Cracking the Code on High Fidelity Voice

Cracking the Code on High Fidelity Voice

February 8th, 2017

If you find yourself more frustrated than ever while on a call or conference bridge…when you cannot quite make out what a participant is saying…when you are sharing your ideas only to learn a few minutes later your voice was barely legible…you’re not alone.

person on laptop cell phone outside
Voice quality has declined as we have been transitioning and transforming away from fixed line to mobile communications, struggling at times with “spotty WiFi,” and enjoying the economics of Skype and other over-the-top VoIP applications.

Mobile service providers are very aware of the issue and are increasingly looking to improve voice quality and call reliability in their networks.

We’re experiencing a tremendous interest in the adoption of Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) as a result of the erosion of voice quality, and working with some of the largest mobile service providers in the world to evolve their networks to enable a better user experience for their customers while at the same time providing network bandwidth advantages. While these service providers are deeply invested in and succeeding with their High definition (HD) voice and video communication services such as VoLTE (voice over LTE), ViLTE (video over LTE), VoWiFi (voice over WiFi) and RCS (Rich Communication Services), it is their parallel investment in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) that is making it possible to add more software into their networks to deliver not just agile and flexible services, but higher quality services.

What is EVS?

The EVS (or Enhanced Voice Service) codec is a breakthrough evolution of the existing AMR-WB codec (a High Definition Wide Band Codec for 3G/4G mobile networks). It is the first 3GPP conversational codec that offers super wideband and full band (20 kHz) audio bandwidth, delivering speech quality up to maximum hearing capability of the human ear, while offering high robustness to harsh network conditions on mobile networks.

Why are service providers investing in EVS?

Here are a few good reasons:

  • Better quality and performance for speech, music and mixed content in all bandwidths
  • Extended audio bandwidth; super-wideband and optionally, full band for immersive communication experience
  • Improved robustness against transmission errors
  • Lower bandwidth consumption
  • Improved performance for narrowband and wideband speech

Introduction of Enhanced HD Voice Services requires updates in the core and edge of service provider and interconnect networks to address media interworking and transcoding to gain the full benefits of EVS. NFV-based approaches from the telco cloud offer the ability to address this voice processing in a distributed and secure manner, at efficient scale and with elasticity. At the same time, NFV-based solutions with virtual network functions like session border controllers (SBCs) at the edge of the networks mitigate challenges such as security threats, signaling and media interoperability, and support new VoLTE roaming architectures.

person on laptop cell phone outside
As the demand for IP multimedia communications services grows, the desire to have high quality real-time multimedia communications with an optimized network increases. While HD Voice implementation on mobile networks was a huge step towards that goal, the next generation IP communications infrastructure is transitioning to support full HD enhanced voice services (EVS) and promises to revolutionize the voice communications experience with unrivaled quality, operational cost savings, and a stronger and more flexible platform for launching new services including embedding voice and video conversations into business and mobile apps.

I hope that you can join me for an upcoming Webinar that I will be hosting along with Greg Collins from Exact Ventures. The Webinar, which is scheduled for February 22 at 11 am Eastern, is titled ENHANCED HD VOICE SERVICES (EVS) FOR VOLTE WITH NFV and we will be focusing on how this breakthrough codec is dramatically improving the user experience while also increasing network efficiency.

We will also be showcasing our VoLTE Media Processing and Interconnect Solutions which support the EVS) codec at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 22 – March 2.  I encourage you to stop by the GENBAND booth for a demonstration. We are located in Hall 2, Booth 2I31.    

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