High-Definition Voice coming to Mobile phones

March 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Although the focus these days is primarily on data and smartphones, it’s exciting that Operators have continued to look for ways to communicate better, such as High Definition voice. Skeptical that improvement is needed? Try out the demo (from Orange, who is leading the charge to deploy HD Voice), check out the convincing 3rd-party evaluation, or compare Standard vs. HD audio. Not only is the voice clearer, but there is less background noise; HD Voice includes active noise reduction (similar in function to the Noise Shield(TM) feature that makes Aliph Jawbone headsets so great). The result is “Wow!” You will want to have conversations over HD Voice, as they are easier to understand, and richer, more nuanced … like a face to face conversation.

SInce Voice is still a cash cow for Mobile Operators, it is a great idea to enhance it, to assert the improved quality that you get from a Mobile Operator (vs. an Over The Top service provider, such as Skype). Now that mobile networks carry more Data than Voice traffic, it’s easy to allocate a bit more bandwidth to improved voice. The service uses a new codec, Wideband AMR (an improvement on the current AMR standard used in GSM).

Where can I get it?

As with most new mobile features/services, you will need for your Operator to offer it, and you need a compatible handset (probably a new now, in this case).

Operator Support: At last count, HD Voice is provided by 39 mobile nets, in 31 countries. Orange has been leading the deployment (including pushing the standards development), delivering HD Voice in many of its European and Middle East properties.

Handset Support: Only a few handsets currently support HD Voice, so you’ll have to look carefully. It has been rumored to be a feature of the new iPhone 5 (but, then, what new capability has not been rumored to be in the new, iPhone 5?).

Caller needs it, too: Both Caller and Called must have this feature, for it to work at HD voice quality (see Engadget demo). Makes sense, however, as it is an end-to-end service. Like a Skype video call, both parties need it for it to work, end-to-end.

Tariff: Orange does not charge anything more for this feature, interestingly. It simply establishes Orange voice as a superior service, and encourages callers to use Orange to call their family & friends with HD-capable phones. Nice move.

Soon, you will be able to enjoy HD Voice as more handsets and networks support this important, new feature.

Trend towards Improved Communication

Since mobile phones have become the primary phone that people use–replacing fixed/wireline/VoIP phones–they are incorporating the best features of wireline service:

Done: Caller ID, Call Waiting, Voice Mail, Three-way calling, etc.
Deploying: Calling Name (see related posts)
Coming: High-quality Voice

Want to know the Name of Callers? (on your mobile handset)

September 22, 2008 at 4:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Like to know the name of the people who are calling you? I do!
If you want this feature, your mobile operator can deliver it,
and they’d like to hear from you!

Recently, I noted that it’s possible to deliver not just the Number, but the Name of the caller, just like on your wireline service. Just like on your @Home service. It’s possible: you just have to ask for it. 

This service is already available (for over 5 years), and mobile operators have held off on delivering it. Recently, Verizon Wireless started delivering a pale version of this, providing city and state info on the caller (in addition to the number). Personally, I want to know the caller’s name, and I gladly pay for this feature on my wireline service. If you want Calling Name delivery on your mobile, tell your mobile phone company! If you ask for it, then can deliver it (that’s what we’re all in business for: satisfying the end customer).

Caller ID includes Calling Name

September 22, 2008 at 3:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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@Home delivers “True Caller ID” that includes Calling Name Display. Nice!

I had a narrow (and, apparently, aged) view of the Caller ID feature. Originally, there was a distinction between Calling Number and Calling Name display (Caller ID preceded Calling Name, and display of Name was sold as an enhancement to the display of the calling party number). (Note: Just to date me, I worked at AT&T Bell Labs when we first designed and introduced these features that utilized the new, out-of-band signaling system). Now, there appears to be no distinction and Caller ID includes Calling Name (see attached definition, from the Qwest web site). Since @Home seeks to provide you with wireline-equivalent features, it includes all of the basic features, even voice mail (see the demo here).

Now if only they would deliver Calling Name to my handset!
It’s readily available, and even starting to appear in the marketplace. (Full disclosure: the company that I work for, VeriSign , actually delivers the Calling Name service for @Home, and the same solution can be delivered to your wireless phone, too – the mobile operators are just unsure if subscribers really want it on their phone). Technically, you can receive the same quality of Caller ID (including Calling Name) that you receive on your wired phone. If you want Calling Name delivery on your mobile, tell your mobile phone company!

 

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