Wideband Telephony Takes Center Stage At Jeff Pulver’s HD VoIP Summit

polycom_ip650_256It’s starting to appear as if wideband telephony is truly going to get some traction in 2009. Jeff Pulver is mounting an event called HD VoIP Summit on New York City on May 21st. There’s a call for speakers at present. The deadline for those who wish to apply to speak is April 3rd.

The call for speakers was prefaced by a Dan Berninger guest post on Jeff Pulver’s blog entitled, “The Promise Of High Definition Voice Beyond Skype.” Of course, Dan is CEO of FWD which is repositioning itself as a champion of wideband voice.

On the manufacturer front we have new wideband capable hardware from a number of manufacturers. Witness Polycom’s interesting, if pricey, video phone announced last week. The VVX-1500 supports several wideband codecs. We also have new products or announcements from Snom, Siemens Gigaset, Audio Codes and activity from GIPS, and Skype…just to name a few. Heck, even Verizon’s new HUB is theoretically wideband capable. OpenPeak, the devices creator, uses CATiq standard hardware which supports wideband via G.722.

There are so many things implied by the transition to wideband voice. It’s essentially the death of the PSTN. And yet, as revolutionary as that might be, it’s still an evolutionary process. The excitement surrounds the fact that it can finally take VoIP beyond the just a low-cost-PSTN-replacement into the realm of things that we’ve yet to imagine. There will be new applications made possible through the availability of dramatically better call quality.

I don’t even know who’s speaking and I’m actually thinking of finding some way to attend the HD VoIP Summit. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else who is planning to attend.

  • HD voice is great, but not that great.
    :The Death of the PSTN”
    “The realm of things we have yet to imagine”

    HD voice is evolutionary not revolutionary. The migration from rotary to touch tone was a bigger deal and that 20 years and the biggest benefit is endless auto attendants.

    HD phones are still quite a small portion of the population – and even the ones that exist have a very low probability of being HD if they leave the PBX.

    I love HD, I really do. I also love ice cream. If there was a choice between HD and ice cream on every call, I don’t think HD will get very far.

  • Warmbowski

    If g.722 offers better audio range in the same bandwidth, why can’t the PSTN support it? I don’t think it HAS to be the death of the pstn.

  • I really do not see HD voice being used much outside of an office environment. I have no problem running HD voice calls between phones in the office, but who is going to sacrifice the bandwidth to make these calls outside of the local network? If both sides do not have it, there is no point. I see it being a long time before there is a wide acceptance.

    • @TJ,

      I have to disagree with you on a number of aspects. First, wideband voice doesn’t generally consume more bandwidth than a normal narrowband G.711 call. The term “wideband” refers to the frequency response of the available channel, not the data rate. G.722 for instance has the exact same data rate as G.711, but twice the frequency response. G.722.1 and G.722.2 both offer wideband response at lower bitrates, more akin to G.729.

      Secondly, as consumer phones start appearing that are wideband capable, especially CATiq based cordless systems like the Siemens S675/685 then we will start seeing home phone with wideband capabilities similar to those more commonly found in office phones. I think that given a choice people will appreciate better quality calls.

  • Very interesting. I did not realize that it did not consume more bandwidth than a g711 call. That changes my perspective. However a do think that it is going to be a while before the market is flooded with affordable phones that support this.