Neutral Tandem launches HD Voice interconnect; 8×8 signs up

Neutral Tandem, a leading provider of global interconnection services, has announced the launch of HD Voice Interconnect, a wideband voice interconnection solution for the competitive carrier market.  No ENUM registry required. First announced customer is the largest G.722 shop in North America – 8×8.   Yes, this is a big deal.

The service is aimed at providing carriers and service providers the opportunity to efficiently route HD voice calls between competitive carriers and anyone else routing hosted voice. It requires a SIP interconnect to route HD voice across Neutral Tandem’s network; since the company is capable of terminating calls to over 550 million telephony end points and is connected to wireline, wireless, cable and broadband companies around the world, there’s a lot of footprint being offered for HD voice calls in one fell swoop.

“As a proven leader in offering HD interconnection solutions for service providers, Neutral Tandem’s solution makes it easy for us to provide the enhanced audio fidelity required by our subscribers and completes the calls across its all-IP network,” Bryan Martin, Chairman and CEO of 8×8 said in the canned press release. “They simplify the delivery of high-quality voice solutions end-to-end, and with their ‘off-net’ routing capabilities, there’s no need to create multiple HD peering relationships or routing configurations with numerous carriers they do it all.”

Enabling HD voice is a “seamless service” according to the company. As noted above, doesn’t require an ENUM registry, so customers don’t have to upload databases of numbers they consider IP (intellectual property) and don’t take a performance hit to “dip” into a database each time a call is set up.  Customers simply route calls to Neutral Tandem via SIP – as a lot of them already are for vanilla VoIP – and if the terminating carrier supports HD voice, the call is completed as such. 

Public endorsement by 8×8 is a good thing. Between its installed (and expanding) base of Aastra and Polycom phones, 8×8 is the largest documented G.722 HD voice carrier in North America with over 100,00 end-points in March 2011.  

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