Ever curious, I thought it worth looking into what kind of HD Voice-capable devices they would be offering. The list of twenty handsets seems quite comprehensive. That bodes well for customers someday actually getting to experience HDVoice.
Just as significantly, the HD Voice capable handsets was easy to identify. The company lists “HD Voice” as a key feature that can be used to search through the entirety of their handset offering. Thus new customers can easily reference this feature while in the process of selecting their new handset.
A short while back I addressed the question of how DECT & CAT-iq may foster the broad deployment of HDVoice. At that time I described one possible scenario where carriers would deploy customer premises equipment (CPE) with an on-board cordless base station. Although a frontrunner, and the basis of Comcast’s (decidedly non-HD) HomePoint service, this is not the only approach afoot. There’s another possibility arising that involves conveying HDVoice over a plain old analog RJ-11 connection.
At first glance HDVoice and analog lines would certainly seem to be mutually exclusive. The common wisdom is that wideband telephony requires the use of an all-IP call path. This is in fact a generalization, and not absolutely true.
Firstly, it has long been possible to pass wideband audio, in the form of G.722 encoded media, over the PSTN by way of ISDN connections. Also known as BRI interfaces, an ISDN connection supports up to two 64 kbps channels (bearer channels) and one D channel for the purposes of call setup & teardown signaling. High-quality voice using G.722 was one of the selling points of ISDN in the 1980s.
Randy Resnick (a.k.a. Zeeek, or more recently Dulo Par) the founder of the VoIP Users Conference, has a guest post over at HDVoice News called, “An “ear opener” to HD voice in conferencing.” Randy details the advantages of wideband voice for large public conference calls. He should know, having produced thousands of hours of podcast based upon such calls over the past few years.
It’s nearing the end of the year so some of the punditry have started making prognostications. Those who don’t look back at the year just past for fear that the coming year holds untold terrors. And of course, top ten lists start showing up well beyond the confines of David Letterman’s Late Show.