Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

Posts Tagged ‘HD voice

You’ll find three (3) pieces about HD voice from AstriCon over at the HD Connect Now website (–

Bottom line: You have to look REALLY hard to find a VoIP handset that doesn’t have support for the G.722 wideband codec these days.  Even Cisco’s $130 cheap-end VoIP phone has G.722 built in… and yes, I’m sure people are going to start nit-picking about mic quality, speaker quality, does the gear really sample at 16 KHz, etc… we’ll see.

Also very interesting that AT&T is quietly trialing HD voice in its back yard. No details yet on exactly what is going on; I’m hoping the company will be as forthcoming as Verizon Business, but then again, AT&T never rolled out Casabi after playing with it nearly a decade ago..


Live coverage of the HD Comm ’09 event in New York City today will be coming from Twitter on HDConnectNow.

Right now I’ve got 14 (fourteen) meetings plus two panels penciled in at IT EXPO West in Los Angeles, spread across Tuesday,  September 1 and Wednesday, September 2.

Tuesday, I’m moderating an IP Peering Panel from 3:45-4:30 PM and Wednesday I put on my HD hat to do “HD Voice Deployments” from 1:15-2 PM.

If you are floating around downtown LA (and the Westin conference hotel) on Monday, August 31, I should have time available to meet and greet from around lunchtime to about 5 PM or so, so drop me a direct email at if you want to catch me before the real fun starts.

During the VoIP Users Conference (VUC) call last Friday, I put down my markers for the advance of HD Voice in North America, using the statements and actions of various service providers to provide context for my predictions.

The benchmarks I used were–

  • Cablevision’s rollout of hosted HD Voice service  this summer – The leading/bleeding edge
  • Global Crossing’s  one-off HD projects today, with work on an automated HD voice conferencing product rolling out within 6-9 months – Leading edge
  • Verizon Business talk of HD Voice within its user base, with early adoption in 2010 and general adoption in 2011 – Conservative
  • Cox Communications saying they expect HD in 2011 – Very conservative.

Looking at those four different data points, I believe that 2010 will be the year of HD Voice in the enterprise space in North America.

I’ll do a discussion of the consumer space and HD for North America tomorrow…

There’s a 20 percent (yes, 20%) discount code available for the HD Comm ’09 event on September 15 in New York City.  Register online with the “HDConnectNow” code and you’ll get 20 (yes, 20) percent off registration.

The schedule and registration for the second HD Communicatons Summit – currently known as HDComm ’09 — is now up.

HDComm ’09 is being held on Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at New World Stages.  Speakers include Alla Reznick, Director of Product Management at Verizon. I’ve spoken to Alla back in June where she outlined Verizon Business’s vision for HD Voice.

Should be interesting to hear what she and some others say about HD this time around; I’ve heard there may be a couple of more speakers and sponsors on board this time around.

I’m also looking forward to see if there are any pre-event or post-event off-the-books meetings and/or briefings. A lot of people are talking about HD behind closed doors and don’t want to show their cards until necessary

Videoconferencing and telepresence rigs provide more information for communications options, but HD voice may prove to be the quickest and most cost-effective upgrade for businesses of all sizes.

Don’t get me wrong; TANDBERG and Polycom and all the other visual-solutions have their place in the scheme of things, but they are A) expensive B) need more bandwidth and C) Need more care, feeding, and prep, due to A & B.

Real world example:  When I was hanging out with Jeff Pulver yesterday, one of his meetings was at the Embassy of Ireland. We were ushered into an elegant and beautiful conference room with a nice TANDBERG video conferencing rig in one corner, video camera adjusted at table height.

As Jeff started his dervish windup on the goodness of HD over vanilla voice, I looked over at the TANDBERG and started calculating how many tens of thousands of dollars it cost to buy it — then multiplied by 2,  for the end point sitting back on the Emerald Isle.   Let’s say, it’s around $30,000 for the single end point.

Compare that $30,000 to a $300 or so HD business phone and you’ve got two orders of magnitude of expense for the baseline videoconferencing setup.  Put another way with the simplified math – you can stick 100 HD phones on desktops and/or conference rooms for the price of one video end point.

Those HD phones will get a lot more day-to-day use than the videoconferencing rig as well.  People will just “pick up the phone” and if they don’t get who they need, they can leave a message, while the videoconferencing rig needs to have an arranged time of use so someone is on the other end — it’s not a spontaneous “Gotta call bob” type of thing.  In addition, people will tend to primp themselves and the video area to look good on camera and running around to prep for that conference.

HD voice is likely to have a lower peak impact upon bandwidth and the network, but more sustained.  Assuming a ratio of use of 1 phone per 10 deployed in E-whats-his-name’s equation, you’d have 10 phones x 64 kbps, so 640 Kbps of bandwidth distributed across the network using G.722.  Compare that to a single point “surge” of 2-3 Mbps for a typical videoconferencing rig.   You could spin out various scenarios to skew numbers either way, but you get my point.

Installation also is a lot easier than a videoconferencing end point; enter the videoconferencing system integrator to adjust for lighting, positioning, and plenty of other factors.

HD voice: Plug in phone to network. Phone number or SIP URI to dial another HD phone (OK, that’s simplified, but you get my point…)

With HD voice now a “baked in” option with Avaya and Polycom phones, upgrading to HD voice is almost a no-brainer for improving corporate productivity, unless you installed non-G.722/non-upgradable VoIP phones last year.