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HD Voice
Short for high-definition voice aka wideband voice. In Internet telephony, it refers to the use of wideband technology to provide a better audio experience in voice communications.

Traditional telephony is based on sampling the sound stream 8,000 times a second, and constraining the sound spectrum to the range between 200Hz and 3.3KHz - and fitting it into a 64Kbps bandwidth. In HD voice, a wideband codec doubles the sampling rate and more than doubles the width of the sound spectrum reproduced, from 50Hz to 7KHz. This adds significant depth and nuance to the transmitted sound without taking up more bandwidth.
HD voice technology uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology to capture and transmit the higher quality sound. Several wideband codecs are currently being used for HD voice include G.722 and G.722.1.

It is however not enough to improve the potential quality of the sound. Many of todays telephones are equipped with microphones and speakers that will not do justice to HD Voice so the phone manufacturers will need to get on the bandwagon. Just as with TV technology where HD TV was on the horizon for a very long time, it will take time and require new devices to take advantage of the improved quality. And just as with HDTV, once you have experienced the quality of HD Voice it is hard to go back!

HD Voice benefits:

  • Clearer overall sound quality
  • Easier to recognize voices, distinguish confusing sounds and understand accented speakers
  • Ease of deciphering words that have the close sounds of s and f and others,
  • Ability to hear faint talkers and to understand two-way talking
  • More attention to the call content and less brain function to try hearing what people are saying; resulting in increased productivity and less fatigue on business calls
  • Better understanding using a speakerphone or in the presence of background noise

Some operators are taking the plunge now:
"We expect 100% of devices in our portfolio to be HD by the end of 2011," said Yves Maitre, senior vice president of mobile multimedia and devices at Orange.

Where is the value proposition?
The value prop lies in clear and improved communication. There will literally be fewer misunderstandings. People will be much more comfortable with conference calls, thereby working more efficiently.

When is the right time to implement HD Voice; what is it going to cost and what is the ROI?

Comtico can assist you in answering these and other questions about HD Voice.

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