The μ-law algorithm (sometimes written "mu-law", often approximated as "u-law") is a companding algorithm, primarily used in 8-bit PCM digital telecommunication systems in North America and Japan. It is one of two versions of the G.711 standard from ITU-T, the other version being the similar A-law, used in regions where digital telecommunication signals are carried on E-1 circuits, e.g. Europe. Companding algorithms reduce the dynamic range of an audio signal. In analog systems, this can increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) achieved during transmission; in the digital domain, it can reduce the quantization error (hence increasing signal to quantization noise ratio). These SNR increases can be traded instead for reduced bandwidth for equivalent SNR.