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4. HD Voice Deployment: Challenging Road from Concept to Realization
Presented by Manpreet Singh, iBasis.
With voice becoming a commodity, users want more out of what they pay today. For any operator, quality has been the biggest issue when doing calls between 2 users, whether they are on fixed lines, mobile lines or a soft client sitting on their PC or their mobile headset. High Definition voice promises a clear, crisp and stereo quality voice experience which users are already accustomed to seeing on their HD enabled TV sets. But providing this service is not easy when it comes to voice enabled networks.
Here are some of the challenges we face:
- Fixed headsets are still PCM-based and large majority of mobile handsets are AMR-based, and the penetration of IP-based fixed headsets and AMR-WB based mobile handsets is still low.
- Mobile networks have not upgraded their core to support BICC protocol which supports HD negotiation.
- Mobile networks which are HD enabled are not ready to expose national networks to international networks causing international calls to be still be NB even when the core is HD.
- Different implementations of AMR-WB codecs causing interoperability issues which is blocking the interconnection of various mobile networks.
- Widespread adoption of IPX is not here yet, which is the baseline IP network to support this.
- OTT providers are coming in the mix with HD codecs like SILK and OPUS which are not widely supported across any mobile or fixed network operator.
- The emergence of LTE is putting HD on the backburner.
There are many more things which are hindering the adoption of HD -- especially across International boundaries. In the future, the emergence of LTE will make it easier to do HD across domains. Existing deployments are happening but there are many interoperability issues that need to be looked at more closely to bridge this gap. It all comes down to having an IPX provider be a bridge between 2 operators and join 2 heterogeneous HD islands for greater user experience.