Editorial – It is NOT "too early" to get an HD Voice phone

Tweeting to @DougonIPcomm, @radinfo thinks getting an HD phone is “too early” because there aren’t enough peer-to-peer interconnections right now.

The first part of the premise is wrong, while the second part is — for now — correct.

If a business are currently shopping for an IP PBX/IP telephony and/or VoIP handsets, you would be foolish NOT to put G.722 wideband (i.e. HD voice) on the check list as a necessary feature for three reasons:

  1. 1) You’re going to be living with that hardware for 3-7 years, so you might as well shell out a little extra to be “future proofed” — unless you’re willing to bet that HD voice services will not proliferate that fast in 3-7 years.
  2. 2) Cisco has a $130 list price HD phone for businesses, Polycom has a $199 entry-level list price phone — and who pays list price these days, hmm? So you aren’t paying that much extra…
  3. 3) A lot of people ALREADY have HD Voice, but they just don’t know it. Avaya’s line of phones, most of Polycom’s gear (now all of it), some of Aastra’s gear, some of the ADTRAN handsets.  As I noted when I was at AstriCon last month, you can’t throw a rock without hitting an HD capable phone.

As for the premise that “there’s not enough” peering/interconnects, there are at least two efforts going on TODAY to fix that and a third capable of HD/SIP peering/exchange.

  1. 1) XConnect offers a SIP exchange service.
  2. 2) Alteva and SimpleSignal, along with a bunch of other business VoIP providers, are in the process of joining together for SIP exchange in an IP peering fabric
  3. 3) Sprint’s PIN network is capable of HD voice peering through SIP, but Sprint needs to hurry up and get out a higher-level offering, rather than pacing themselves by what the North American cable companies want…

Net-net: There’s no excuse for NOT buying an “HD ready” phone today.

– Doug Mohney

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