FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TMC Unveils SmartVoice Conference
Industry event devotes program to effectively adding value to the voice cloud
Norwalk, CT – December 5, 2013 – TMC and HD Voice News today announced the addition of their SmartVoice Conference, held January 28, 2014, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This event will focus on the benefits of Smart Voice services such as call recording/archiving, Hypervoice text-to-speech indexing, voice biometrics and voice analytics. The expo provides attendees with actionable insights from top industry experts and companies on current and future state of the technology.
Call recording/archiving provides a detailed record of sales and call center interactions, as well as standard compliance activities in financial, health care, and legal firms. Adding Hypervoice text-to-speech indexing provides an easy search of all business conversations by key word or phrase with the ability to play back the corresponding. Voice biometrics provide an easy way to authenticate employees and customers, eliminating passwords and pass phrases while speeding up call center interactions. Voice analytics is the tool to datamine call archives, allows businesses to identify the best call center practices and sift through calls to discover market trends.
· From Dumb Calling to Smart Voice
· Call recording/call archiving
· Voice Biometrics – "My Voice is my passport"
· Voice quality – The cornerstone for Smart Voice Services
· From speech to text to HyperVoice
· Voice analytics -Mining call center traffic for competitive intelligence and business improvement
· Smart Voice, UC, and WebRTC – How do they all fit together?
“Smart Voice is a more efficient and cost-effective way to make calls and in a market filled with Cloud-Based VoIP/UC Services, carriers need innovative new services like this to compete,“ said Doug Mohney, HDVoice News Editor-in-Chief and conference chairman. “Having an event focused solely on Smart Voice Services gives attendees the chance to explore this growing opportunity and see what products, trends and technologies are coming down the pipeline and how it will increase ARPU.”
Registration is now open. The SmartVoice Conference is collocated with ITEXPO, held January 28-31, 2013, at Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Florida. For more information regarding the SmartVoice agenda please contact Doug Mohney.
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Baster. Companies interested in exhibiting, sponsorship or advertising packages for SmartVoice Conference should contact TMC’s Joe Fabiano at 203-852-6800 x132.
TMC is a global, integrated media company that supports clients’ goals by building communities in print, online, and face to face. TMC publishes multiple magazines including Cloud Computing, M2M Evolution, Customer, and Internet Telephony. TMCnet is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries, and is read by as many as 1.5 million unique visitors monthly. TMC produces a variety of trade events, including ITEXPO, the world’s leading business technology event, as well as industry events: Asterisk World; AstriCon; ChannelVision (CVx) Expo; Cloud4SMB Expo; Customer Experience (CX) Hot Trends Symposium; DevCon5 – HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference; LatinComm Conference and Expo; M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Mobile Payment Conference; Software Telco Congress, StartupCamp; Super Wi-Fi Summit – The Global Spectrum Sharing and TV White Space Event; SIP Trunking-Unified Communications Seminars; Wearable Tech Conference & Expo; WebRTC Conference & Expo III; and more. Visit TMC Events for additional information.
About HD Voice News:
Since 2009, HD Voice News has tracked the growing ecosystem of wideband voice services, solutions, and hardware around the globe. The publication’s third report on the industry, “HD Voice 2013: Explosion,” is available on the TMCnet website.
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The Global mobile Supplier Association (GSA) latest update confirms commercial launched LTE services in 83 countries within the past 12 months.
All total, 474 operators in 138 countries are investing in LTE networks around the world, with a breakdown of 421 “firm operator commitments” to build networks in 128 countries, 53 additional countries engaged in trials and studies in 10 more countries. GSA predicts there will be 260 commercial LTE networks running in 93 countries by the end of this year.
Needless to say, LTE is the literal future of wireless, delivering peak downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbps in enhanced configurations. LTE supports HD voice through Voice over LTE (VoLTE). The VoLTE standard incorporates the AMR-WB codec as its default.
VoLTE is currently in commercial operation with several South Korean carriers. A number of carriers around the globe are running VoLTE trials, while AT&T and Verizon have vowed rollouts by 2014.
Since this venture fired up back in 2009, the world has (slowly, painfully) started to move away from narrowband and into better voice quality.
It will take (painfully, still) longer before the mobile world has adopted HD voice as its de facto standard, with delays to Voice over LTE (VoLTE) continuing to pop up despite more press releases about SRVCC and promises for more HD voice. Even the consumer broadband world (outside of the U.S.) is moving to HD voice, as evidenced by recent service rollouts in such places as Lithuania, Turkey, and the Middle East.
Better voice quality, at least the idea and concept for it, has started to take root as service providers and services alike embrace voice as a hands-free user interface.
Hardware vendors have seen the light, with more of them putting two and three microphones in phones, tablets, and even laptops to do better onboard noise cancellation and voice processing. Dual speakers have become popular, enabling stereo and spatial audio effects with off-the-shelf devices that would have cost hundreds of dollars and specialized hardware a decade ago.
But for the most part, voice is still very “dumb” and frankly (with no apologies to the UC crowd) very dis-unified from other data types. You make a phone call, taking notes on the side, you hang up, that’s it for over 70 percent or more of the business world. Follow-up is down through email.
Voice mail, this year’s whipping boy, can provide some intelligence via speech to text services, but the email transcript is often garbled.
Calls are recorded in various financial, health, and legal industries for regulatory requirements, but unless something goes wrong, the raw recordings typically don’t get reviewed.
Call centers represent the pinnacle of Smart Calling usage in the business world. All inbound calls are recorded. At the end of the day, the recordings are processed via speech-to-text with the resulting text data mined for best practices, improving call center agent performance, and sifted for competitive intelligence – who is offering deals to switch services, typically.
