Verizon Wireless chats about HD, VoLTE, and SIP

Verizon Wireless (www.verizonwireless.com) should support HD voice across a number of LTE devices and users will ultimately be able to exchange wideband calls within and outside of Verizon’s network.

“The initial devices we’ll support [AMR-WB] are smart phones for sure,” said Verizon Wireless Marjorie Hsu, VP Technology Development. “Other devices on the road map, we’re working through the form factor, we want to get the user experience right.”

An exchange on transcoding between AMR-WB and G.722 on Verizon’s networks brought a very subtle and interesting answer.

“It’s a goal to have a rich experience from whatever IP end point you’re at, from 4G smart phone to tablet, eventually to have full interoperability between desk phones, but it’s an evolution,” said Hsu. “We need to look at not just HD voice aspect, but what else is out there as far as interoperability for the whole VoLTE rich as far as video and messaging.”

Hsu said Verizon Wireless was already working on interoperability and direct peering between its network and the “backbone” network, as well as a transcoder-free mechanism to drive efficiencies through its global network.

“There’s a ton of complexity,” she said.  “At a high level, yes, it’s all SIP endpoints and peering, but even though [SIP] a standard, there’s a lot of work for interoperability … it’s not plug and play.”

Outside of the Verizon universe, the company is working closely with Vodaphone for carrier interoperability testing.  “We’re hoping to have lab connectivity shortly,” Hsu stated. “It’s going to be a multi-pronged [Interoperability test].”

Verizon Wireless was “very pleased” with the reaction from its VoLTE Mobile World Congress demonstrations. “Even in a very crowded conference, people got it,” said Hsu. “This was a HD voice experience coupled with video.”

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