Next week, Ditech Networks (www.ditechnetworks.com) will be unveiling its in-core solution for upconverting PSTN and narrowband calls to near HD-voice quality. Put this down as another marker that cable operators are coming to the HD voice party Very Soon.
The solution, called “Virtual HD Voice” is being touted by Ditech as the solution to enable “operators to roll out high quality HD voice services without having to wait for full adoption of HD enabled devices.” It runs “alongside” Ditech’s other voice quality algorithms.
From a technology standpoint, this should be no big surprise. Ditech has been working various forms of software magic to clean up media streams for decades, so “upconverting” a narrowband voice call into HD quality is the next logical evolution of using its established voice processing technology
Ditech says the service will be available for cable, mobile and VoIP network operators. Since mobile operators are already rolling out HD around the world, this should be a no-brainer to many. Cable operators in North America are going to start rolling out HD voice services into the SMB sector this year and at least one MSO is likely to start rolling out some sort of trial for residential HD voice service by the end of this year.
This isn’t the first HD voice upconvert scheme. MSO-focused Cedar Point Communications rolled out an HD voice upconvert package for its softswitch in December; the company is now owned by GENBAND. In addition, DSP Group has said it is incorporating “wideband voice synthesis” capabilities to clean up narrowband calls and boost them to HD voice (Do we say “near HD voice”?) quality.