Even though all we seemingly hear about these days in the communications industry (including many a time in this blog) revolves around wireless broadband, LTE, cool new tablets, and the ever increasing video usage from these smart devices, it’s important to remember that voice services still play a key role. The annual SpeechTEK conference is a good reminder of how important voice is. I will be speaking at this year’s event in August in New York about cloud-based HD Voice.
According to Infonetics, in 2012, it’s expected that wireless voice services will be 60% of wireless service provider revenue and by 2015, as the worldwide wireless service revenue approaches $1 Trillion, voice is still expected to generate over 50% of that revenue! So even though voice services are ubiquitous and have seemingly become mundane, voice and therefore voice quality is and will continue to be a critical measure for service provider success. As such, voice quality can be a significant differentiator as competition becomes more intense and this is where High Definition (HD) Voice comes in.
If you haven’t heard the difference between “regular” and HD Voice, please listen to this demonstration on the Dialogic website to hear for yourself.
Obviously, the key use case is person to person calling. In the enterprise, if you are calling someone using the same PBX or Unified Communication Hub which supports HD Voice, and you are calling using either a headset or a deskphone that supports HD Voice, then you will have an HD Voice conversation. If you are calling within the same mobile network that supports HD Voice, and you are calling with mobile phones that support HD Voice, then your conversation will be with HD Voice. If you are calling from one network that supports HD Voice to another network that also supports HD Voice, then today it “might” work if the signaling properly supported the call or there was a gateway to convert from one type of HD Voice codec to another.
A second use case would be in utilizing a communication adjunct with the phone call, for instance utilizing a voice mail, conference, IVR, call logging or contact center solution. If you are calling with HD Voice, and need to leave a voice mail, then the voice mail system would need to support HD Voice for the voice mail to be in HD Voice format. If you are using an IVR, and you are speaking to it, then it would need to support HD Voice in order to be a higher quality interaction. The same thing would occur with a contact center. For instance, a specific use case along these lines would be with emergency services. Calling in with HD Voice would yield a higher quality interaction to the emergency service contact center. And if you are calling into a conference bridge on an HD capable phone and the conferencing server didn’t support HD Voice, then the bridge would revert back to what you are used to today.
A third use case would be supporting the above use case through a cloud implementation of the communications adjunct. Given that many communications applications are moving to the cloud, there is no reason HD Voice applications would not follow.