Word out of the CableLabs conference is Franch Telecom has embraced the CableLabs CAT-iq handset standard for its HD Voice service going forward, making it the first non-cable company to get on board.
Previously, FT/Orange had been sourcing hardware from three vendors – Sagem, Thomson, and Siemens, with a DECT base station plugging into the customer’s home gateway via USB. CAT-iq provides a standardized solution enabling customers to buy off-the-shelf solutions at lower price points; it also provides an end-to-end G.722 wideband solution in the house, so call quality is not compromised.
Handset vendors should be happy about this, since they can start cranking CAT-iq phones for Europe and have them magically “appear” in the states for HD consumer offerings when the cable companies are ready to roll out their services.
A tip of the hat to France Telecom for continuing to lead and innovate with HD Communications.