XConnect has divulged more information about its HD voice interoperability trial and a company official indicated that over “15 to 20” U.S. service providers are interested in participating, including cable service providers and CLECs in North America, and service providers in Norway, Holland and Korea.
Operators wishing to participate in the HD voice trial must be able to upload subscriber numbers to XConnect’s Registry, be able to support either ENUM or SIP Redirect query, support SIP trunks and G.722 and G.711 for HD voice and standard voice. Support for other codecs is option, but XConnect will not be supporting transcoding at this time. Providers should also provide an automated test number for us by other members for connectivity testing.(Editor’s note: It’s HD! Hopefully providers will put something cool on their automated test numbers, like favorite music singles or something equally interesting).
Under the trial from April to June, all participating members agree that all calls between trial participants for the duration of the trial will be “bill and keep” settlement free. Calls will only be allowed between numbers uploaded to the XConnect Registry and XConnect enables participants to check service usage through the company’s web portal.
Speaking to HD Voice News earlier today, XConnect VP John Wilkinson described HD voice as a “really exciting evolution of the market” and one that could be a “very fast value-add” for service providers since the end-use doesn’t have to have the development explained.
Wilkinson said XConnect is “committed to work with as many US networks as possible” to make HD voice interoperability “immediate.” The company’s Global Alliance infrastructure allows it to create private federations between interested communities, so creating a private community for operators to share HD voice traffic was straightforward.
While not going into specifics, Wilkinson suggested U.S. cable networks were among the interested parties for HD voice connection. Cable networks are starting to move to a “bill and keep” model that moves away from a transit network. Larger service providers may opt to interconnect directly with a few of their largest peers and pick up the rest through an aggregation hub such as XConnect.
HD voice adoption may also be a part of a “perfect storm” of factors, said Wilkinson. Service providers are moving away from TDM to IP, so they now have the equipment for provisioning more sophisticated services above and beyond vanilla voice. Further, operators are being increasingly pressed to come up with new product since new entrants have been the ones leading with UC solutions and HD voice into the SME and retail markets. A failure to come up with competing and better products could “kill” slower service providers as people move to newer offerings.