In the context of VoIP (and WebRTC), bitrate is the number of bits per second that are being actively sent or received over the network.

A few things to remember about bitrate:

  • The maximum bitrate possible is capped by the bandwidth available, which can be dynamic throughout a single session. See BWE
  • Bitrate changes dynamically throughout the session, due to a multitude of reasons: available bandwidth, CPU, etc.
  • Voice codecs require much less bitrate than video codecs
  • Downstream and upstream bitrates are asymmetric


About WebRTC Glossary

The WebRTC Glossary is an ongoing project where users can learn more about WebRTC related terms. It is maintained by Tsahi Levent-Levi of

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