Orange embraces CAT-iq for HD

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.

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