The greatest barriers for any business to engage in Smart Calling have been analog phone systems and the high cost of systems capable of grunging through narrowband recordings. With businesses moving to IP PBXes and cloud-based services, voice is now (literally) data. It can be recorded and processed just like any other inbound data type without the overhead of having to have humans transcribe recordings.
But voice also becomes more in a digital context. People can stop taking notes, because transcriptions of calls become automatically available. Indexing makes those transcriptions searchable for sales leads, support disputes, accounting review, and all other aspects of operations.
HD voice and its successors are the building block for Smart Calling. In the weeks to come, you should hear more about Smart Calling over at TMCNet, discussing recording, voice biometrics, voice analytics, and Hypervoice practices.
Why am I pushing Smart Calling now? We have the technology (apologies to Oscar Goldman) for services to be delivered in a cost-effective manner. Cloud-based VoIP/UC services are a dime a dozen, so carriers are going to have to get smarter and more innovative about offering value-added services that deliver better, more productive voice services on top of vanilla voice – while adding to ARPU.
TEO, a largely owned subsidiary of TeliaSonera in Lithuania, is introducing business HD voice service to its customers.
A press release from the company says it is the first in the country’s fixed-line operators to offer HD voice services. Its product people predict the service would become “extremely popular” among call centers and other companies providing customer service via phone.
TEO is one of the ten fixed-line operators in the European Union to offer HD voice calls, according to the release.
In July, Bite Lithuania launched mobile HD voice service.
TIM Brazil and Telecom Italia Sparkle have have signed an LTE roaming deal, the first between Brazil and Italy, as well as between South American and Europe.
Roaming is expected to be available in 2014, according to Telecom Italia Sparkle’s press release, using Sparkle’s IPX service to enable LTE customers of the respective carriers to roam between the two countries.
TIM Brazil is the fastest growing operator in Brazil, with more than 72.6 million clients and over 27 percent market share.
Earlier this year, Telecom Italia Sparkle laid claim to the world’s first LTE roaming/peering agreement with Tata Communications usingSparkle’s IPX network.
Reliance Jio has obtained approval for VoLTE service on its 4G network, according to a report in Crazy Engineers.
Testing of LTE service is currently taking place with a limited number of uses spread across Mumbai,Jamnagar and Delhi, with service expected to be first launched in Assam. No indications on when VoLTE service would be made available on a production basis.
TDC, the leading telecommunications company in Denmark, has renewed an outsourcing agreement with iBasis, with an “explore” clause for mobile services including HD voice.
Terms of the three year agreement make iBasis the primary provider of international voice services and preferred provider for terminating voice services with the Nordic countries for TDC. In addition, an iBasis press release says the companies will “explore new service innovations in mobile data and LTE.”
“We have enjoyed a very strong and mutually beneficial relationship with TDC, and we look forward to further collaboration on a multi-service level, encompassing mobile messaging, signaling, HD voice and LTE Roaming,” said Willem Offerhaus, president and CEO of iBasis.
TDC turned on HD voice in Denmark in September 2011. IBasis has an IPX deal in place with Telesonera, the dominant carrier of Sweden and Finland, a link into the Dutch IPX exchange run by KPN Wholesale, and several other announced IPX deals.
The open question at this point is how soon will HD voice exchange services get turned up. Judging by the wording of the release, it isn’t on a fast track.
Tata Communications and PCCW Global have signed an agreement to interconnect their IPX communities. The move will enable seamless HD voice and video connectivity when fully implemented. It also “further expands the global community of interconnected mobile network operators,” according to a Tata press release.
The release goes on to cite Tata’s MPLS network strengths and PCCW Global’s ability to provide IPX and VoIPX to over 130 countries. Other features enabled by the IPX agreement include LTE roaming over IPX, along with messaging and video.
Telenor has rolled out HD voice in its Serbia subsidiary. Telenor Srbija now provides HD voice across both GSM and 3G networks free of charge in its “Smart Network.”
The announcement came in a September 16 press release on Telenor’s website. Phones listed in Telenor’s portfolio supporting HD voice include the HTC Desire X, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920, 820, 620, Nokia Pure View 808 and Sony Xperia E. As is typical, both callers need to be “on net” at this time.
“HD Voice service is another in the series of continuous improvements within Smart Network. We have constantly been engaged in activities aiming to increase capacity and signal coverage, as well as introduction of new capabilities improving user experience. With HD Voice service, subscribers can experience crystal clear and distinct sound during conversations and thus enjoy great potential of smart devices and mobile communication enabled by Smart Network wherever they are,” Telenor Chief Technical Officer Ingeborg Ofsthus said.
Parent Telenor discussed HD voice in detail on its website. “HD Voice – a revolution in voice communication” cites rollouts in Montenegro and Norway, with a senior Telenor official conducting a demonstration in a video clip at the end of the piece. The piece fails to mention the HD rollout by its dtac subsidiary in Thailand last year (November 2012), while Norway turned up HD voice in March 2013 and in Montenegro in June 2013.
NXP Software has announced ZTE will incorporate LifeVibes VoiceExperience software into its Qualcomm-based phones. The agreement comes as a part of both company’s participation in Qualcomm’s Hexagon Access Program.
LifeVibes VoiceExperience delivers HD Voice “quality of speech” along with noise suppression, echo cancellation and “ensures intelligibility” in noisy environments. ZTE says use of VoiceExperience will “help us easily meet operator requirements while also lowering our overall BoM cost.”
Reading between the lines, more carriers are demanding better voice quality from handsets as they deploy HD voice. ZTE appears to be leveraging processing capabilities on the Qualcomm chipset to do on-device voice processing without adding third-party processors.