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iBasis, P4 Offer HD Voice Interconnection

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May 14, 2014

iBasis, P4 Offer HD Voice Interconnection

By David Delony, Contributing Writer

iBasis, a subsidiary of the Dutch carrier KPN (News - Alert), and P4, a Polish mobile carrier, have launched mobile HD voice service interconnection between P4’ s PLAY brand and KPN Mobile.

“HD Voice is the most significant innovation in international voice service in many years, providing dramatic improvements in the quality of cross-border and cross-cultural communication,” said Willem Offerhaus, CEO of iBasis (News - Alert).

Members of both PLAY and KPN will be able to call each other using HD Voice, which attempts to make mobile conversations clearer by reducing background noise and expanding the frequency range.

Traditional phone systems had limited frequency ranges, which lead to a characteristic tinny sound over the phones.  The limitations of the traditional way of clipping out frequencies become apparent on mobile phones, especially on calls made in noisy environments. By contrast, HD Voice aims for a more natural sound over mobile phones.

iBasis uses a multi-service IPX which handles all of the processing necessary for HD voice. Other carriers and over-the-top (OTT) can connect to each other using Voice over LTE (News - Alert) with AMR-WB coding. iBasis hopes to add even more carriers to its interconnection.

The greater bandwidth these networks offer compared to PSTN and previous generations of mobile networks allows carriers to escape some of the limitations that were placed on them in the era when phones lived on desks, not in people’s pockets.

“We are delighted to expand superior HD Voice quality to international calls, thanks to our cooperation with iBasis,” said Jacek Nieweglowski, chief strategy officer of PLAY.

While many people, especially younger people, prefer to use SMS and other text-based apps on their phones, there is still a need to actually talk on the phone once in a while.

If the audio quality of voice calls goes up, more people might sign up for HD Voice services. It makes sense for carriers to cooperate on new standards like these. It remains to be seen if customers will find HD Voice enticing enough to upgrade to plans and handsets that support it, but P4 said that customer response to HD Voice was enthusiastic.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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