Monday, August 22, 2011

XConnect to deliver HD voice between fixed and mobile networks

LONDON, UK: XConnect announced a new transcoding technology designed to promote wider adoption and utilization of high-definition (HD) voice services. The new feature for members of XConnect’s HD Alliance delivers clearer, higher-quality and more effective voice communications by enabling fixed-line and mobile operators to seamlessly exchange HD voice traffic through an IP-peering federation for the first time.

“We are solving the key challenge to widespread adoption of high-definition voice services: the need to deliver traffic across disparate networks,” said XConnect CEO Eli Katz. “The enhancement to XConnect’s HD Alliance extends the benefits of cross-network HD voice service to mobile operators via cloud-based transcoding, thereby enabling fixed operators to connect HD voice calls with mobile endpoints and vice versa.”

Katz noted that the new transcoding feature will be increasingly useful as HD voice gains traction across all networks – fixed, mobile and over the top offerings – for consumer and enterprise markets.

To date, technology barriers have stood in the way of HD voice communication between fixed-line and mobile operators, which deploy different codecs. The new feature bridges the disparate HD “islands” by enabling transcoding in the XConnect multimedia interconnection hub. The resulting interconnection offers new revenue opportunities for fixed and mobile service providers, as well as improved call quality for more users.

The transcoding capability expands the benefits of XConnect’s HD Alliance – the world’s original peering federation dedicated to HD voice. Since its launch in April 2010, the HD Alliance has supported service providers using the G.722 wideband audio codec, the ITU standard for HD-enabled fixed communications networks.

Now, using the new transcoding technology, HD voice traffic can be delivered with tonal and audio quality preserved between fixed operators using the G.722 codec and mobile operators using the AMR-WB codec, which is most popular for wireless networks.

The HD Alliance, which operates within XConnect’s Global Alliance worldwide peering federation, currently has 11 participating service providers.

After launching the HD federation for US operators, XConnect in September 2010 expanded membership to include UK participants as part of an initiative with Polycom, BroadSoft and Dialogic to promote HD voice uptake in the UK.

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