CES 2011–Technicolor talks HD voice hubs, DECT/CAT-iq everywhere

If there’s one company that can claim the the top ring for shipping consumer HD voice hardware, Technicolor (www.technicolor.com) – formerly known as Thomson – is in the mix.  But it’s the future – a CAT-iq loaded future – which is likely to make a large impact across Europe.

Technicolor, under the Thomson brand, has so far shipped 2 million HD-voice capable pieces of CPE for BT’s Hub service, along with another half million pieces of CPE for France Telecom’s HD voice broadband offering.   All total, Technicolor has likely shipped between 3 million to 4 million HD voice capable end-points worldwide; the company would not cite an exact figure , but pointed it had equipment going to a number of customers around the globe that were shifting from a PSTN to an all-IP model.

But it’s the DECT Forum CAT-iq standard that is part and parcel for both future HD voice deployments and the deployment of advanced (i.e. revenue-generating) services for service providers.

Incorporating DECT and CAT-iq into new consumer hardware is cost “neutral” and the silicon is so cheap and low-power that it enables a host of wireless network-and-broadband (NaB? :) applications. 

One notational app Technicolor showcased was a CAT-iq key frob. 

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Battery life would be around three years.  The frob would be linked to the (Technicolor) household management system and events would be trigged once the frob came into the house, such as adjustments to the lights and heating/air conditioning and/or an email or text message indicating so-and-so (Child, elderly parent) is now home.

Another addition to the home is a dual-mode CAT-iq/Wi-Fi tablet.

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At first glance, this sounds like a belt-and-suspenders overkill approach to connectivity, but CAT-iq provides full-blown QoS for end-to-end HD voice – well, for any audio-based app – something you aren’t going to get out of the box for Wi-Fi.

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