The HDVoice trio of HDConnect, FWD & Polycom have announced a seminar on HDVoice in Washington DC on December 10th. Here’ s the gist of the matter from the Polycom press release:
The HDConnect Project and Polycom, Inc. invite members of the Washington, D.C. tech policy community to experience high definition telephone calls via an HD calling trial starting Dec. 10, 2009. HDConnect Steering Committee members will hold a seminar and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. to help legislators and others learn more about why high definition telephony promises to transform the communication landscape. After the seminar, attendees may register to participate in the trial.
High definition telephony offers more than twice the voice quality of standard phone calls, and is the biggest advancement telephony has seen in more than 100 years. HD calling makes telephone calls significantly more productive because it all but eliminates the misunderstandings that arise because the standard phone system cuts out four-fifths of the human voice.
Sometimes a legislative mastery of the patently obvious is not so easy to achieve. Best of luck to Mssrs Pulver, Berninger & Rodman as they work to persuade the regulatory crowd that the 1930s technical standards of the PSTN are simply not adequate in the 21st century.
Earlier this week Dan Berninger, CEO of the newly formed HDConnect trade group offered up another guest post on Jeff Pulver’s blog. In this post, entitled “Telecom Turnaround,” Dan outlines the decline in demand for traditional voice services over the past decade. He also hints at the typical arguments that nay-sayers offer against wideband telephony. It’s all good stuff.
There’s something that I’d like to add to what Dan puts forward. By whatever name it’s known, HDVoice, HD VoIP, or simply wideband telephony…improved call quality is only the beginning. When voice is just another application on an IP network there are a many advantages that can be realized. Improved call quality is just the first benefit that we’ll see (hear?), and possibly the easiest to sell both to the public and regulators.
Of all the things discussed at Pulver’s HDComms event in May the one thing that spurred everyone to agreement was the idea that wideband telephony needs much greater public visibility. To that end Mr Pulver proposed the formation of a trade group to be called HD Connect. This group would promote wideband telephony in various ways to manufacturers, resellers, regulators and end-users. Since May both Jeff and Dan Berninger have been working to get this body assembled.
One of the objectives of this group is to establish recognizable labeling for manufacturers to use on their packaging. While it’s still early days for HD Connect, the logo shown here is what they’ve settled upon as indicating 100% genuine wideband capable, HD Connect certified, good stuff inside.
This past week I had the pleasure of attending The HD Communication Summit hosted by Jeff Pulver in New York City. The summit was a one day event intended to rally a number of players in the telecom world around moving beyond the PSTN with the rollout of wideband telephony services.
The event was the first of its kind, and drew a group of over 100 attendees most of whom were telecom industry insiders. For me it was exciting and enlightening to be in the presence of such a group of knowledgeable people.
The day was marked by a number of presentations from various parties and a handful of panels. There’s simply too much to convey in a single post so I’ll start with some of my more general impressions of the issues discussed.
For the past few weeks I’ve been hunting for a soft phone with specific wideband voice capabilities. I’ve found a couple but there arises complications.
Wideband-capable hard phones usually support G.722, G.722.1 or G.722.2 (aka AMR-WB) codecs. There are other codecs out there that support wideband voice coding. Speex is the one most often cited. However, Speex support in hardware is extremely limited. So Speex implemented in a soft phone is not going to help me evaluate interoperability with hard phones.
Luca Filigheddu reminds me to consider things carefully before making a decision. After some reflection I agree that FWD Deserves our Praise. Jeff’s leadership in the community has been remarkable over the years. It’s so easy to forget the early visionaries when things are so far down the road, and running really well.