Summary: 29 things I learned at the HD Communications Summit
Posted May 29, 2009on:
If you don’t feel like plowing through all of the HD Communications Summit pieces, here’s a recap of what went on.
1) Jeff Pulver can still pull over 100 of the “right people” to an event just after InterOp and just before the U.S. Memorial Day weekend.
2) The baseline for a PSTN/POTS phone call hasn’t changed since 1937 or so – unlike everything else in the modern world.
3) Pulver plans an FCC petition this fall to upgrade PSTN to HD; digital TV provides a case justification to move to a new technology.
4) Frequency range for a PSTN call is 300-3000 Hz
5) AudioCodes Google Search on “HD Voice/VoIP” – Past 10 years, 190,000 hits. Past 12 months, 82,000 hits, so the trend line is going up and to the right.
6) Depending on who’s talking, HD audio would use a range between 100-7000 Hz. Diminishing returns after 7000 Hz delivery.
7) The tighter PSTN clips consonants.
8) FM radio sounds better than a PSTN call.
9) HD Connect is the working name of the HD Communications trade association Pulver is starting because a) Polycomm has a trademark on HD Voice and b) AudioCodes has a trademark on HD VoIP
10) Everyone wants a “HD Connect” logo to put on their boxes
11) When HD voice (generic) happens [in North America], it will happen really really fast, predicts everyone.
12) But right now, [North American] service providers are on the fence waiting to see who jumps first.
13) Nobody can agree on a single HD codec, but most agree we need fewer codecs and there seems to be sufficient codecs out there
14) More codecs = more part cost, more support costs, so the fewer, the better
15) Ain’t no such thing as a “free” codec. Support costs and potential indemnification issues lurk.
16) Wireless and wireline will likely use different codecs because the cellular carriers need to get the most out of their leased spectrum (i.e. spectral efficiency)
17) Transcoding will be necessary to move between HD codecs; AudioCodes is happy.
18) North American cable companies are getting ready for HD, but until the business case is clear (i.e. “Show me the money”), they aren’t in any rush.
19) Cable may have a leg up by locking in DECT CAT-iq as a standard so service providers can provide an end-to-end experience without transcoding or other tweaking.
20) The Europeans are ahead of us (again). BT, France Telecom, T-Mobile are all deploying HD today in their respective territories.
21) France Telecom expects to be able to exchange HD voice calls with other carriers by the end of the year.
22) Enterprises are likely to be the earliest adopters of HD. They control their own infrastructure, are deploying VoIP, HD gets rolled out as “just another app” onto the existing infrastructure.
23) Avaya has incorporated wideband codecs in all of its phones; Polycom is adding wideband codecs to all of its phones.
24) HD is a “killer app” when it comes to talking to a non-native language speaker and you can’t understand his/her accent. The broader range means you can understand what someone is saying rather than having to work at interpreting (i.e. filling in the blanks) as to what they are really saying.
25) HD on cell phones is happening – in Europe. France Telecom is (once again) leading the way with mobile HD.
26) Truphone says it is working with HD in the lab and is ready to roll when the time is right.
27) Qualcomm has done demos/field trials of HD on cellular.
28) In the trials, Qualcomm used the Swiss-army-knife of IP telephony – Digium’s Asterisk – to transcode between its 4GV-WB codec and G.722.
29) Qualcomm is still trying to fight the EVDO/LTE battle.
Earlier pieces on the HD Communications Summit