GSM 06.10 Lossy Speech Compression. A lossy format for compressing speech which is used in the Global Standard for Mobile telecommunications (GSM). It’s good for its purpose, shrinking audio data size, but it will introduce lots of noise when a given audio signal is encoded and decoded multiple times. This format is used by some voice mail applications. It is rather CPU intensive.
this format is free, which apparently is one of the reasons for its popularity. The used codecs supports variable bit rates (as a default), and .ogg files usually play back easily on all platforms. All things being equal, the sound quality exceeds that of mp3 somewhat.