Voice quality company Ditech Networks (www.ditechnetworks.com) has officially unwrapped its Virtual HD Voice solution for cable, mobile and VoIP network operators; news on the product announcement foreshadowed earlier in the week in the company’s “We’re demoing stuff at MWC” announcement.
In an interview with HD Voice News, Ditech Network CEO Todd Simpson noted that most major carriers already have Ditech boxes within the core of their networks for such things as transcoding and echo cancellation, so implementing its Virtual HD Voice solution would be a simple software upgrade.
“Like many other vendors, we’ve been talking about HD voice for 5 to 8 years, but the demand hadn’t been there,” Simpson said. “There’s been a significant uptake in interest and trials over the last 6 months… the market is not huge yet, but interest has increased dramatically over the last year.”
Simpson pointed out that HD voice provided both additional challenges and benefits. As HD rolls out, you get more HD noise and HD-quality echoes; upgrading to HD voice doesn’t get get rid of other artifacts picked up in the media stream. Ditech can go process out artifacts and upconvert narrowband voice for improved calling.
Ditech’s interest in HD voice also rolls into improving its’ PhoneTag speech-to-text service. “We put better quality [voice] in… we get better quality transcription services,” stated Simpson. “It’s self serving, but also good for the end user,” with better quality resulting in more uptake of the service.
Without providing specifics, Simpson sees “good activity” on the mobile side of HD voice and described cable as having a “relatively straightforward” pat to roll out HD, “A perfect target market for HD voice and to differentiate themselves… I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rollout on cable aggressively.”
HD voice also got props for applications to vertical markets – specifically conferencing, shades of ZipDX – and as a business application.
Ditech’s HD Virtual Voice service uses “bandwidth expansion and warping” to enhance transcoding between a wideband codec – Simpson said G.722 and AMR-WB were both supported – and a narrowband codec to deliver “near HD voice quality” while preserving audio quality of the wideband stream in a narrowband stream.
A network upgrade to Virtual HD Voice will take about an hour, said today’s Ditech press release, and carriers are being encouraged to contact Ditech for a demo today.