France Telecom’s Libon gets cute about its HD voice support–AAC?

Libon, France Telecom’s shiny new free app for the iPhone and coming soon to Android, is getting a lot of Twitter buzz for supporting HD voice.  However, the PR firm and the Libon Twitter account aren’t saying what codec is being used, other than hinting it is something beyond the “standard” HD voice experience.  Why be coy?

Libon was rolled out last week and is available in 90 countries, supporting free HD voice calls, speech-to-text, messaging and personalized visual voicemail, with calls routed via 3G or Wi-Fi connections.  Conversations are pulled together by contacts, with IM, calls, and voicemails all grouped together and everything is stored in the cloud so if you lose your phone, you still have the info available.  The iOS version is available now with Android support promised in early Q1.  RCS support is promised in 2013.

A query to Libon’s PR rep says that the app/organization “hasn’t officially announced its technology partners” but plans to do so over the coming months.  “What I can tell you is that we use a Codec that extends beyond the 50Hz to 7KHz for ‘normal’ HD.”

Querying the @Libon Twitter account about the codec in use gives the following response: “Sorry, but we’re going to have to keep that one quiet for the time being! Is there a particular reason you ask?”

HD Voice News responded via @DougonIPComm with “Really? Well, there’s the issue of compatbility with G.722 and AMR-WB #HDvoice networks already run by #Orange”

It would be interesting and potentially significant if Libon supported Fraunhofer’s AAC “Full HD Voice” codec.  AAC is available and supported on both iOS and Android platforms.  Fraunhofer has been promoting its AAC family as a one-stop solution for “Full HD Voice.”

Another candidate would be the open-source Opus codec, but if it was in there, why be so paranoid about people knowing the client uses it?

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