, BRAZIL, NEW ZEALAND, CHINA and other countries for or below 2,5 cents*/minute.
Calls to MOBILE PHONES in USA, INDIA, UK, TURKEY, RUSSIA, BRAZIL, HONG KONG and many other countries for or below 20 cents*/minute.

All rates above are intended with taxes included.

Weak points

Some weak points include a poor text chat interface and a few other interface quirks which may fault the novice user in finding what she may be looking for.

Accessing the main interface tab, the one showing the current call, the numeric keypad and the mic and speaker volume sliders, once abandoned it is not easy to get back to. The problem is that the point of access to the main interface is a minuscule graphic icon tab at the end of the other tabs (all in text), and therefore it is didicult to spot.

The text chat facility is poorly designed and it requires multiple clicking through the interface to engage in a text exchange.

Default sounds are also a bit on the annoying side but they can all be manually disabled.

The real-time translation feature offers a good set of free language pairs though it didn't include an Italian-to-English one (though it did have an Englidh-to-Italian). Languages covered are German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian and French.

Video quality is not impressive and you get to see only a rather small video frame while the frame rate appears to be rather slow.

Setup and installation are pretty straightforward though you need to input both the nick name and the email of any buddy person you want to add to your list of contacts.

For now, only a Windows version of JAJAH is available for download, though according to the company Mac and Unix/linux versions are being developed and should soon be available. Down the road is also JAJAH for mobile devices and PDAs.

All of JAJAH basic calling and receiving functionalities are free.

Try it now. (14 MB download)

Recent related resources:

Readers' Comments    
2008-12-20 00:41:57


So far,this is one best provider ,lots of free cool features...check it out guys

2007-11-19 16:46:41


Bloody hell! This Jajah is misleading. When I signed up on Jajah's website, and gone through the activation, it asked me to pay!

What the hell!?!? I have to pay for activating my phone with JaJah?! Screw that! That is complete bull crap. I'm sticking to Skype.

Skype does not charge me anything for signing up and activating my phone. And it's cheaper with Skype. Free calls from PC to Landline/Mobile within Canada and US--unlimited--for $29/year.

2007-10-01 12:02:43


Interesting video. Does the interface look like one of the services you already know, or is this a new kid on the block?

2007-09-29 20:38:29


If its only voip - this video leak talks of much more (voip, video, virtual wallet). Have posted around and want to know what is is any ideas??: It shows a video on Youtube:

2007-07-09 14:00:47


The best rates in calling and conferencing is not on Jajah's property. Raketu has the best rates. Raketu can be seen as a combination of Skype and Jajah which makes it even better for people who call long distance; plus, with its free or low cost rates users' savings are much better...

2007-03-07 17:56:23


Verizon Web Calling is the way to go. Download Windows Live Messenger v8.0 or higher (if you don't already have it) and sign up for an account by clicking on the phone handset icon (or click "Call a Phone" from the "Actions" drop down. Excellent quality & very low rates for domestic & International calls. I use it to call everyone & they have no idea I am calling from my computer.

2007-02-02 08:28:21


Indeed, Jajah DOES cost more. My complaint is that the company fails to recognize that the State of Hawaii is a part of the United States, and charges double for calls to/from that state (5 cents). Jajah calls from one Hawaiian island to another costs even more (7.8 cents). Even landline long distance providers have better rates than that.

2007-01-25 04:14:36


It seems to me that still have the best rates and functionality.


2006-02-25 00:36:33

Skype user

A call via JaJah will result in higher cost compared to a Skype call because JaJah will charge for two connections. One connection from JaJah server to the callers telephone and an other connection from JaJa server to the telephone of the B-party

2005-09-11 20:29:48


not to forget

2005-08-20 19:34:00


Jajah is the new born star on the VoIP sky. We'll see if it is a bright star, or only one of thousands on the sky...

But for a beta-version, jajah is quite good and they have fair rates!

2005-08-19 16:33:41


I can not open jajah.exe, who do you tell me ?

2005-08-18 11:02:27

i have vskype

2005-08-10 18:03:35


You're totally out on the CODEC info. But the important one on this page is Skype- it is 32BKPS!

2005-08-02 17:05:10


Anyone had an alert as to Jajah having a Key Logger inside when extracting the files?

2005-07-27 21:58:25


its not registering on the jajah network, anyone knows the solution?

2005-06-28 09:34:23


Installed, crashed PC, couldn't find any online help/forum, uninstalled.

You may guess that I wasn't too impressed. Maybe after a few more betas



2005-06-27 23:00:32


only few words:
Skype was The First... so everything else - just a copies...

2005-06-27 16:24:22


nice tool, but it's JUST a phone/video...Wavigo has it all!

2005-06-26 12:57:33


Great tool Robin. Will have to try it.

2005-06-26 12:56:20


Great tool Robin. Will have to try it.

2005-06-25 17:16:57


Great to have it, next, I want to record calls over Jajah , doing interviews etc. What should I use for it?

posted by Robin Good on Saturday, June 25 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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